If you are coming to Greece for the first time you are about to discover that as well as having a rich and captivating history, scrumptious cuisine and a philosophy of living life to the fullest, we also have the best selection of Greek summer coffees. Yes, that’s right, we really know how to enjoy coffee in the heat!
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All of us here at Greeking.me have traveled extensively and we have discovered that no one does a ‘frappe’ quite like the Greeks and that’s only the beginning! Like for many of our fellow Europeans, coffee is such an essential part of our daily lives. However, we treat drinking coffee almost like a form of meditation. We drink it slowly, savoring the taste whether we’re in the office, working away or in the company of good friends at a seaside bar discussing the issues of the day. We know that good coffee, like good food, needs to be given the time it deserves!
"Ellinikós Kafés" -traditional Greek coffee- had been for centuries the Greeks' chosen morning drink. However, in the late '60s, they found another answer to our caffeine cravings. Enter the cold coffees! The story of how the cold Frappe came into being is truly one of innovation and resourcefulness. At the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, an exciting new chocolate drink was being promoted which was made instantly by mixing chocolate powder with milk and blending it in a shaker. An employee, Dimitrios Vakondios, wanted to have his usual instant coffee during a break but couldn't get any hot water. So he had the brilliant idea of blending the coffee with cold water and ice cubes in the shaker. The effect of blending spray-dried instant coffee in this way produced a unique frothy top layer which remained stable and gave it its creamy taste. His creation, the now acclaimed Frappé, became one of the most popular drinks in Greece. As Plato told us all those years ago, 'necessity really is the mother of invention'!
Traditional Greek coffee - credits: RUBEN M RAMOS/Shutterstock.com
However, the Greeks' creativity didn’t stop with the Frappe. Here are some more of our favorite coffees to try for the summer; You are sure to find one that you love, no matter how demanding your taste buds are!
Freddo espresso - credits: pilipphoto/Shutterstock.com
If you like your espresso in the morning, this is the one for you. It’s still the same -but on ice. A fantastic start to the day, simple yet effective!
Freddo cappuccino by the sea - credits: kostasgr/Shutterstock.com
This is a much-loved local favorite. It has the same base with freddo espresso, but it is topped with deliciously smooth, frothy, creamy milk that is dangerously addictive!
An espresso coffee with frothed milk. An excellent choice if you want a milder, milkier coffee to start your day with or as an afternoon treat.
One of the more recent cold coffee inventions, this is more like a coffee milkshake. Frozen in texture and redolent of a coffee-flavored ‘slushie’, it is usually more decadent with flavored syrups and/or whipped cream! A perfect reward if you’ve spent a busy afternoon exploring our ancient sites on our Athens Mythology Tour!
Now the sweet-toothed amongst you may be wondering if a freddo espresso, freddo cappuccino or frappe made on its own may be slightly bitter for you. The great thing about these coffees is they can all be altered to suit the individual palate. Here in Athens and across Greece, if you listen to people ordering coffees you will hear the terms ‘sketo’ (plain) ‘metrio’ (medium sweet) and ‘glyko’ (sweet) so be sure to say which level of sweetness you would like when you order yours. You can also specify if you’d prefer sugar (zachari), sweetener (zacharini) or Stevia
When you visit Athens, you will discover that there is a coffee shop waiting for you round just about every corner. Check out our 10 Extraordinary Coffee Shops in Athens blog post to see some of our favorite places to go for coffee.
Be sure to try one, if not all, of our cold coffee concoctions and savor the delicious delights of your coffee the Greek way: slowly and in great company! Additionally, join ous Athens for Foodies tour to visit one of the oldest coffee shops in Greece and hear from Nikos, a true artisan, about how much skill and dedication is required to achieve the perfect coffee.