Saudi Arabia to preserve country’s coffee tradition

Saudi Arabia to preserve country’s coffee tradition

For coffee grower Farah al-Malki, growing coffee plants in Saudi Arabia’s south-western region of Jizan is more than just a job, it is a family tradition passed down from generation to generation.

The kingdom has a long history with coffee, which spread from Ethiopia to Yemen and then to the rest of the Middle East around the 15th century.

Coffee remains an integral part of Saudi culture, so much so that the government has designated 2022 as “The Year of Saudi Coffee”.

“I inherited the farm from my father, who I used to work with and I am passing it on to my children who also work with me.

I hope that my grandchildren work there too, in the coffee farm”, said Farah Al-Maliki, 91-year-old coffee farm owner.

By the end of 2021, the kingdom had 400,000 coffee trees in 600 farms across the country, producing about 800 tonnes of coffee a year, a fraction of what Ethiopia produces.

According to domestic reports, Saudi Arabia plans to plant 1.

2 million coffee trees by 2025.

“Coffee growing is a legacy and everyone should preserve it.

Coffee farming is an instinct that is passed from a generation to generation”, said Ahmed Al-Maliki, Farah Al-Maliki’s son and also involved in the family business.

Saudi Arabia has sought to include its cultivation of Khawlani coffee on the list of UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

For some it would be a dream come true.

“If it (Khawlani coffee beans) were to be included on the UNESCO list then this will help in supporting farmers and preserving coffee trees” claims Ahmed Al-Maliki.

The Saudi authorities have already instructed all restaurants and cafes in the kingdom to use the term “Saudi coffee” instead of Arabic coffee.

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Saudi Arabia to preserve country’s coffee tradition

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