Greek coffee is the traditional coffee of Greece, as the name suggests. Although it is very similar to the traditional coffee of Turkey and the countries surround it, there are some differences that distinguish them apart. If you go to Greece one day, you might be fascinated by how good it tastes and how similar it is to Turkish coffee. Let’s move on to see what else you should learn about Greek coffee.
What Is Greek Coffee?
As we said earlier, Greek coffee is almost the same as Turkish coffee and other country’s coffee’s surrounding it such as Armenia, Cyprus, Serbia, and Bosnia. To prepare a Greek coffee, beans are roasted at a specific temperature and then ground down into a very fine powder like Turkish coffee. If you wonder what are the Greek coffee beans, they are usually Arabica. Also, contrary to other coffees, Greek coffee is boiled rather than brewed.
Greek coffee has a distinctive flavor that is rich and creamy because it is boiled. It is usually prepared in a specific style of coffee pot which is called briki, cezve, or ibrik. You can drink it either sweet or unsweetened in a demitasse cup. Lastly, it is usually enjoyed with family and friends while drinking it slowly.
Greek coffee is known for its strong flavor that some new coffee lovers might find a little hard to drink without sweetening it. This strong flavor is caused by the finely ground beans. So if you like some strong flavors, you can try Greek coffee.
Similar to flavor, the aroma is also strong in Greek coffee. When you brew it using the traditional method, you will get that indispensable fragrant coffee flavor. Also, if you use some dark roast coffee beans, you are likely to get peppery, spicy, and earthy aromas.
One of the things that make Greek coffee special is the brewing method. It is made in a special Greek coffee pot that is called ibrik, cezve, or briki. However, it may change if you try to make iced Greek coffee. What makes it different from other coffee drinks is that it is boiled with all the ingredients together. The result? A super-strong black coffee that is loved by Greeks without adding any milk.
History Of The Greek Coffee
As it is almost the same as Turkish coffee, their histories are very similar to each other. Although the origin of the traditional Greek coffee is a bit disputed, it is widely accepted that it came with the Turkish occupation in Greece between 1423 and 1821.
After 1423, as Turks brought coffee to Greece, the first coffee shop in Greece named Kiva Han Coffee Shop was opened in 1475. After that, several major coffee shops were opened as well.
Coffee Culture In Greece
In Greece, Greek coffee is usually drunk at a cafe or family and friend gatherings. People often have the materials they need to prepare Greek coffee such as Greek coffee pot and they can prepare you a Greek coffee as politeness if you visit their homes.
When it comes to the coffee shops in Greece, we can say they are not very different from those of other countries. Also, if you spend a little time in the country, you might see two different coffee shops: kafeteria and kafeneio.
While the kafeterias are open only during the day, some of them might turn into bars in the evening. They serve some food with your coffee such as small pastries and pieces of bread. On the other hand, kafeneio is also a coffee shop but it is usually visited by the old men.
Different Types Of Greek Coffee
Although the basics of the coffee stay the same, the sugar amount may change the Greek coffee. It is important to know 4 different types of Greek coffee depending on its sugar amount. Also, you can order coffee in Greek by saying these types.
- Sketos: This type of Greek coffee doesn’t contain any sugar so it is quite strong. Avoid from it if you like sweet coffee.
- Metrios: Metrios, which is the most popular coffee type in Greece, is semi-sweetened. It is neither too bitter nor too sweet.
- Glikos: This style of Greek coffee is not bitter at all so it is ideal for people who like some sweet coffee.
- Variglikos: Variglikos, which is the most sweetened coffee, is great if you love even sweeter coffee.
How To Make Greek Coffee?
Now that you have learned almost everything you need to learn about Greek coffee, you might want to prepare it at home. Although it requires a special brewing pot, it is very easy to prepare. Without further ado, let’s see how to make the best Greek coffee!
What You’ll Need
- Greek or Turkish coffee (Finely ground coffee)
- Sugar (optional)
- Briki, cezve, or ibrik
- Demitasse cups
- Cold water
- Water glasses
- Start With The WaterStart with very cold water using the demitasse cup to measure the water for each cup of coffee. One demitasse cup of water is about ¼ cup. Pour the cold water into the cezve.
- Add Coffee And SugarAs we mentioned above, Greek coffee has 4 different types depending on the sugar amount.
- Unsweetened (Sketos)If you want to drink your coffee unsweetened and bitter, add one teaspoon of coffee to the cezve.
- Medium-Sweet (Metrios)Add one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of coffee to the cezve.
- Sweet (Glikos)If you want to drink your Greek coffee sweet, add two teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoons of coffee to your cezve.
- Extra-Sweet (Variglikos)If you want to drink your coffee even sweeter, add three teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of coffee to the cezve.
- Heat It UpTurn on your heat to medium-low setting and stir the coffee until it dissolves. After it dissolves, don’t stir again. Heat slowly and wait for foam to rise. The richer the foam, the better the coffee.
- Seperate The FoamAfter the foam rises, separate it from the coffee and share it evenly among all the cups. After that, fill the cups with the coffee.
- ServeAfter pouring your coffee into cups, you can serve them with a glass of cold water for each person. Also, you can add some homemade biscuits for a final touch. Remember to drink it slowly. Bon appetit!
This coffee that is very similar to Turkish coffee has a very good flavor and different types depending on your choice. If you want to try it out, you can read our instructions and make it at home. If you love Greek coffee and have some questions or suggestions, leave a comment!
My world consists of guitar, music, and coffee. I spent years preparing coffees at home and learning more about coffee. As a result of this, I have learned so much about coffee, and in Coffee Magazine, I try my best to share my knowledge about coffee and its culture. Click here for detailed information about me.