Friday, October 24, 2008

Greek Coffee

Greek coffee, or Turkish coffee as it is also known, is very popular in Cyprus as it is in Greece, Turkey and many Middle Eastern countries. It is not only enjoyed by the elderly in Cyprus, but also by the younger generations.The original coffee shops or Kafeneia as they are known here, are still brewing fresh cups every day. And you can find one of these coffee shops just about in every neighbourhood.

These traditional coffee shops are usually patronized by our fathers and grandfathers, where smoking, playing backgammon and discussing various topics (usually soccer and politics) are at the order of the day. Here, time usually goes by at a more relaxed pace. It is a place were friends and neighbours meet, have discussions and share male camaraderie.

The younger generation also enjoy Greek coffee, but usually at a more trendy upscale and modern cafe in shopping malls or in the city centre. They usually opt for something more trendy and gourmet frappechinos, cafe lattes and cappachinos. For them, the Greek coffee is a quick cheap wake-me-upper which is not drank and enjoyed as it is supposed to, slow and relaxed. Corporate coffee kings like Gloria Jeans, Costa Coffee and Starbucks are doing just fine here.

So here is my little ode to Greek/Turkish coffee.....

To make Greek coffe you will need:

Greek/Turkish coffee
Drinking water at room temperature
Sugar (optional)

Measure the water you will need in a Demitasse cup whic is similar to an Espresso cup and pour it into a Briki (very small saucepan that fits no more than 100ml). then add a heaped teaspoon of coffee and place over medium heat. Add sugar to taste and stir until sugar and coffee is dissolved. This will happen as soon as the water starts to warm up. Stop stirring and wait until the coffee starts to foam slightly and then stir again for a few seconds. Stop stirring. When it foams again, let the foam reach the top of the saucepan and quickly remove from heat and pour into the cup. Enjoy with a cold glass of water at your leisure.
Traditionally Greek/Turkish coffee is brewed in a Briki in hot sand. This makes for a more fragrant better brewed coffee. This coffee can be enjoyed in the following ways according to how much sugar is added:
0.5 tsp - meoliki (little sugar)
1 tsp - metrio (medium)
1.5 tsp - malo gliki (nearly sweet)
2 tsp - gliki (sweet)
2.5 tsp - vari gliki (very sweet)

If anyone is interested in buying Greek coffee, I will be able to send you some. For more details on P&P and prices, send me an email or comment.


Catherine said...

Wow! Being Greek myself, I can't wait to try this. Sounds very good. Also, quick question, can it be done with a regular 'drip pot' rather than in a sauce pan, say if you're doing this for company?

Also, check out my own cooking blog at if your interested.

I'll be linking to you over at my blog, hope to see you around!


Culinary Saint said...

Nope. It has to be done in a saucepan to "cook" the coffee. You can "cook" more than one cup of coffee in a larger saucepan, but you might compromize the "kaimaki" or froth that usually forms ontop. When you do more than one cup, always pour some froth in all the cups first, then the rest of the coffee to ensure all cups get froth.