Here in Greece, we have our very own special type of coffee. It is called "ellinikos" (Greek coffee) and it is a very central part of our culture. Just about everybody drinks this kind of coffee, no matter what the season may be. Would you like to know how to prepare a cup of Greek coffee on your own?
The good news is that it isn't really all that difficult to make your own Greek coffee. The bad news is that although we can describe the process we cannot include the most important part, which is, of course, tasting! Although that is only a temporary downside should you choose to join us on our Greek Breakfast and Acropolis experience, where you will start your day with one along with lots of scrummy goodies!
Traditional Greek coffee pot (briki) - credits: Natalia Van Doninck/Shutterstock.com
So, first things first, every artisan needs his tools and if you're in the business of making truly wonderful Greek coffee you are going to need a briki (as shown above). Briki will help you create the appropriate frothy topping, one of the original characteristics of this special kind of coffee. Usually, using a briki will give you two portions of Greek coffee.
Greek coffee is usually served in a demitasse cup (in Greek, this is called "flitzani"), so you just have to use this cup at the start to measure the water needed for a cup of coffee. One demitasse cup is about 1/3 cup. Pour the water into the briki and then add coffee and sugar, if you wish. But how much sugar? If you don't have a sweet tooth, just put a heaped teaspoon of coffee in the briki. For a medium-sweet taste, you should put one teaspoon of sugar and one heaped teaspoon of coffee in the briki. For a sweet coffee, just double the sugar (two teaspoons) and use a heaped teaspoon of coffee.
Greek coffee grinder - credits: Radek Ziemniewicz/Shutterstock.com
If you'd rather not fret about how to make it or you want to taste one that has been made to perfection then join us on our Athens Food Tour where your final stop is at a local cafe, far from the tourist trail where they make the best Greek coffees in the area.
Now it is time to create kaimaki! Turn the heat to medium and stir the coffee. When it dissolves, stop stirring and wait until you see bubbles that make the coffee begin to rise in the briki. This is what we call "kaimaki" and it is the authentic quality of the Greek coffee. When kaimaki is created, you will notice that the foam will rise right to the top of the briki. When this happens, it is time to turn off the heat and wait a minute, until the grounds have settled a bit. Then you can serve.
Greek coffee prepared in the traditional way, on hot sand - credits: SARYMSAKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com
"Ellinikos kafes" (Greek coffee) can be found everywhere, whether you are in a big city like Athens or on a small island, like Ikaria. According to research conducted amongst its’ residents, Greek coffee is the secret to achieving longevity! These people are famous all over the world for their high life expectancy, so it is not a bad idea to replace your espresso or cappuccino with some cups of Greek coffee!
Tip: If you are looking to buy Greek coffee, here is a list with our 10 favorite Greek coffee shops in Athens.
Want to know how Greeks drink their coffee in the summer? Check out our Guide to Greek Summer Coffees and discover why we truly have the best summer coffees in Europe!
Don't miss the chance to enjoy your Greek coffee in a cozy & traditional place in the Plaka neighborhood during our Morning walking tour in Athens!