Coffee Beans, Cardamom and Burning Coals

Writen by: Community Writers

In the spice market in the Old City, hidden in a corner off the main street, between the churches and the mosques, sits one of the oldest cafes in Jerusalem.

‘Musa’s Café’ was founded 140 years ago and is one of the most veteran cafes in Jerusalem.  The custom of sitting in coffee shops in the Old City of Jerusalem began in the 20th century when men began to gather to socialize in coffee shops – rather than in the mosques. Thus Jerusalem’s coffee culture was born.

You won’t find comfortable tables, an aristocratic set of tableware, a rich menu or music in the background at Musa’s Care.  You will find hookahs, handmade incense burners  and just one type of black coffee. But it is the kind of coffee that you do not easily forget and it comes with the authentic atmosphere of the Old Jerusalem.

Although it is small and unfamiliar to residents of New Jerusalem, for the people of the market is a popular place to mingle after a long day. The coffee is as wonderful as it is simple, and consists of ground beans, a pinch of cardamom and the scent of hot coals. The service, just like in the stories, is a one-man show. Musa himself is responsible for producing the tobacco, brewing the coffee, watching the coals, serving and clean up.

To Musa it does not matter who you are, where you come from or what you represent. Everyone is welcome and can feel at home, and if he marks you as a friend , you are guaranteed the hospitality that only the people of the Old City can provide.

Go visit!


Musa’s cafe Photo: David Bento

בישול על גחלים. צילום: ריקי רחמן

Cooking on coals. Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: David Bento


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Musa, making incense for Nargila (hookahs), Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: Ricky Rahman


Photo: David Bento

You might be interested:

Leave a Reply

You have somthing to say?