Coffee has its origins in the Arabian peninsula when in 11th century AD for the first time coffee trees were cultivated. Coffee was first roasted and boiled by Arabs.
In 1475, the worlds first coffee shop opened by Greek people soon after the occupation by the Turks in the ex-capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. That followed by the establishment of more coffee houses in Constantinople.
At the end of a good Greek Meal is the wonderful strong Greek Coffee!
Greek Coffee is a strong brew, served with foam on top and the grounds in the bottom of the cup same with Turkish Coffee. Although it can be made in a different pot, the traditional small pot is best because it allows the proper amount of foam, which adds to the unique taste.
Greeks drink coffee in two ways. The 1st and more traditional comes from the early Constantinople times. This type is characterized by the way of squeezing the grains, and then the roasting of the coffee. This special squeezing which gives a special flavor to Greek Coffee is a secret of the professionals. The rest of Greeks just enjoy the coffee. For all Greeks, the roasting of the coffee is a real ritual.
The 2nd and more recent type of Greek coffee is served ice cold and is made by a special type of coffee, which comes as powder or as small grains. This type is served during the summer and has started to spread around Europe and the American continent carrying the name invented in Greece by French tourists: "Frappe / Frappicino"
The moment of drinking the coffee is without any exaggeration, a holy moment for all Greeks!
Greek coffee can be made in four different ways:
1-Sketos (without sugar, strong and bitter),
2-Metrios (medium, usually with one teaspoonful of sugar)
3-Glykys or vari glykos (almost honey-sweet)
4-Glykys vrastos ( sweet but boiled more then once so it loses most of its froth )
What You Need to Make Greek Coffee:
* Greek coffee
* Sugar ( optional )
* A briki ( The pot used for making Greek coffee is called a briki )
* Demitasse cups
* Cold water
* Water glasses
How to make Greek Coffee:
Greek coffee is never stirred once it has been made and served and is drunk slowly. Serve it together with a glass of cold water.
Greek coffee is easy to cook. First, measure the required cups of water into the briki ( pot ).
The measure should be one of the cups that the coffee is going to be served in.
Put the briki on a low heat and stir its contents a little, until the coffee is diluted in the water.
Hold the briki by the handle all the time as it boils so quickly and spills everywhere. Watch it starting to rise with a bubbly foam.
Let it rise until it reaches the lips of the briki and then immediately withdraw from the low heat.
Once the coffee has been made, let it stand for one minute to allow the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the briki. Pour a little in each cup, to distribute the froth in all the cups. Then proceed and just fill them up to the brim.