Greeks and Coffee
Greece ranks from 15th to 17th place worldwide the last years in the consumption of coffee. Therefore, as you understand, coffee is a big deal for Greek people and a vital part of their lifestyle.
For Greeks the process of making a coffee and afterwards drinking one, it is like a ritual. Greeks like to take their time when they are out in the cafeterias. Having a coffee outdoors is a way of socialising. So a coffee might take from one hour to as much as it goes. Coffee brakes in Greece are serious affairs and take long. So long that the best ideas can be born over a table with some cups of coffee. When one person wants to ask another one out, they say “Would you like to go out for a coffee with me?”. Sharing a cup of coffee can be a pastime for friends or a pretext for flirting, catching up on the day’s news or even playing chess and backgammon.
While in other countries large coffee companies take over the market, in Greece a lot of local cafes open and thrive.
So you might find from large trendy cafeterias to the old and good traditional ‘kafeneio’, which exists for some decades and still is the meeting point, most of the times, for the elderly.
In every village or town you will find one or a few more where everyone is welcomed and well treated.
Coffee Choices in Greece
When in Greece it is easy to become a coffee addict because coffee is sooo good! Due to the importance Greeks give to the coffee, it is difficult to be served a bad coffee. If that happens, you might be an exception. There are several types of coffees in Greece and we recommend you try as many as you can.
Types of coffees in Greece:
You certainly have to try the famous traditional greek coffee. It is a hot coffee that is similar to turkish coffee. Nevertheless, in order to make it you follow a different procedure. Be careful to remember the following tip : When you order this kind of coffee, you have to say from the beginning if you want it to be black, medium or sweet. You cannot stir this coffee afterwards.
Frappé is a Greek legacy that was accidentally invented in 1957 at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki city in Greece. The representative of Nestlé company, Giannis Dritsas, was exhibiting a new chocolate beverage produced instantly by mixing it with milk and shaking it in a shaker. His employee, Dimitrios Vakondios, couldn’t find any hot water in order to have his usual instant coffee during his break. So he improvised by blending the coffee with cold water and ice cubes in a shaker. His creation, Frappé, was since then established as one of the most popular drinks in Greece. By the ’80s it was the number one coffee choice in Athens and has become a landmark of the post-war outdoor Greek coffee culture.
This type of iced coffee, is actually a small quantity of instant coffee, lots of water and ice. If someone wants can add sugar and concentrated milk. There is also the choice of Frappé with vanilla iced cream instead of milk.
Italian Style Coffees & Mixtures
In Greece, you can find the famous espresso, double espresso, cappuccino and double cappuccino. But you will also find the iced version of these coffees.
3. Freddo Espresso or Freddo Cappuccino
In summer, most of us want something cold to drink and what better from our favourite coffee. So, try tasting your favourite espesso or cappuccino in their iced version and you will be amazed. The creation is very easy. A double dose of espresso stirred with ice and sugar(if you prefer medium or sweet coffee). For those who want milk inside, they will have to order a freddo cappuccino which has whipped cold milk or cream on top.
Freddoccino is a cold beverage. A mixture of iced coffee and cold chocolate. It is more sweet because of the chocolate. It does not have a big quantity of coffee inside and it gives the idea of icecream.
In conclusion, you will certainly find a coffee suitable to your taste. So in your next greek vacation, do not forget to try out, at least some of the above and keep your eyes open for new coffee creations!