For the real coffee experience you have to go to the Bedouin, the desert nomads who live in Egypt, the Negev and Jordan.

Traditionally coffee was very expensive as it had to be carried by camel from Africa.

The process starts with fresh beans being roasted over an open fire on a long metal rod called a 'mihmas'. They are then left to cool in a wooden scoop called a 'mibradi'. Once the beans are cooled they are then crushed in a tall wooden pestle and mortar, a mihbash. The tribesman crushing the beans will do so to a rhythmic pattern to inform his neighbours that they have a guest and to invite them to his tent. The coffee grounds are then set to boil in a pot, a dallah, over an open flame, with cardamon being added as it boils. When it is ready it is poured in to a fresh pot and served in small cups.

A guest will be offered three rounds of coffee, each one with its own symbolism and meaning. The first cup is called finjan al dayf - the guest cup. It is served to welcome the guest to their tent and as a sign of trust, the theory being that you aren't going to fight someone that you've just had coffee with. Then will be served the second cup, finjan al sayf - the sword cup. This cup is a toast to the honor and courage of the men present. It also marks the resolution of a pending conflict. The third cup, finjan al kayf - the pleasure cup, is served purely for the enjoyment of drinking fine coffee. Each round of coffee is spaced out between conversation, stories and, on special occasions, poetry and music.

Because of the importance of the coffee drinking ritual it can also be used to insult your guest or you host. If the host wished to insult a guest, or to show that he had been wronged, then he will pour a cup and then tip it on to the ground infront of his guest. If the host had served a cup of coffee as a toast to one of his guests and the guest were to spill the cup out instead of drinking it then it would indicate that there was trouble between him and the host.

The Bedouin also say that coffee should be:

Dark as Night
Strong as Man
and Bitter as Married Life

Coffee with cardamom is also one of lifes pleasures. It's best servered in small espresso cups or small glasses. It should be thick and slighly sweet, it should also leave you very pleasantly wired for hours to come.