How are you feeling? More importantly, how was your coffee today?
Have you ever tried to make Qahwa (Arabic Coffee)? Let me tell you, it’s a process to get it just right. I want to share something with you.
As a child, I associated Qahwa with being old. All the adults had to have it first thing in the morning, and then they would make some in the evening as part of their round two. Upon tasting it, I shuddered at its lack of sugar. My amateur taste buds could not comprehend why anyone would want to drink it once, twice, or multiple times a day. I vowed to never drink it and instead, I gradually turned to Nescafe, then Espresso, and eventually I discovered Matcha. I refused to drink the Qahwa until my grandma said something that stood out to me.
“I would long for a cup of Qahwa from your hands,” she said in Arabic.
Something went off that morning, and I realised that the Qahwa I vowed to never drink as a child was more than just coffee. It was deeper than that. To mums, it was a form of literal warmth, love, and therapy. Even the pronunciation was profound, and the process of making it gave mums something to genuinely look forward to in the morning. I realised that morning that it is not just qahwa, it was uppercase ‘Qahwa’ and it was not a mere dietary staple, but one for life.
These days, I recognise the importance of Qahwa as a lovingly practiced tradition. The process of making it is filled with patience and love in order to get it just right. When you treat someone to homemade Qahwa, it is a form of affection and appreciation because you are making it with your own hands.
For mums, it is also an opportunity to have a moment of valuable peace before the day begins to quickly unroll itself. Sometimes, making two cups of Qahwa is a quick therapy session between two mums. It is soothing because it is warm and the process of taking long sips allows you to stop and simply unwind. There is something tranquil about having a cup of Qahwa when days are hectic and you really need to take a second to breathe.
Perhaps, sometimes you have to drink your Qahwa quickly even if it’s not quite the right temperature, but it is nevertheless always appreciated. Although the taste is important, the fact that it is made with love is enough to make each cup and each sip valuable.
Mum, a cup of Qahwa is meant to fill your large, beautiful, always-giving heart.
I hope that every morning or evening you get to spend time with your cup of Qahwa is filled with self-love and valuable reflection. You deserve it the most.
Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.