- Mike Sula
I’m a bit late to the qishr party, but it’s been in the back of my mind ever since a lunch at Albany Park’s Yemen Restaurant* long ago, when a nephew of the owner told my group they’d soon be serving the hot beverage infused from dried coffee cherry husks, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger (aka kishr, kishir, Yemeni coffee tea). As of yesterday, they still don’t offer it, I’m guessing because it’s nearly impossible to import the dried fruit that surrounds the coffee bean. That is, unless you’re Rowida Assalimy, who launched her own blend, Kishr, about year and half ago, selling it in teabags in stores like Standard Market, the Goddess & Grocer, Floriole, even the East Bank Club. Assalimy, who grew up drinking the stuff, markets it for its healthful benefits—it’s high in antioxidants, low in caffeine, boosts immunity, etc.