Bedouin tea and Turkish Coffee
Our journey yesterday was fuelled by caffeine. Both the King’s Highway and the Desert Highway offer frequent opportunities to stop and take a break in what can best be described as a blend of truck stop and motorway services. Though the initial impression is that they are squarely aimed at tourists, the little huddles of men sitting around small tables smoking and enjoying a bit of conversation offered an alternative view to the large souvenir departments alongside.
For the most part, these vast souvenir stores seemed to be somewhere to wander, holding a steaming cup of strong Turkish coffee and waiting for it to cool enough to take a sip without scalding the lips! For on that first morning when Mo bought us our first cup of coffee following Jordanian tradition, he introduced me to a rather delicious drink.
Made by boiling a scoop of a coffee-cardamom blend and at least two teaspoonfuls of sugar with about half a cup of water before pouring into a thin paper cup, this is no drink for cissies! There are no “contents might be hot” warnings on these cups and the near-boiling contents not only prove difficult to hold but are impossible to drink for quite some time. But as a pit-stop to fuel a long journey, it’s the perfect wake-up!
Wherever we’ve come across Bedouin however, it’s not been the coffee pot on the fire but the kettle. which seems to be more in keeping with their rather more laid back and relaxed approach. Yesterday, in Wadi Rum, we stopped by a Bedouin tent for a while and were immediately offered a cup of this sweet, spice-laden tea.
Rather like Indian chai, but drunk without milk, this is another delicious drink. The process of brewing the tea in the pot cools it slightly - no scalded lips here thank goodness - and again, we are reminded of how well a hot drink keeps us going!
We’ve got both the Turkish coffee blend and the tea herbs to bring home with us, but needless to say, it won’t taste the same, will it? It won’t stop me giving it a go, however!