Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Lebanon

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Lebanon, offering insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene. Whether you are a coffee lover or simply looking to immerse yourself in Lebanon's traditional customs and traditions, this guide is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the coffee culture in Lebanon.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production in Lebanon

Coffee has a long and proud history in Lebanon, with locally grown beans widely recognized for their distinctive flavors and aromas. Beans are typically sourced in the northern regions of Lebanon, including the Bekaa Valley, which is recognized as one of the country's premier coffee-growing areas. For expats seeking to explore the coffee plantations and farms firsthand, there are several opportunities to do so.

Lebanon's love affair with coffee extends back centuries, and over time, coffee production and consumption have evolved to reflect the country's unique cultural and geographic characteristics. The sharp climate and mountainous terrain contribute to a rich and distinct taste in Lebanese coffee, which is recognized for its bold and aromatic flavor.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks in Lebanon

Lebanon is home to a diverse array of coffee style drinks, with a wide variety of traditional brews, specialty blends, and popular coffee beverages unique to the region. From Turkish coffee to Arabic coffee and espresso, there is something to suit every taste bud.

Turkish coffee, also known as Arabic coffee, is perhaps the most famous coffee style in Lebanon. Served in tiny cups, this strong and aromatic brew is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans in a cezve (a type of bronze or copper pot) and is often accompanied by dates or pastries.

Arabic coffee, sometimes referred to as Lebanese coffee or simply kahwah, is similar to Turkish coffee but is typically served in small cups with an accompanying glass of water. The water is used to cleanse the palate between sips and to help cool the hot coffee. Arabic coffee is often served during social gatherings as a sign of hospitality.

Espresso, which originated in Italy, has also made its way into the Lebanese coffee scene, with several Lebanese coffee shops and cafes now offering high-quality espressos to their clients.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions in Lebanon

Coffee is an integral part of Lebanese culture and social life, and there are several customs and traditions that expats should be aware of when enjoying coffee in Lebanon. Whether you are enjoying a cup of coffee at home with friends or in a local coffee shop, it is essential to respect and adhere to these customs.

One of the most important coffee customs in Lebanon is the practice of serving coffee to guests as a sign of hospitality. According to Lebanese tradition, the first sip of coffee is served to the guest, who in turn, returns the cup to the host and takes a smaller sip. This practice is repeated several times, as a sign of friendship and respect.

Another coffee tradition in Lebanon is the custom of clasping the coffee cups between the palms of your hands and keeping them warm. This is done to preserve the heat and aroma of the coffee and allows the rich scent and flavor to be fully appreciated.

Expat-Friendly Coffee Shops and Cultural Experiences in Lebanon

For expats seeking to explore the coffee culture of Lebanon, there are several options available, ranging from traditional coffee shops and cafes to modern and contemporary venues. Whether you are looking to indulge in a cup of Arabic coffee in a traditional setting or to sample the latest coffee frenzy, there is something to suit every taste and preference.

One of the most famous coffee shops in Lebanon is Abl Verde in Jounieh, which is located on the seafront and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean. Known for its high-quality coffee and stylish decor, Abl Verde is a must-visit for coffee lovers seeking to indulge in a unique and unforgettable coffee experience.

Another popular coffee shop in Lebanon is Coffee Time in Beirut, which is known for its wide variety of coffee styles and flavors. Whether you are a fan of Turkish coffee, Arabic coffee, or espresso, you will find something to suit your taste buds at Coffee Time.

For expats seeking to explore the coffee culture of Lebanon from a more traditional perspective, there are several coffee farm tours and plantation visits available, allowing you to immerse yourself in the country's rich coffee heritage and culture.


In concluding, we hope that this guide has provided you with a comprehensive overview of the coffee culture in Lebanon. Whether you are a coffee lover seeking to indulge in the richest and most aromatic coffee, or an expat looking to immerse yourself in Lebanon's traditional customs and customs, this guide offers a wealth of insights and tips to help you get started. Remember to respect the coffee traditions and customs of Lebanon, keep the cups warm, and enjoy every sip!