The Dearborn, Michigan-based chain Qamaria Yemeni Coffee Co. opened a location in Hilliard last year, and Columbus: if you haven’t stopped by, check out the coffee goodness there now! Owned by the same team behind Yemeni Restaurant on Cleveland Avenue, the shop features one of the city’s most unique coffee menus, and you get a front row view of its preparation.
Qamaria’s storefront is tucked into one end of the Tinapple Plaza in Hilliard, close to The Olive Tree off Hilliard Rome Road. The shop is long and narrow, with a small collection of tables out front and rows of two-tops lining the indoor space. On the wall are photos and murals from Yemen.
The coffee menu is posted on the wall, although a few of the drinks may take some explanation. But co-owner Abdul Nagi, who was working the counter, gladly explained each one and offered recommendations for first-timers. A couple regulars in line behind us also suggested their favorites – always a good sign!
On the counter sits a small display case with pastries like muffins, danishes, and filo fingers (rolled filo dough stuff with pistachios – similar in style to baklava).
We followed everyone’s suggestions and chose a pair of drinks and a honeycomb cake.
Qamaria’s coffee menu includes a variety of Yemeni drinks as well as classic Italian espresso – so you’ll find lattes, cappuccinos, machiattos – even a pumpkin spice latte!
Abdul suggested we try the Qamaria latte, which we ordered iced. He uses a medium roast Yemeni coffee with real pistachio flavoring. The thick green flavoring pools at the bottom of the drink, so you need to stir it in. It made us think of a pistachio version of Biscoff.
I order the mufawaar, which Abdul said is a good starting point on the menu.
I watched him mix up the drink over one of the induction burners near the front of the counter. He poured in a little water, added a couple scoops of medium roast, a little dollop of cardamon, then brought it quickly to a boil. Just before it poured over the edge, he dumped in sweetened condensed milk. It boiled up again and he pulled it from the heat and strained it into a cup. It’s hot, rich, just a touch sweet. Highly recommended!
To complement our coffees, we tried the honeycomb pastry. It’s filled with a very mild white cheese and drizzled with honey.
Of course, you can pick up Yemeni coffees, too! Yemen is a strong coffee-growing region, producing beans that are often very rich and earthy. The Hilliard shop is one of a number of locations in Michigan, Illinois, and Texas, and the local owners said they plan to add more shops around central Ohio.
Qamaria is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.