Photo: Three espresso based coffee and the Turkish-style ‘qahwa arbi’ coffee, Austin Hand, Engaging Cultures Travel.

In Tunisian coffee is not just a simple drink, which you quickly pick up and drink while running to the next meeting. There is no room for hasts and stress. Unlike the global “to go” trend in Tunisian you still take your coffee sitting down, sip by sip, give vent to one’s thoughts or share them in community. Drinking coffee is not about having the fanciest drink with a special flavour, sitting in the most famous café or only having an energizer.
In Tunisian coffee is part of the culture and drinking it is a social event sometimes even a ritual.

Today the traditional Tunisian coffee is an unique flower-coffee-mixture which combines the Ottoman and Andalusian influences.
In the 16th century, during the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish brought the coffee in the region. That is how it happened, that in 1846 even more than half of the cafés were run by Turks. Due to the Ottoman influence, today the traditional Tunisian coffee is prepared in the “Zézoua” a pot which is similar to the Turkish coffee pot.

The french colonialists introduced the modern western way to drink coffee. They cultivated the “Dahors”, the street cafés and refined the coffee with the flowing aroma by adding geranium, rose or orange blossom water.

Photo: Caffee with orange blossom water, @BunaaCoffee, Twitter.com

In fact, it is claimed that coffee was brought much earlier to Tunisian by the ascetic Aboulhassen Chedli (1196-1258). Even today a coffee can be called “Chedlia” (derived from the name of the holy man).
Chedlis disciples build the “Zaouia of Sidi Belhassen Chedli” and there they used the invigorating effect of coffee to continue the nightly prayer cycles. That’s how drinking coffee became a ritual and one could say that in Tunis, with Chedli, the coffee culture and the first coffee house were founded.

Photo:Zawiya Sidi Belhassen Chedly, Dismalden, Lostintunis.com

However, apart from this historical event the widespread consumption of coffee and the opening of the cafés can be traced back to the time of the Ottoman Empire.
Coffee became more and more popular and the opening of many of these coffeehouses enabled a rich exchange. Thus, the introduction of coffee not only brought a nice drink to Tunisian, it was rather a ground for new customs, culture and social gathering.
The Café became a place of exchange, a place where people meet and also a place to pursue the one thoughts and relax.
There is a distinctly Tunisian morning coffee-ritual that takes place daily after Fajr, the pre-sunrise prayers. The worshipper enter the café next door take the newspaper, sit with a group of friends and cultivate their relationships through coffee and croissants.
And even later in the day poets were sitting next to students, laymen’s, worshipper and politicians. Men where sitting together smoking Hookah and playing Backgammon. It became a place where everybody learns from everybody.
The richness of the exchange and the importance of spending time in the café is the reason why “Malouf Tunsi” a genre of melodious poetry was cultivated in the coffee house environment.

Photo: CD cover, Tunisie NÛBA AL-ASBAHÂN Anthologie du Mâlûf, vol. 3, illustrated by Zoubeir Turki.

Therefore sitting in a café doesn’t take time it rather enriches the day for about three hours.
Take a coffee, absorb and enrich your surrounding and enjoy your day.

The Tunisian Art Of Drinking Coffee
History of coffee in Tunisia

Coffee Culture

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top


Medina Of Tunis

12 to 20 March 2021 | 11.00 am to 5.00 pm | Dar Lasram


19 to 20 March 2021 | 11.00 am to 5.00 pm | Start: Dar Lasram
Powered by GOETHE-INSTITUT Tunis

Call +21651815198, we will come to get them! The ELECTRICAL DISORDER team is searching for shiny CDs that are not in use anymore for an art installation that Haifa Ouerfelli is working on.

Call +21651815198, we will come to get it!

The ELECTRICAL DISORDER team is searching for old-fashion TV’s for an art installation that Oussama Menchaoui is working on.

We are looking for
to join the project
If you are interested or send us an application or call Mohsen +(216) 26 22 11 98.

Art Mediators

The YOUNG MASTERS`Exhibition is planned for December 2020, but might shift schedule due to the Corona restrictions. We still will start with the preparations. If you are interested in being part of YMP’s Art Mediators team, please fill the following form and add your CV


For the YOUNG MASTERS’ Exhibition, we are looking art mediators!

6 November 2020


For all young artists who are interested in light and media-based art in public space, INTERFERENCE 2020 is launching the YOUNG MASTERS’ PROGRAM.

DEADLINE 20 October 2020

Please fill the following form and add your CV and some examples of existing works