Coffee is a part of everyday life in Greece. Greeks love their coffee! BUT they don’t just drink any old filter coffee from a drip machine. They make coffee a super cool accessory.
Here is a game you can play when you arrive in the Athens Airport. See how long it takes to spot someone holding a plastic cup with some sort of brown/foamy concoction in it. I guarantee you will not make it out of the door before spotting one!
When you get into your taxi, check the cup holder.
Taking the bus? See what the driver has next to him.
When you arrive at your hotel, look behind the desk.
What is this magical mystery drink that looks oh-so convenient with it’s plastic domed lid?!
It is a common mistake for visitors to order ‘Greek Coffee’ when they sit down at a cafe and look over the coffee menu. Greek Coffee must be what all of the cool kids are drinking, seems legit- we are in Greece after all. In an attempt to look cool and fit in with the locals, you actually identify yourself as a clueless tourist and/or grandpa when your tiny cup of Greek Coffee/Ελληνικό καφέ arrives.
I’m not saying that only a grandpa/παππούς would order a Greek coffee, but you need to be a well seasoned coffee drinker to throw this stuff back. It’s unfiltered coffee with the grounds and all, served in a little cup… so a far cry from the cool mocha colored mosaic that you see everyone else with.
This is the original of the Greek iced coffees. I think it looks absolutely yummy – like a chocolate mousse all frothed up! Order it exactly how you like it- see Greek translation at the bottom of the page.
What is a Frappe?
Frappe is instant Nescafe all shaken up with sugar (if desired) and water. Add ice and the option of milk and you are all set. Check out Nescafe’s official recipe > Greek Frappe
Nescafe sure got lucky when Greece decided to make the Frappe it’s national drink.
The Freddo family has stolen some of Frappe’s thunder in recent years. It’s the trendy thing to order these days. I suppose people prefer the thought of fresh brewed coffee to the instant stuff coming from a can.
What is a Freddo Espresso?
1 shot of espresso poured hot into a metal canister. It’s then mixed with an electric mixer with 1 or 2 ice cubes, with the sugar added in during mixing. The contrast in temperatures between the hot and cold is what helps create that signature foam when mixed.
Many people that try to replicate a Freddo Espresso at home miss this part, and then wonder why their Freddo isn’t as Freddo-y as the ones they buy.
Hot + Cold Ice Cubes + immediately mix while adding in sugar at same time.
If you were drinking Frappe with milk 5 years ago, you may have upgraded to this guy.
What is a Freddo Cappuccino?
Freddo Espresso with a nice creamy foam layered on top.
If you don’t have a milk foamer at home (does anybody?!) you can make the froth by putting 3 ice cubes in a glass and pouring enough evaporated milk to cover the ice cubes. Using a hand mixer, froth it up until it’s really light and fluffy.
Greek coffee = Ελληνικό καφέ | Elliniko cafe
grandpa = παππούς | pappous
medium (medium sweet- 1 spoon of sugar) = μέτριο | metrio
sweet (2 spoons of sugar) = γλυκό | glyko
plain (no sugar) = σκέτο | sketo
with milk = με γάλα | me gala
without milk = χωρίς γάλα | horis gala
straw = καλαμάκι | kalamaki
Coffees pictured were all prepared by professionals at Black Cup in Glyfada