Coffee anyone?

Moving to Arabia, one assumes good coffee will be everywhere, but like everything else in Dubai, your morning cup of joe is not a simple matter. The most basic local-type coffee, Cafe Najjar, isn't local, its Columbian Coffee. It comes ground in a fine powder which is suitable for turkish pots or for blasting hot grainy coffee water all over your kitchen from a Bodum French Press. You can't use this in a regular brewer or an esspresso machine either, its that fine.

The other coffee issue which is a really serious one for me is the addition of cardamom to the coffee. To my unrefined palate, this is both highly unnecessary and deeply annoying. Cardamom is a strong flavor, coffee is a strong flavor, when they get in a pot together they just go to war with each other. I'm sure the addition of cardamom hides a myriad of sins (nut hulls, bug parts etc.,) but its not working for me. I had an experience which nearly made me cry. I ordered a sorely needed latte in a fancy and quite pricey cafe and what came to my table looked beautiful and tasted terrible. Like coffee with cardamom cough medicine added to it!!

My final complaint, which I think is a much more serious one for some of my countryfolk than me is the coffee creamer problem. I'm ok with unsweetened condensed milk in coffee and sweetened condensed milk in iced coffee. Its pleasant enough. But there is no half & half to be had in this country. For a country with such superior dairy products, and an alleged fondness for coffee, it is suprising to be unable to find it. You can get single and double creams from Europe for a small fortune in Dirhams, but no half&half.
Still, maybe like everything else, we are getting there. We like Douwe Egberts coffee both regular and decaf (actually a Sara Lee brand, of all things!) and my condensed milk of choice is Rainbow brand, mostly because its everywhere. We broke the French Press so we're using the hotels brewer, which makes a passable cup.
Still my morning coffee may actually be the one thing from home I miss most.

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