Qahwa House Yemeni Latte Recipe
By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer
Not much is known of Yemen in America and as a way of introducing themselves to the rest of the world Yemenis have opened up Yemeni-orientated cafes wanting to share their identity and coffee culture with the rest of the world.
The most popular Yemeni cafe is Qahwa house with Michigan being its first location. The owners have then franchised this small cafe and is now opening up branches across America. Qahwa house has recently opened a cafe in NYC, in November of 2020 and is located in Bedford, Brooklyn.
As soon as I walk into Qahwa House I am greeted with strong fumes of roasted coffee beans. If you take a deeper breath you can almost catch the hints of cardamon, cinnamon, and ginger.
The place is ornamented with its Yemeni identity as pictures and portraits illuminate the wall. My eyes fixated on the glorious map, steal against wood, it details the historical trade routes of Arabica coffee. Soon I met the dark eyes of a Yemeni man at the register, his eyes bold and conspicuous, his smile effulgent. He was kind enough to show me the variety of coffee beans they offer, from espresso and Adeni chai blend, to the traditional Yemeni Qishr.
Qahwa House offers a modern twist to traditional Yemeni coffee drinks, offering iced versions of their typically hot yemeni tea and coffee. Yemeni chai is made with ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, and is traditionally served with sweets and bread.
Yemeni coffee is known for its distinct flavors, different regions of Yemen are known for a specific coffee flavor. Further north of Yemen, in Al-Hayma, coffee has a more floral taste while in the region of Anis, coffee is deeply rich with hints of chocolate, notes of honey comb and dried fruit. In the region of Haraz, coffee is known for its winey taste and like Anis coffee, it has a fruity note. You can read my article here on the history of Yemeni coffee.
One of my favorite drinks from Qahwa House is the iced Yemeni latte. It can be enjoyed hot or iced.
It is a delicacy that cannot be enjoyed frequently. The price hurls my wallet into a fit of agony and despair. My yearning for this heavenly coffee drink had inspired me to create my own.
It is easy to make and all you need is a few ingredients to create this staple coffee drink. You also don’t need to purchase Yemeni coffee, you can use any espresso beans.
*You can make this recipe hot or iced*
- Ground cardamon
- Ground ginger
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves
- Ground Nutmeg (optional)
- Ground espresso (Any of your choice)
- Bialetti espresso maker/ Moka Pot (buy from your local market, or amazon).
- Lots of Ice
You can use whole spice and whole coffee beans, just be sure to grind them up.
- Combine ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg in a small bowl.
- Ground your espresso if you are using whole beans.
- Fill the bialetti with coffee and the spice mix.
- Drizzle honey along the sides of the glass.
- If you have a sweet tooth add more honey. This drink doesn’t require sugar.
- For iced, add ice, your milk of choice, and pour in the espresso. For hot, add warmed milk, and the espresso.To create foam milk, I used a milk froth machine.
- You can use a French press or shake it in a mocktail/ mason jar. You can use any method of your choice.
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