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Qishr (Arabic: قشر, geshir, gishr, kishr) is a Yemeni hot drink, made of spiced coffee husks,[1] ginger,[2] and sometimes cinnamon.[3] In Yemen, it is usually drunk instead of coffee, because it is cheaper.[2]

"Ginger coffee is the universal drink and the cup is always filled, a guest being given two cups at once... Qishr, an infusion made from the husks of coffee berries, is also drunk, particularly in the Tihamat al 'Asir."[4]

Concerning qishr, "Great hospitality was shown to us on entering their houses; we were always pressed to stay, and never allowed to go without taking a cup of coffee or rather an infusion of coffee husk called "keshr"; for, strange to say, though in the heart of the coffee country, coffee is never taken as a beverage."[5]

At least 1,100 years ago, traders brought coffee across the Red Sea into Arabia (modern-day Yemen), where Muslim dervishes began cultivating the shrub in their gardens. At first, the Arabians made wine from the pulp of the fermented coffee berries. This beverage was known as qishr and was used during religious ceremonies.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dresch, Paul, "A history of modern Yemen"
  2. ^ a b Hestler, Anna, "Yemen"
  3. ^ Jacob, Jeanne, Ashkenazi, Michael "The World Cookbook for Students, Volume 1"
  4. ^ Thesiger, W. "A Journey Through the Tihama, the 'Asir, and the Hijaz Mountains." The Geographical Journal , Vol. 110, No. 4/6 (Oct. - Dec., 1947), page 192.
  5. ^ Frankl, P.J.L. "Robert Finlay's Description of San'a' in 1238-1239/1823." Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 17, No. 1 (1990), page 27.
  6. ^ Pendergrast, Mark (2001) [1999]. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World. page 5. London: Texere. ISBN 1-58799-088-1.


  • Philby, H. St. J. B. (Harry St. John Bridger), 1885-1960. Arabian Highlands. Ithaca: Published for the Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C. [by] Cornell University Press, [1952]. Subjects: Arabian Peninsula—Description and travel. 771 p. : illus., maps (part fold., 1 in pocket). OCLC No.: 01083943. Page 687.