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Jeddah festival celebrates coffee, chocolate

Caffeine Festival in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Caffeine Festival in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Caffeine Festival in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Caffeine Festival in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

JEDDAH: On Saturday, Jeddah held its own coffee and chocolate festival at Emaar square, wrapping up two days of caffeine-fueled fun.
Unlike other coffee and chocolate festivals around the world, the event focused on Arabian coffee, desserts and food.
Saudi coffee culture was celebrated as visitors were offered the chance to taste blends of Arabic coffee, including blends from Damascus, Ramallah, Riyadh and Amman.
One type of Saudi Arabian coffee at the event was almond coffee -one of the most popular traditional hot drinks served in the Hijaz region during the cooler months. It contains milk, almond, rice flour and cardamom.
“We tried to make it unique yet traditional by adding extra new toppings instead of only serving grained almonds,” one exhibitor told Arab News.
“Oreo, lotus, cookies, pistachio and hazelnut” were added to the coffee to entice customers.
The event also featured Saudi folklore and dancing along with traditional songs and children’s activities.
If coffee is not to your liking, the event also boasts various types of chocolate.
Asmaa Dubaie, 41, is showing off her inventive approach toward chocolate.
“I mixed new flavors into the chocolate as a hot drink, such as cardamom and flowers added to all types of chocolate – white, dark and milk chocolate,” she told Arab News.

MORE PHOTOS: Caffeine Festival Gallery

Dubaie said she was trying to keep everything organic by creating “chocolate free of hydrogenated oils.”
Chocolate and coffee lovers braved the hot weather to enjoy the outdoor festival which featured more than 70 vendors and exhibitors.
“Coffee is a passion and part of Saudi tradition,” one of the ladies attending the festival told Arab News.
“Having such an event changes how Saudi Arabia is viewed by people around the world. We can have fun in Saudi Arabia,” another attendee commented.
Arwa Tallal Azhari, the CEO of the event and the founder of the Across Culture association told Arab News: “We called the event ‘Caffeine’ due to the caffeine included in coffee and cacao and tea. We gathered the startup businesses related to the theme, but not specializing in coffee or even espresso.”
The event is supported by the General Entertainment Authority, brought to you by Mix FM, Sky for Lighting and Careem, Azhari added.
The event begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m.

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