How can I make a great cup of Greek coffee?

Making the traditional Greek coffee is an art of it’s own. The process has it’s own rhythm, and there is no rushing it, while waiting for the dark liquid to brew. Ardent lovers of coffee will always be curious to find an answer to the question, “how to make Greek coffee?”

Coffee has a very old history…

It travelled to Turkey from Yemen and from Turkey it became known in Greece. It became so popular that people started calling it “Greek coffee” instead of Turkish (or Arabic) coffee.

Though a good number of people describe Turkish coffee as Greek coffee there are differences between these two types of coffee. The major difference is that Turkish coffee gets roasted higher in comparison with Greek coffee and normally, people do not add spices to the Greek coffee.

You will need some equipment to make a proper Greek coffee…
  • A gas source. In Greece most people used to have gas stove tops.  Since most people no longer have gas stove tops, here they use what you call a gazaki, it is a single camping gas burner. Traditionally this type of coffee is made in what is called hovoli, which is basically heated sand.
  • Get a small coffee pot called a briki.
  • Greek coffee, known also as Turkish or Arab coffee 
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Espresso coffee cup or Greek coffee cup.

What Type of Coffee Should you Use?

Now many people think that if they grind their favorite coffee beans in a fine powder they will have Greek style coffee.  Α specific combination of beans is used to make this Greek blend, with specific bean varieties, roasted at specific temperatures and used in specific ratios. If there is a place that grinds/roasts Greek/Turkish/Arab style coffee near you, then by all means get the coffee from there. If not, many ethnic super markets sell it and you can also order Greek coffee from Amazon, they carry the 2 popular Greek brands Loumidis and Bravo.

How it’s made?
1. Use very cold water, preferably the bottled type, as the chlorine in many municipal tap waters will interfere with both the flavor and the creation of a nice thick kaimaki .

2. Make sure you have a traditional briki or cezve (Turkey), or ibrick, as it known in Middle Eastern countries. The shape of the briki is crucial in the creation of the kaimaki.
3. For a metrion coffee, use a one-to-one ratio of sugar to coffee, about 1 very heaping-teaspoon of each for every cup of coffee. Obviously, how much you use will depend on the size of the briki. Be sure to use the right size briki since it will influence the development of the kaimaki. Most Greek  coffee aficionados will judge the quality of your coffee from the thickness of your kaimaki.
4 . Put the briki on a stove at medium-high heat. Make sure to watch it continuously because the moment the coffee begins to boil it will surely boil-over and make a mess of your stove.
5. The crucial part in producing an outstanding cup of Greek coffee is in knowing when to pull it off the heat source. If it boils, the coffee will be substandard. This is the “art” of coffee-making. Watch the opening of the briki and look for the surface of the coffee to begin to gently roll over at the edges. Here’s a pretty good picture. At this moment pull it off the heat and let it “rest” for 20 seconds or so. Then put it on the heat source again and repeat the process of observing, retracting, and resting, 2-4 times. Each time you do this it will thicken the kaimaki.
6. Pour a little kaimaki gently into each of the cups and then go back and fill each cup with the remaining coffee in order to make sure that everyone has some kaimaki.

Greek coffee can always be described as delicious as well as mysterious and the taste can be altered by changing the amount of sugar. A huge number of people have become ardent fans of this strong coffee and the traditional way of consuming Greek coffee is to consume it in very slow manner. So now you know how to make Greek coffee and also, why you should make it!

How to drink Greek coffee
While this is a small coffee, it is not to be confused with the espresso, which is basically consumed quickly standing up. This coffee is consumed sitting down slowly. To get the full flavor you should sip the coffee slowly. I remember the older generations taking loud sips of coffee; while this may be rude, I find that it increases the enjoyment of the coffee. Once you start tasting the first grounds you are done. Do not try and drink the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.
In Greece, traditionally coffee was consumed two times a day: In the morning and in the afternoon after their nap. Although the coffee seems thick and black it is not extremely high in caffeine, it is actually lower then regular filter coffee.
Enjoy your cup of Greek coffee! Serve with a cold glass of water.

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