There’s a Turkish proverb that says, “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” Lebanese people know this all too well with their passion for their deep rich cup of Ahwe.
Ahwe has long been a traditional drink in the Lebanese culture and our obsession with coffee is no secret really, even if some of its purposes are unspoken.
#1 For the Lebanese, it’s not just a morning drink
Most of us have absolutely no problem drinking coffee before bed – or at least that’s what we tell ourselves (somewhere around 3 or 4 in the morning).
#2 Lebanese can hold you hostage in their house until they serve you coffee
In fact, sometimes coffee is served twice: Ahwet El Ahla w Sahla, the welcoming coffee when you first arrive, and Ahwet El Ma3 As-Salameh, the goodbye coffee before you leave.
#3 A Lebanese meal is not complete without ending it with coffee
Somehow, we Lebanese believe that coffee soothes our tummies after lunch. We have to have that cup of coffee. Even nearly every restaurant in Lebanon serves complimentary coffee after lunch or dinner.
That’s unlike restaurants abroad where you are offered coffee before your meal.
#4 Coffee is the Lebanese go-to drink on any occasion
From weddings to funerals… and all others in between, your coffee will be there for you.
#5 Even those rare Lebanese who don’t love coffee drink it
Coffee is coffee. It’s not about the taste. When Lebanese are served coffee, whether they like it or not, whether it’s well brewed or not, whether it’s well done or watery, they just drink it to the last drop.
#6 Lebanese get offended if someone refuses their coffee
When your host serves you coffee and you say no, expect to get some disapproving looks… and probably a sulking face during all your visit time. (What was your visit about, anyway? Drink your coffee!)
#7 We think we look smarter drinking coffee
Admit, there’s a difference and we Lebanese know it. Picture yourself sitting at a cafe with a bottle of water. Now picture yourself with a cup of coffee. Which one looks better?
#8 Some got to believe coffee would give them a mustache