Do you like coffee? If you have a positive response, then you will like the Armenian coffee that is known in the native Armenian tongue as “soorj”. Perhaps you have never tasted a similar flavor and smell before.
They say that coffee came to Armenia from Arabia. Furthermore, Armenians started to make and serve coffee as well as open coffee houses not only around the country but also outside the state borders.
Armenian coffee pots
If you are interested in learning how Armenians make this drink, then go further and read about the recipe and steps of making Armenian coffee. But before learning the steps, let me share my knowledge related to the Armenian coffee makers. These pots are traditionally called “jazva” or “jazzve”. The name “jazzve” is even used for naming one of the coffee house (cafe) chains in Armenian capital “Jazzve”.
As for the Armenian coffee cups, they are also very interesting and attractive. If you are a coffee lover then you may choose from a vast variety of options. There are some classic versions that you may find in many parts of the world, and there are also traditional Armenian ones. These coffee cups are usually made of clay and reflect the Armenian culture.
In such kind of clay dishes, you may find Armenian traditional images and symbols, including the Armenian flag, the Biblical Mount Ararat, traditional Armenian patterns and ornaments. Such kinds of unique dishes are either used in daily life to drink coffee or serve as souvenirs that you may buy either as a symbol of Armenia for yourself or to take them for your relatives as a present that symbolizes this ancient country. You can buy Armenian coffee pots and cups for example in Vernissage which is the largest open-air market in Yerevan, and also in many shops and stores that offer hand-made artefacts.
How to make an Armenian coffee
Coffee is considered to be an integral element in any culture. Maybe this is the reason why the ways different nations make coffee has much in common, yet, there is always a specific difference that evokes a unique aroma.
Below, check the steps of how to make coffee:
1. Fill a cup (per person) of cold water into the coffee pot,
2. Add a teaspoon ground coffee (sugar is added according to taste),
3. The next step is to stir the mixture and put the pot on the stove until the coffee boils and foam rises to pour out from the pot (some people stir when the coffee is boiling, take the pot from the stove, and repeat this for a few times),
4. Once the coffee is ready, it is filled in the coffee cups and served.
Some people prefer to add cardamom capsules in the cups then fill the coffee in. In this way, they add a specific aroma, but not everybody likes its smell. Armenians like to serve coffee to their guests but only after laying a full table and making sure their guests aren’t hungry. The coffee is served in a full table of desserts, including Armenian sweets, candies, chocolate, pastry, and why not Armenian gata.
Armenian Coffee Reading
Once people around the table enjoy their coffee, the time of coffee reading comes. The Armenian coffee reading tradition isn’t so popular. However, there are some people who really believe in it and want their cups to be read.
People who read coffee cups may tell you some numbers that, according to them, are important dates when something important should happen. They may also find some symbols, as for instance, an animal image and explain what it symbolizes. For example, a “horse” is a “wish” or “desire”, while a “cock” means that you are going to hear some pieces of news.
There are many more similar examples, therefore, I’m not so experienced in the sphere, so I share the knowledge I have heard before. However, if you are interested in having your cup read, then the readers will explain to you the meaning of each sign.
Where to Drink Armenian Coffee
If you like how Armenians treat coffee and want to try this specific beverage then you don’t have to create any specific occasion or possibility. Usually, Armenians drink coffee several times a day. Especially if they have guests, Armenians like to entertain them with a cup of freshly made hot coffee. So, if you have an Armenian relative, friend or just know somebody, visit them and surely, they will treat you with the tastiest coffee.
However, if you don’t like being in the position of a guest, then you have additional chances. Armenia, especially the capital Yerevan, is full of cafes, restaurants, coffee and tea houses, where you may enjoy various types of coffee. In this regard, you may read one of my previous articles related to the best cafes in Yerevan, to choose the best atmosphere where you feel at home.
We cannot say that coffee is a traditional drink in Armenia. It came from Arabia, Western Asia, and found its specific place in the Armenian table. Therefore, Armenians have their own unique way of making coffee. As a result, the specific aroma will attract you, and you cannot try to avoid tasting it!
Published December 26, 2019
Article by Vera Mirzoyan