Greeks drink coffee in two ways: -The first and more traditional comes from the early Constantinople times and it is called Greek Coffee. -The second and more recent type of Greek coffee is served ice-cold and is made by a special type of coffee, which comes as powder or as small grains. This type is served during the summer and has started to spread around Europe and the American continent carrying the name invented in Greece by French tourists: "Frappe"!The moment of drinking the coffee is without any exaggeration, a holy moment for all Greeks! Greek coffee (The traditional)
No Greek village is complete without a traditional coffee shop, the "kafenio" Its the most important place in the village, the central point of communication, a place to meet friends, to play "Tavli" the Greek version of Backgammon or just pass time by drinking a Greek coffee, tea, fresh juice or a home-made fruit squash. Greek coffee is ordered "sketo"- no sugar, "metrio" equal portions of coffee and sugar or "gliko" more sugar than coffee.
Each "kafenio" has its own individual way of making coffee, so be to be sure of what you will receive, it is best to state the number of sugars you want whilst ordering!
In case you are invited to someone's house to drink a coffee, don't be surprised if they turn their cups upside down onto the saucer after drinking the coffee. There are some people that say they can read your future from the coffee drains.
Don't be afraid to let them do it... it is not magic it is just culture. It's a nice way to start some small talk, and of course it depends on you how seriously you take the predictions!
In olden days you had little Cafeneions
everywhere which were the domain of men only, where the men would while away the hours, slowly sipping their Greek coffee, whilst contemplating life, singing along to the music playing or having a game of tavli (backgammon).
The women would find a break in their daily routines to meet with friends or a neighbour and savour a coffee whilst catching up on the local gossip.
Although these stereo typical ways have been replaced with modern people and Cafes in Greece, the excuse to stop time whilst slowly enjoying a coffee has not diminished.
As with many things in Greece there is an elaborate performance to preparing a Greek coffee, one which is never rushed, nothing missed and very precise. I feel the almost ritual-like preparation only enhances the anticipation of a special moment.
Greek coffee is made in a small coffee pot - normally copper or brass, with a long handle, which is called a briki.
The difference to instant coffee is that you put all the ingredients in the pot and brew it together.
Greeks are so particular about making their coffee they will actually buy a little gas single burner (like the one used in camping) just to have to use for their coffee. This is because most households in Greece cook on electric stoves and electric cannot be regulated like gas to control the heat to enhance the frothy foam that forms on the top of the coffee as it brews. All my family and friends I know in Greece use this method to make their coffee. But please do not be put off if you only have electric.
They say the Greek coffee pleases all your senses!
First your eyes, the look of it.
the touch, touching the cup.
the smell, the aroma of the coffee
the sound, as you sip it - the Greeks sip it loudly!
the taste, superb! No wonder it is so special.
The average Greek will drink 2-3 coffees a day.
It is always served in a small (espresso size) white Greek coffee cup with matching saucer, along with a glass of iced water.
It is sediment based. Once you have drunk the coffee - the sediments are left at the bottom of the cup.
Many women have tried their hand at fortune telling.
You place the cup upside down over the saucer for the sediment to dry out and from whatever pattern forms - your fortune is foretold!PROPORTIONS FOR GREEK COFFEE
It is best not to make more than 2 coffees at one time or else you will lose the froth on the top that so many love and it won't produce the best results.
If you do not have a briki, you can use a small saucepan.
Into the briki add one Greek coffee cup of water per person.
Add one teaspoon of Greek coffee per cup.
Also add the sugar depending on sweetness required.
Medium - metrio
is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar,
Sweet - glyco
is 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoon sugar,
None - sketo
has no sugar and can be very strong. I would recommend if you have never tasted greek coffee before to have at least 1 teaspoon of sugar as it is very strong, and then adjust to your preference. I never have sugar in my instant coffee or even capuccino's yet I do like my Greek coffee sweet and strong.
Place the briki or saucepan over the heat, stir well until the sugar and coffee are diluted.
When the Greek coffee comes to the boil, it forms a ring of foam, starting from the outer rim and as it boils the rim closes and the coffee rises.
You need to take the coffee off the heat just before the ring is fully closed - that is if you like your coffee strong and heavy.
If you let the ring close and rise more, the coffee will become weaker.
The whole difference between strong and weak coffee is about 1 second as it starts to rise, so you have to be quick.
Pour it immediately amongst the prepared cups and serve along with a glass of iced water. READING GREEK COFFEE: A cup of your life
How can a cup of coffee tell you about the past, present and future in your personal, social or professional life, sceptics will ask. This method of fortune-telling, known as tasseography, or tasseomancy (kafemandeia
in Greek), has been practised for centuries and originates in China, where tea leaves were read in the bell-shaped cups (before that, monks used to read patterns formed on the internal part of bells in temples, so the handle-less tea cup was a logical progression). The author of the above-mentioned book, who uses the pen-name "Sophia" (which also means wisdom in Greek) writes that she was taught coffee-reading by her grandfather, who did it professionally. It is her theory that each individual's DNA and thus the emotional, mental and physical condition of each affects what shapes will be formed in the grains. Some images will simply reveal something we are already aware of, consciously or subconsciously, whilst other symbols are said to foretell events beyond our knowledge or expectations.
Today, people around the world continue to look for answers in the residue of their tea or coffee and lessons in how to do it correctly are passed on through the generations. It goes with the dramatic Greek nature to be both curious (and often anxious) about the present and future, as well as to enjoy making Cassandra-like predictions about how events or situations will unfold. The trick is not to take it all too seriously, but also to consider the possibility that some, if not most of it may be likely, indicative of something important or de facto true; certainly everyone who has had their cup read comments that what it reveals often is uncannily spot-on. Try it and see for yourself: Step one
Ideal for reading are African, Greek or Turkish ground coffees, rich in taste as well as consistency (not to mention caffeine levels - tell
me about it!). The drink should be brewed in the traditional long-handled briki
and served in the suitable small cup. Whether there's a particular issue one requires some enlightenment on or not doesn't matter, for the coffee will always have something to reveal. If one wants answers to a specific question, this concern should be focused on whilst sipping at a leisurely pace. Overall, it's important to enjoy the experience and keep an open mind. Step two
Once the coffee is finished, the cup should be held facing out on its side and be turned three times clock-wise, whilst spilling out the sludge and simultaneously spreading it around the entire surface of the cup. Whatever excess remains should be poured out from the side where the cup-handle is. The cup should then be overturned onto a napkin and left for a few minutes. Take this moment to take a deep breath and ask for guidance in reading your cup; who or what you ask about is completely up to you. Step three
Overturn your cup and hold it upright. Remember to keep an open mind and not try too hard to see things. Also, try to put your scepticism aside. If you see something that looks like one particular symbol but not exactly, you're probably right. How you interpret things is up to you. What looks like a smudged cow to you may be a clear dog to someone else - asking for a second opinion is a good option if you're not sure. Often, the most important messages appear surprisingly clearly. Types of symbols
Animals, initials, natural landmarks such as rivers, lakes or trees and many other things known to the human eye - from a fork to a golf club to a moon - can all be found in the cup. important guidelines!
Generally, the bottom part of the cup represents people, situations, or ideas from your past, the middle part on the sides of the cup represents the present whilst the top part indicates what's approaching in the future. Where a symbol appears on the cup can create different meanings. Frappe Coffee (The modern Greek coffee)
They say that Greece is the Frappe Nation and since this is the truth I couldn't disagree with that notion myself...
The location of the frappe moment can be as public as a 200-seat cafe in Athens or as private as the two-room apartment three flights directly above it. Its perspective can be as sweeping, spectacular and sunny as a terrace set in the coastal cliffs of Santorini or as confined and gloomy as a windowless coffee canteen in the recesses of a Thessaloniki warehouse building. The apparatus that sets it in motion can be as elaborate as a programmable, multi-speed, steal-bladed, high-torque blender or as basic as an old lidded jar working in tandem with the free hand that shakes it.
Drinking frappe is something like a tradition in Greece, an everyday act to wake up, to get some energy, to start the day, to relax, to discuss. there is always a reason to drink frappe. You will see Greek people sitting in coffee houses for hours under the sun or inside if there is cold, relaxing, looking around, smoking and talking about everything. This can go on all day. there's no greater pleasure than those precious moments, sitting at a cafι and enjoying a glass of cold frappe...
If you are not in Greece don't get disappointed! The following are the basic instructions and ingredients to help you make a frappe on your own. So if you are not in Greece you can act like you are. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
30 ml evaporated milk or regular milk optional Preparation:
Place the coffee, sugar to taste, and 60ml cold water in a shaker, jar or drink mixer. Cover and shake well for 30 seconds or, if using a standing or hand-held drink mixer, process 10 seconds to produce a thick, light-brown foam.
Place a few ice cubes in a tall glass. Slowly pour all of the coffee foam into the glass. Add milk, if desired, according to taste. Fill with cold water until the foam reaches the top of the glass. Server with a thin, bendable straw and glass of cold water on the side.