Some about qahve(h)xâne(h)

In Iran and Afghanistan, going to a café is an almost recent activity. We usually prefer to get together in our houses or parks, and prepare food together. Traditionally, we have teahouses, qahve(h)xâne(h) in Persian, which are mostly places where men get together to drink tea and smoke hookah. Teahouses are very different from what we can call a café. People sit on the beds which are covered by carpets and lean against big traditional cushions, called pošti in Farsi. As it comes to everyone’s mind, the word “qahve(h)xâne(h)” refers to a place in which “qahve(h)”, coffee in English, is served while in reality no one can find “qahve(h)” in “qahve(h)xâne(h)”.  Although going to a café in small towns and villages is still rare, teahouses these days are giving their place to cafés and coffee shops in big cities like Tehran, Yazd, Kabul, etc.

A Brief History of Café in Iran

The establishment of the first modern cafés in Tehran dates back to Reza Shah Time, in late 1930s but it took almost seven decades for coffee shops to become common places for gatherings especially among younger generation. So, cafés and coffee shops in Iran and Afghanistan are almost same as the ones you can find everywhere around the world with slight differences. Here our focus is mostly on coffee shops.

  •  In Iran, you cannot find the chain cafés like Starbucks. Everything is local and there is no specific brand with more than a couple of branches. Therefore, the menu and the taste of coffee and tea can totally vary from one place to the other. Some coffee shops serve only coffee and tea with cakes and cookies. But in most of them, you can find various types of herbal tea, damnuš in Persian, or sweet traditional drinks called “šarbat” in Farsi.
  •  Iran is a country with tea culture, so drinking coffee is used to be considered as luxurious and also symbol of intellectualism. Drinking coffee is more common among Armenians who brought it to Iran while immigrating. So the best café are owned or managed by Armenians who are usually respected minorities in Iran because they have brought modern painting, music and new cultural perspectives to this country.
.jpg - Café in Iran

In Iranian Cafés

Since coffee culture associates with something non-Iranian, coffee is usually expensive compared to other edible stuffs. For instance, a cup of cappuccino, not necessarily as good as an Italian one, is more than 1$ while a big portion of “qorme(h) sabzi”, an Iranian dish with rice, a large amount of herbs, beans, meat and five hours of cooking, costs just 2$. So if you are a coffee addict, you’d better be prepared to pay unreasonable prices for coffee or to travel throughout Iran as a chance to quit your addiction and drink Iranian tasty herbal teas.

Alcohol is another thing you can stop drinking in Iran. Serving alcoholic beverages is forbidden in this country. However, you can find modified versions of alcoholic drinks in most of the coffee shops. As far as we know, the most favorable ones among non-Iranians travelling in Iran are non-alcoholic bear, mojito and cocktail.  Moreover, you can enjoy drinking traditional drinks which are made of fruits, herbs and seeds.

Menu and Orders in Persian

English Pronunciation Farsi Sound
menu meno مِنو [sc_embed_player fileurl=”منو/”]
bill surat hesâb صورتحِساب [sc_embed_player fileurl=”صورتحساب/”]
tea čây چای  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”چای/”]
coffee qahve(h) قَهوه   [sc_embed_player fileurl=”قهوه/”]
sugar šekar شِکَر  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شکر/”]
milk šir شیر [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شیر/”]
herbal tea damnuš دَمنوش [sc_embed_player fileurl=”دمنوش/”]
sweet (cold) drinks šarbat شَربَت [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شربت/”]
water âb آب [sc_embed_player fileurl=”آب/”]
fruit mive(h) میوه  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”میوه/”]
juice âbmive(h) آبمیوه  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”آبمیوه/”]
apple sib سیب  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”سیب/”]
orange porteqâl پُرتِقال  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”پرتقال/”]
banana moz موز  [sc_embed_player fileurl=”موز/”]
strawberry tut-farangi توت فَرَنگی [sc_embed_player fileurl=”توت-فرنگی/”]
mango anbe(h) اَنبه [sc_embed_player fileurl=”انبه/”]
peach holu هُلو [sc_embed_player fileurl=”هلو/”]
pomegranate anâr اَنار [sc_embed_player fileurl=”انار/”]
melon tâlebi طالبی [sc_embed_player fileurl=”طالبی/”]
watermelon hendevâne(h) هِندِوانه [sc_embed_player fileurl=”هندوانه/”]
carrot havij هَویج [sc_embed_player fileurl=”هویج/”]
cakes keyk کِیک [sc_embed_player fileurl=”کیک/”]
cookies kluče(h) کُلوچه [sc_embed_player fileurl=”کلوچه/”]
biscuit biskuit بیسکوئیت [sc_embed_player fileurl=”بیسکوئیت/”]
ice-cream bastani بَستَنی [sc_embed_player fileurl=”بستنی/”]
chocolate šokolât شُکُلات [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شکلات/”]
cup fenjân فنجان [sc_embed_player fileurl=”فنجان/”]
glass livân لیوان [sc_embed_player fileurl=”لیوان/”]
spoon qâšoq قاشُق [sc_embed_player fileurl=”قاشق/”]
fork čangâl چَنگال [sc_embed_player fileurl=”چنگال/”]
knife čaqu چاقو [sc_embed_player fileurl=”چاقو/”]
tissue dastmâl دَستمال [sc_embed_player fileurl=”دستمال/”]
salty šur شور [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شور/”]
sour torš تُرش [sc_embed_player fileurl=”ترش/”]
bitter talx تَلخ [sc_embed_player fileurl=”تلخ/”]
sweet širin شیرین [sc_embed_player fileurl=”شیرین/”]
with …. bâ …. با [sc_embed_player fileurl=”با/”]
without …. bedun-e ….. بِدونِ [sc_embed_player fileurl=”بدون/”]
excuse me! bebaxšid بِبَخشید [sc_embed_player fileurl=”ببخشید/”]
I want a …. man ye ……  mixâm من یه …… می­ خام [sc_embed_player fileurl=”من-یک-فلان-می-خام/”]
I eat ……/ I drink …. man …. mixoram من …… می ­خورم [sc_embed_player fileurl=”من-فلان-می-خورم/”]
I need a ….. man yek … lâzem dâram من یه …. لازم دارَم [sc_embed_player fileurl=”من-یک-فلان-لازم-دارم/”]
can you bring me…. miše ye ….. barâ-ye man biyârid می شه یه ….. برای من بیارید [sc_embed_player fileurl=”میشه-یک-فلان-برام-بیارید/”]
can you change this … miše in …. ro avaz konid می شه این …. رو عوض کنید؟ [sc_embed_player fileurl=”می-شه-اینو-عوض-کنید/”]
I want a coffee with milk man ye qahve(h) ba šir mixâm

من یه قهوه با شیر می­خام

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”من-یک-قهوه-با-شیر-می-خام/”]
can you bring me the bill miše surathesâb-e man o biyârid میشه صورت­حساب من رو بیارید [sc_embed_player fileurl=”می-شه-صورتحساب-منو-بیارید؟/”]