Perhaps you had the pleasure of sipping Greek coffee during your vacation and found yourself puzzled as to how they managed to create such a frothy, sweet and delectable beverage – a delight that likely proved elusive upon your homecoming.
However, it is perfectly possible to recreate your holiday drink in the comfort of your own home if you have a few key pieces of equipment. Greek coffee is made individually, so you will never find it in a big chain of coffee shops.
It’s made in an atmosphere where the pace of life is much slower and it’s all about sitting still and enjoying life and relaxing while you make the most of all of the flavors in this traditional cup of coffee.
They are quite strong and normally served in a small cup, a bit like an Italian espresso. Most Greek people would only drink two cups a day and it’s normally served with a glass of cold water at the same time.
To make authentic Greek coffee you will need to invest in a few items but the main one is a Greek coffee maker called a Briki. This is a steel pot with a very long handle and they usually come in either a two-serving size or a six-serving size.
As well as the Briki, you will need:
- Greek coffee – there are several brands available
- Espresso style coffee cups
- Time to enjoy it
Once you know how many cups you are making, fill them with water and pour that into the Briki, so if you are making two cups, add two cups of water to the pot. The next stage is to add a heaped teaspoon of Greek coffee for each cup, into the pot.
There are several different sweetness levels to Greek coffee; you can either have it totally unsweetened, medium-sweet, or sweet. The most common option in Greece is the medium sweet choice.
To make it medium sweet you add one teaspoon of sugar for every teaspoon of coffee. If you want it sweet then add two teaspoons of sugar for every teaspoon of coffee. You add the sugar straight into the Briki with the coffee and water.
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The next stage is to put the Briki, now with water, coffee, and sugar inside, onto a single gas burner and put it onto a medium to low heat level. Once it starts to get warmer you need to stir the combination until everything has dissolved.
Once all the ingredients have dissolved it’s important not to stir it again. Greek coffee comes with distinctive foam and if you keep stirring the pot this foam won’t develop and you will be missing a crucial element.
Continue to let the coffee heat up slowly and keep an eye on it. As the foam begins to bubble up you need to remove the pot from the heat, just before the coffee starts to boil as it is now ready to serve.
Pour a little coffee into each cup and then start again and fill them both up as you want the foam to be present in both of the cups you are making. It will be incredibly hot so don’t try to drink it immediately.
In Greece, they nurse a coffee like this for hours while relaxing with friends so bear that in mind and don’t try to drink it all in one go. It’s not the same as chain coffee shop drinks that people gulp down quickly.
As the coffee is directly in the pot and there is no filter, you are also highly likely to get coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup so be aware of that as you are drinking it as you don’t want a mouthful of that.
These coffees go really well with a nice sweet biscuit as well so if you want to be really traditional then you can serve it with a tasty sweet treat. Another Greek tradition is to read the coffee grounds in the cup-like tea leaves to tell your future so for a fun cultural experience you could try doing that and at least it’s another reminder not to drink that last mouthful of coffee as well.
If you can get your hands on a Brika then making Greek coffee is really simple at home and can give you the chance to expand your experience and tastes when it comes to trying out different types of coffee.
You can make it sweet or plain and make it as strong or as weak as you like by altering how much of the Greek coffee you put into the Brika. Just bear in mind this is designed to be strong coffee to be savored and not drunk all in one go on the move.