What Is Qishr Coffee: Its Origin, Flavor, and How to Brew

qishr coffee

Today we have many modern medicinal and health practices. It’s always great to be on the cutting edge of new innovation. However, many of us are actually finding that traditional practices, herbs, and health solutions also provide several unique benefits. 

A traditional Yemini beverage that has been making its way into Western cultures is Qishr coffee. This beverage was initially invented to prevent waste in areas of the world where every resource is precious. It also has many potential health benefits that I’ll cover in this article. So what is Qishr coffee?

Qishr coffee is a traditional beverage that originated in Yemen. In its traditional form, it’s made from coffee husks rather than beans. It produces a lighter flavor that is closer to tea than actual coffee. It also has a much lower caffeine content, which can be beneficial for consuming it at different times of the day. 

That sums up the gist of it, but there’s much more to unpack here. This article will dive into the history of Qishr, its health benefits, and recipes you can use. Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • Qishr is a traditional coffee originating in Yemen. 
  • It has many beneficial antioxidants and digestive properties. 
  • You can make several modern-day recipes using Qishr, like lattes and iced coffee. 

The History of Qishr Coffee

As mentioned, Qishr originated in Yemen. It was created at a time when every resource was precious, so using common household ingredients in drink mixes was a great way to produce a satisfying beverage while saving money. 

Over the years, Qishr grew to become a traditional custom in Yemen. It would often be offered to household guests as a sign of respect and as a welcoming gesture, just as we offer soda or other beverages to guests in the U.S. 

Today, Qishr has made its way into our Western cultures. There are many trends of people using and finding health benefits from traditional recipes like this one. Many who consume Qishr in the U.S. and surrounding countries find that they enjoy the digestive benefits it has. It’s also less caffeinated for those who are sensitive to caffeine. 

While Qishr is often made from coffee husks, many U.S. drinkers of the beverage make it from regular beans in their own modern-day recipes. 

Exploring Qishr Coffee

Now that we have the history down, let’s take a closer look at exactly what Qishr coffee is. 

In-Depth Explanation of Qishr Coffee

As mentioned, the traditional variation of Qishr uses coffee husks. These husks start as a cherry, and then they are picked and dried in the sun. They then form the appearance of a dried fruit that contains two coffee beans in the middle. 

When brewing coffee in this method, the beans in the middle don’t have as much caffeine extracted into the beverage. It also produces a beverage with a much lighter taste. It is even a lighter flavor than you’d expect from your typical light roast. 

Additionally, traditional Qishr beverages will also contain ginger and other spices like cinnamon. These additional spices provide more antioxidant properties, leading to several health benefits for the digestive and immune systems. 

Delving into the Flavor Profile of Qishr Coffee

If you’re someone who typically doesn’t like the strong taste of coffee, even when it’s in a light roast, you should give Qishr a try. It’s a much lighter flavor with a spice-filled aroma. It’s similar to what you’d get from a sweet cup of chai tea. 

The table below will compare Qishr’s caffeine content, flavor, and brewing methods compared to other coffee options to give you a better idea of how it stacks up. 

Coffee TypeOriginFlavor ProfileCaffeine ContentBrewing Method
QishrYemenLight, Spicy, Ginger notesLowBoiled
EspressoItalyRich, Strong, BitterHighEspresso machine
ArabicaEthiopiaSweet, Fruity, Wine notesMediumDrip, French press
RobustaAfrica, IndonesiaStrong, Harsh, NuttyVery HighEspresso machine, French press

Ginger and Coffee: A Unique Combination

Those who are looking for a bit of zest to add to their coffee may enjoy the unique combination of ginger and coffee. It’s a very light, spiced flavor that isn’t too overwhelming to the taste pallet. 

Plus, ginger is full of unique antioxidants that will make you feel more energized and refreshed in a cleaner way than a strong caffeinated beverage. It’s one reason for Qishr coffee’s unique feel. 

Brewing Qishr Coffee: Ingredients and Steps

When making your own Qishr coffee, you can produce it using two different sets of ingredients. There’s the modern version using ground coffee and the traditional version using coffee husks. I’ll cover both sets of ingredients, and you can use the instructions below in the same way to prepare either option. 

The modern variation of ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 teaspoons of finely ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger powder

Traditional Qishr ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of Qishr (approximately 5 grams)
  • 1/2 crushed cardamom pod (not ground)
  • 1 small sliver of fresh ginger
  • 1/3 of a cinnamon stick

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a traditional ibrik or a small saucepan, combine all the specified ingredients.
  2. Heat the mixture until it reaches a boiling point, then remove it from the heat.
  3. Once the coffee ceases to bubble, stir it, and then return it to the stovetop and allow it to boil again. Repeat this step once more, and then remove from heat.

Variations of Qishr Coffee: Add Your Own Twist

In addition to the traditional and modern Qishr beverages, you can also prepare other coffee variations using Qishr. Let’s take a look at some fun recipes you can experiment with. 

Qishr Latte


  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons Qishr (coffee cherry tea)
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional, for garnish)
  • Ground cinnamon (for dusting, optional)


  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the Qishr to the boiling water and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
  3. While the Qishr is simmering, froth the milk using a frother or by heating and whisking vigorously.
  4. Strain the Qishr mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any particles.
  5. Return the strained Qishr liquid to the saucepan and add the honey (or sweetener of your choice) and ground cinnamon. Stir well until the sweetener is dissolved.
  6. Heat the Qishr mixture over medium heat until it is hot but not boiling.
  7. Divide the Qishr mixture between two mugs.
  8. Pour the frothed milk over the Qishr in each mug, dividing it evenly.
  9. Optionally, top each latte with whipped cream and sprinkle with a pinch of ground cinnamon for added flavor and presentation.
  10. Serve the Qishr Lattes immediately and enjoy!

Qishr Iced Coffee


  • 2 cups brewed Qishr (coffee cherry tea), chilled
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • 2 tablespoons flavored syrup (e.g., vanilla, caramel, hazelnut)
  • Ice cubes
  • Whipped cream (optional, for topping)
  • Chocolate shavings or sprinkles (optional, for garnish)


  1. In a chilled glass, combine the brewed Qishr and flavored syrup of your choice. Stir gently to infuse the flavors.
  2. Add ice cubes to the glass, filling it to your desired level.
  3. Slowly pour the milk over the ice and Qishr mixture, allowing it to cascade and mingle effortlessly.
  4. Optional: Top your refreshing creation with a swirl of whipped cream and sprinkle with delightful chocolate shavings or colorful sprinkles for an added touch of flavor and visual appeal.
  5. Grab a straw, give it a gentle stir, and savor the enchanting flavors of your flavored Qishr Iced Coffee.

Qishr and Milk: A Tasty Pairing?

As you can see in the above recipes, you need to add milk to the mixture to make delicious Qishr lattes and flavored iced coffees. So does it work well? 

Qishr and milk are a great pairing, just as milk works well with regular coffee. You can even make yourself a traditional cup of Qishr and add milk in that way to create an even smoother flavor. 

The Health Benefits of Qishr Coffee

Studies have found that coffee fruits like Qishr can have several health benefits, including:

  • Antioxidant properties: Qishr contains several antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, cafestol, kahweol, and caffeic acid. These antioxidants will boost the immune system, fight inflammation, and prevent oxidative stress through detoxing properties. 
  • Cognitive boosting: Studies also have found that coffee fruits like Qishr can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels by up to 137%. This helps with cognitive function and makes you feel energized and ready to tackle daily tasks. 
  • Fat loss: Just like the caffeine in regular coffee, Qishr can also have mild to moderate impacts on fat loss due to thermogenic effects. While it won’t help you lose weight on its own, it will have some beneficial effects when combined with a fat-loss diet. 
  • Digestion: Many of the spices added to traditional Qishr, like ginger and cinnamon, can aid in digestion. This makes it an excellent beverage to consume after a large meal or to start off your day. 

As you can see, there are many benefits of adding Qishr to your daily routine. 

Qishr Coffee and Caffeine: What You Need to Know

Qishr is much less caffeinated than your traditional cup of coffee. It contains about ¼ of the caffeine of your traditionally brewed coffee, so about 23 mg per 8 fluid ounces. 

When you drink Qishr coffee, don’t expect a huge caffeine energy boost. Instead, it’ll just be a light, energizing feeling that’ll give you a slight boost during your day. 

Qishr Pronunciation Guide

The pronunciation of Qishr can trip many people up since it’s pronounced much differently than it’s spelled. The correct pronunciation is “gesh-uhr.” 


Overall, Qishr can be a very beneficial and fun drink to add to your coffee repertoire. It has several antioxidant, cognitive-boosting, and digestive benefits that make it a worthwhile drink to try. So give it a shot if you’re considering it! And if you do try it, leave a comment down below with your thoughts. I’d love to hear what your experiences are with it too. 


Qishr: Coffee Cherry Tea or Not?

Qishr is a type of coffee cherry tea. Coffee cherry tea has many unique names depending on the area it’s brewed, so Qishr is the name that is traditionally used in Yemen. 

Caffeine Content in Ginger Root

Ginger root does not contain any caffeine. Therefore, you are not adding any additional caffeine content when you put ginger in Qishr coffee. 

Qishr and Milk: Can They Mix?

You can certainly mix Qishr and milk. It’ll give this traditional beverage a smoother and creamier taste. 

Does Qishr Coffee Contain Caffeine?

Qishr coffee contains minimal amounts of caffeine, about 23 mg per 8 fluid ounces. It’ll give you a very slight energy boost, similar to how you may feel when drinking a cup of green tea.
Christopher Mize

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *