Beverages · Libyan

Caffeine Stories – Libyan Coffee

I’d like to introduce you to my first memory of coffee. It’s my mother’s favorite and a little known recipe outside of Libya. We call it Libyan coffee. In Libya, it’s just “coffee.” Kind of like how Libyan soup is just soup in Libya, and everyone just happens to know exactly what you are referring to. As an added bonus, you can have your fortune told after you finish drinking your cup of coffee! (Btw, there is a name for this…it’s called tasseomancy.)


This coffee is a very simple recipe and only takes a few minutes to prepare.  To serve this properly, you will need espresso coffee cups. For ingredients, you will need a tiny Turkish-style coffee pot, water, finely Turkish/Arabic ground blonde roast coffee with cardamom, orange blossom water and sugar.  (Note: The cardamom is key in Libyan coffee; without it, it tastes completely different.)

To start,  measure out 2 1/2 espresso-sized cups of water and pour them into the coffee pot.

Heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 heaping teaspoons of coffee and half a cap of orange blossom water.

Stir the coffee and place it back on the stove. It will start to boil and the level will rise quickly! You need to remove from it from the stove before it boils over.

Let the level of the coffee subside before placing it back on the stove. Once again, watch it carefully so you can see the coffee level rise and remove from the heat before it boils over, then repeat for a third time. Remove the coffee pot from the burner and turn off the stove. Allow the coffee to rest for about 1-2 minutes, which will allow it to steep. Pour the coffee into your espresso cups and serve with some biscotti or kaak. Enjoy!



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