27 February, 2023
Lebanese coffee meets the restaurants of Surry Hills

Coffee means more than just a morning pick-me-up to Lebanese people. Served throughout the day, at home, at work and in cafes, coffee has a special role in the culture and social life of Lebanese people.

In good times and in bad, coffee is a pinnacle of social cohesion. Used as an accompaniment in meetings, family gatherings and more, coffee is more than a warm beverage; it is a cultural staple.

For years, Surry Hills has been a hot spot for restaurants. However, Lebanese cuisine has now become a favourite in the area. Classified as host to many of Sydney’s best restaurants, Surry Hills patrons are now slowly becoming ‘coffee-holics’ with Zahli Restaurant proudly offering an authentic Lebanese blend.

Pronounced ‘Kahweh’ in Arabic, Lebanese coffee has been around for generations and lives on today. Lebanese coffee is similar to those in it’s neighbouring countries including Turkey and Syria.

However, Lebanese coffee has its differences in terms of the beans, roasts and grinds. Countries such as Syria add their touch by using orange flower water or musk to enrich the flavour. Lebanese people sometimes add cardamom, adding a unique spicy taste to the coffee. At Zahli Restaurant, both versions of the Lebanese roast is served: with cardamom, and without.

What is the secret to Lebanese coffee? Well, it’s not so much a secret because we’re going to tell you. It all lies in the quality of the Arabica bean as well as mixing both light and dark beans throughout the roasting method.

The history of Lebanese coffee goes back to the villages where families would roast the beans together as a leisurely activity and thereafter grinding them by hand. The delicious taste and body of coffee come from the way in which the coffee is ground gently into small particles.

Think you can make Lebanese coffee? Think again. It is not as simple as pouring boiling water over the coffee or pushing one button. There is a method to the madness. If you want to make an authentic cup of Lebanese coffee, there a couple of things you need to keep in mind. These include:

  • You must have a long-handled coffee pot (referred to as a ‘Rakweh’)
  • Add one teaspoon of coffee to each cup of water (per coffee cup, approx 60mL)
  • Stir the coffee over low heat and make sure to watch it and avoid it from overflowing
  • Bring it to a boil, lower heat and let it settle

Lebanese coffee is served in small cups, similar to the size of espresso cups. It is important to let the coffee set for a couple of seconds, for the grounds to settle before pouring.

Lebanese coffee culture brought to restaurants in Surry Hills

Not once, not twice, but up to three or four times throughout the day – that’s a whole lot of coffee throughout the day of an average Lebanese coffee drinker. This could be at the start of the day; a mid-morning break; after lunch; and even post-dinner.

Serving coffee is a norm in Lebanese culture and sometimes not offering coffee to guests can be perceived as a little out of character. If you’re Lebanese you would know that there is no such thing as a household without caffeine.

The best restaurants are those that understand the musings and comfort that come alongside serving coffee. It is often used as a polite offering for guests and is a central part of family and friend gatherings.

Lebanese feast, best finished off with coffee.… how Zahli Restaurant in Surry Hills has got the right idea

Coffee is the cherry on top for Lebanese restaurant in Surry Hills – Zahli Restaurant. A fusion between what is good and what is great, we proudly serve the finest Arabica beans, complemented by the sweet delight of Lebanese dessert.

When you think of the complexity of a Lebanese feast; the overlapping of flavours, the exotic aromas, the mixture of meats, the conglomeration of vegetables and herbs – there is absolutely no room to think of coffee (but somehow, there is).

This is where other cuisines who leave coffee out of the equation are getting it wrong.

Lebanese coffee is absent from milk. This means that the warm beverage served in this humble restaurant in the street of Surry Hills, give off the sensation that tea does. It is light and abundant in flavour and is best consumed at the conclusion of any feast. It is even an anti-oxidant.

Zahli Restaurant has introduced Surry Hills to the strong, black essence of the hot beverages, which some guests have described as:

“Definitely the best way to make you feel better about overeating! It is light and refreshing and is the perfect finish to a Lebanese feast. Zahli is up there on my list of best restaurants in Surry Hills” – R. Rahme

Does Lebanese coffee have health benefits? Surry Hills restaurants, we need some!

Yes, it sure does. Here are some benefits of this beverage you that you may not be aware of:

– Zero calories means more coffee. Lebanese coffee is almost free from calories, so you can load up on as much as you like
– Contains antioxidants including Vitamin E. This helps reduce the risk of infection and disease
– Contains less caffeine than coffee beans. Lebanese coffee is commonly indulged late at night. This is because the percentage of caffeine in Lebanese coffee is much less than regular coffee. It also makes it a healthier option than conventional coffee made with beans.

Be sure to finish off your feast with a Lebanese coffee at Zahli Restaurant in Surry Hills.

Experience real coffee. Experience Lebanese coffee.

Book a table now or contact us on 02 9318 2228.