Ahweh Sada.

Ahweh Sada, literally meaning unsweetened coffee/bitter coffee.

This is the traditional Arabic coffee in the Levant area. It is especially famous among the bedouin communities, however, not at all limited to them. It is loved and served everywhere throughout the levant, especially on occasions like Eid, Ramadan and formal events and  big banquets. It is even served in weddings and funerals. My favourite thing about this coffee is that you can prepare it in advance, place it in a thermos and it will be ready to serve all day, any time during the day. Better yet, is that this specific coffee lends itself very well with bites that are extra sweet, like any date dessert, maamoul, honey desserts, milk chocolate based desserts and Arabic Sweets as it’s flavour is somewhat bitter.

Arabic coffee has 2 versions, this is the black version of the levant; not the light coloured spiced coffee of the gulf which I love as it is absolutely fragrant. (Find the recipe for that one on this link)


Where I come from, this coffee is also the welcome drink that is offered by the Bedouins as a token of high respect and welcome. In Jordan, this has become the tradition at all homes. When you are being honoured and hugely appreciated as a guest, you are most likely to be served this coffee.

Interestingly, there are also traditions as to how this Arabic coffee is handled. Arabic coffee has to be offered hot, not just warm. Traditionally served in a special Arabic coffee cup and the coffee is held in a special pot called ‘Dalleh‘. Usually the Dalleh is held with the left hand, and the cups stacked in the right hand. The coffee is poured till the cup is 1/3 full. Once finished you usually shake the cup to signal that you are done and do not wish for a refill. Love traditions!

So if you are not familiar with this coffee give it a try and see how you like it. PS don’t add sugar!!!! The whole idea is unsweetened coffee, but do serve it with extra Sweet Desserts! 😉


  • 50ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp Turkish Coffee powder + 1tsp extra
  • 2 tbsp Instant coffee granules (dark roast)
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 4 whole cardamom seeds



In a pot, place boiling water, coffee, coffee granules & ground cardamon and bring to the boil stirring.

Lower the heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Place in Traditional Coffee pot or coffee thermos along with the cardamon seeds.

Close close the pot and serve hot.

Reheat when needed.

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