Exploring the Coffee Culture and Heritage of Birkat Al Mouz.
Every year on the first of October, International Coffee Day is celebrated. This decision was made by the International Coffee Organization during Expo 2015 in Milan. In Birkat Al Mouz, coffee markets and businesses saw a significant increase in number with a new concept of blending coffee with heritage as part of the International coffee theme. The most notable aspect of Birkat Al Mouz is discovering how locals have transformed old sites into charming eateries and coffee shops that offer delicious brews for an enriching experience in the village.
Kawa Kava is a coffee shop that seamlessly blends heritage and culture to provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. Upon visiting the cafe, one can immediately see the vibrant colours and designs reflecting Oman's rich heritage and culture within the shop.
The outlet has redefined modernity and heritage with an interior design made up of the feel of a mud house in the Al Sibani neighbourhood. Coupled with a Scandinavian design that's comfortable, elegant and modern at the same time, the founders and owners of The café are Assim Al Saqri, who is a native of Birkat Al Mouz, and Hajar Al Balushi, his wife.
The bamboo chairs provide a relaxing feel along with normal seating arrangements. The popularity of this outlet seems to be a must-stop pit stop for travelling tourists to Al Jabal Al Akhdar. It provides space for friends, colleagues, students, and families to meet, study, and talk with a menu of drinks and desserts that suits the taste buds of different age groups.
The couple also designed a space for children and they dedicated a shelf for games and books for children to play or read while other family members enjoy their drinks. To promote the outlet for students of the nearby University of Nizwa, they also offer student discounts.
The cafe seeks to empower young Omanis and one would meet another young Omani, Salim Zahir Al Shereqi while ordering a drink at the counter. Salim is a student and a barista at the cafe.
Speaking about his experience as a barista, he said, “Working at the café made me better at communicating and opening conversation with the visitors. I am passionate about coffee and being a barista helps me. As a student when I am brewing coffee, I destress myself from my academic pressures.”
He added: “More than communication and leadership skills, the cafe helped me develop my skills as a barista and I have participated in several competitions. Recently, I participated in the AeroPress competition at the national level.”
AeroPress events are a fandriven phenomenon where challengers compete to make the best cup of coffee using their favourite AeroPress recipe.
Kawa Kava also offers community initiatives at its outlet as they offer maps of the famous sites around Birkat Al Mouz, support schools and university projects, participate in social events and provide training opportunities for different community people. The cafe recently hosted trainees with hearing disabilities.
Bait Alsabah is another place that has captured the minds of tourists and grown into a very popular dining place. The setting of the place reminds the guests of the ancient ruins of the town. Bait Alsabah is a heritage inn and cafe in Al Sibani's old village. The village goes back to the 16th century at the beginning of the Ya'arubi era.
The mud house has been restored and belongs to the owner's family's ancestors. The age of the house is about 200 years old and after being restored it opened its doors to visitors.
History is built on the walls of the house that once used to be a home for a large family in a different era. Today, it reminds guests of the historic place amid a beautiful ambience.
The glass-designed cafe allows the guests to see hundreds of palm trees and the green surroundings around the house. There is even Afalaj that crosses through the house. The three-storey house has stairs that would lead to Aflaj and rooms, while the café is on another floor. The cafe is located in the center of the second floor with an open verandah that provides seating outdoors. The rooftop provides a picture-perfect view of the rooftop ruins. The elegant rooms have all modern amenities but are mixed with heritage and culture reminding the guests of the historic past.
During the night, the view is breathtaking as guests can watch the shining stars in a calm and quiet setting and enjoy their coffee or tea. Bait Alsabah provides an extraordinary experience where you can relate to nature and refresh your mind.
On the way back to the city from Birkat Al Mouz, another place that has become popular is the recent Alam opened a coffee shop and a bakery. Alam manufactures its bakery products and offers a delicious breakfast menu. Alam is a modern place in the town and is designed to engage you with the nature of Birkat Al Mouz while guests enjoy breakfast or coffee while admiring the majestic Al Hajar mountain range that surrounds the town through the glass set-up of the restaurant.