Turkish or Arabic coffee is the most popular hot beverage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the Middle East. Aside from being a potent brew, it has a special place in the Arab world in terms of culture and tradition.
It is an important part of both intimate and large social gatherings, particularly when there is a meal or break involved.
The preparation of this type of beverage is also steeped in custom. There is a certain ritual involved in making traditional Turkish or Arabic coffee.
The brewing pot and serving cups, which are small and often artistically adorned, are a sight to see as well. They are different from the typical machines, crocks, and mugs you use at home and in cafes and restaurants.
Because of these reasons, it is one type of coffee you absolutely must try in this country.
Other Types of Coffee to Enjoy in the KSA
Arabic or Turkish coffee, however, is not the only type of brew you can indulge in to satisfy your cravings for caffeine in Saudi Arabia.
Cafes and restaurants in different parts of the KSA are big consumers of different types of whole coffee beans, which they get wholesale. Because of this, you will be able to indulge in a variety of coffee drinks in this country.
Below are some of the coffee drinks served in cafes and restaurants which you can enjoy in Saudi Arabia:
Bean to cup
A staple in many cafes and dining establishments, the bean to cup machine is the most widely used piece of coffee-making equipment in the KSA.
This type of coffee machine comes with a built-in grinder. The coffee beans will be ground up seconds before being used. As such, fresh, more flavorful coffee will be dispensed.
As a result, your cappuccino, espresso, or latte tastes fresh, robust, and great.
Signature coffee drinks
Thanks to bean to cup, filter coffee, and espresso machines, not to mention trained baristas, you can get a cup of cappuccino, latte, macchiato, mochaccino, and any type of brew you want in the KSA.
However, you will also find several unique signature coffee drinks here.
Leading the pack is the Wacafe latte. It is a latte with dates, an Arabic staple. As a result, you have a beverage that has a unique fruity taste.
Another must-try signature coffee drink is qahwa, which is served by various cafes and restaurants across Saudi Arabia.
The brewing method for qahwa is similar to Turkish or Arabic coffee. However, with the former, green coffee beans are used, thus creating a weak brew. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, rose water, and other seasonings and spices are also added to the beverage.
Many other local cafes also have their own signature coffee drinks, which you can discover as you go around the different cities.
With the weather hot and humid nearly all year round, you won’t be able to avoid craving something cold and caffeinated in this country. Due to this reason, iced coffee drinks are popular here, too.
Iced coffee is simply brewed coffee served over ice. You can order it black or brown. You can also ask your cappuccino, latte, macchiato, or mochaccino to be served iced if you don’t feel like sipping something hot.
Most coffee shops here would be more than happy to customize your iced coffee. As such, feel free to have regular milk replaced with half and half or soy milk or to add a shot of espresso to your drink.
Cold brew is becoming one of the most popular coffee-based drinks around. Although many people mistake this beverage for iced coffee, the two are quite different.
The difference lies in the preparation process. For cold brew, coarse-ground coffee is soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours.
After half a day or longer, the grounds will be filtered out. Since cold brew does not use heat to extract the beans’ oils, caffeine, and sugars (they naturally come out from being steeped in water), the resulting coffee has a more robust and bitter taste. This flavor is maintained, even if milk and ice are added to the beverage.
It remains strong as well, even if it is diluted with water.
Where to Enjoy the Perfect Cup of Brew
You can get coffee at nearly all cafes and restaurants across the KSA. But if you want to indulge in a great cup of joe, look for a coffee shop or dining establishment that has the following:
The best brews come from topnotch coffee-making machines. If a coffee shop or establishment uses poor-quality equipment, the resulting drink will be less flavorful and unsatisfactory.
In addition to the coffee-making machine, having a good water purification system and a commercial grinder will help produce excellent brews as well.
High-quality coffee beans
The most flavorful coffee drinks are made from the finest coffee beans. Because of this, the best cafes and restaurants get only premium products from trusted and well-known suppliers or brands.
Additionally, find out if the establishment uses whole coffee beans. They should be ground before brewed so that they can retain their natural oils, which gives the beverage its exquisite flavor and freshness.
Proper storage of the coffee grounds also plays a crucial role in the flavor of the beverage. If the taste is a bit off, the beans may have been stored improperly.
Lastly, consistency is another element that can make your beverage satisfactory and something that you will want to drink over and over again.
Cafes and restaurants that serve coffee should follow standard recipes for both their hot and cold beverages. Baristas and anyone preparing the drinks should be trained to follow them unless customers ask for their orders to be customized.
The service should be consistent as well. The establishment must always serve your order anytime. Running out of supplies is never an acceptable excuse; they should always be prepared to give their customers any item on their menu.
This is something that you should expect, whether they have plenty of guests or none at all.
Lastly, your overall experience at the café or restaurant can also make you enjoy your coffee more or dislike it. Because of this, consider the ambiance, location, cleanliness, and quality of customer service you can get from them.
With the coffee culture growing strong in Saudi Arabia, you can expect to enjoy an excellent cup of joe wherever you are in this country.