Traditional Greek Cypriot coffee is similar to Turkish coffee. It is made with a finely ground coffee that is boiled in a tall, narrow pot known as a briki. The coffee is very strong with foam on the top called a kaimaki and served with the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.
WHAT IS TRADITIONAL GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE
When I was growing up the smell of Greek Cypriot coffee was always around. My dad would drink it a few times a day and still does, and whenever we would have visitors or we would go and visit family and friends the adults, mainly the men would drink it. I don’t drink coffee because I don’t like the bitter taste. Well apart from the phase I went through where I would order a cappuccino and end up adding 7 tsp of sugar into it just so it wasn’t bitter and then I’d only drink the creamy froth ha ha (“,)
Even though I don’t like the taste of coffee I really like the smell and love making it. Well you kind of have to if you are bought up in the Greek Cypriot culture because us Greek Cypriots love our coffee, with me being the exception (“,)
GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE FOAM – KAIMAKI
As a kid I’d watch my mum making coffee after coffee and loved watching the kaimaki rise. Kaimaki (καϊμάκι) is the foam that sits on top of the coffee, and the richer and creamier it is the more likely it will pass the Greek Coffee test and get drunk.
If your kaimaki isn’t on point then your coffee is going to get sent back.
WHY THIS IS THE BEST GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE
My mum never had her coffee refused. She would get given a £1 coin from my Papou for every coffee she would make him. Also until this day he greets her coffee with a “eeeaaaahhhh!” It’s a Greek thing lol
Just to prove she has still got it, I will tell you a little story. My hubby tried Greek Cypriot coffee for the 1st time when we first got together. My mum made it for him and he instantly loved it. So when we went to Cyprus and he had some he was very disappointed.
The coffee was watery, because they hadn’t added enough coffee. Stingy people. Also the kaimaki was non existence. They either stirred it too much, too little or cooked the froth out.
When he told my mum how disappointed he was with the coffee and her Greek Cypriot coffee was the best, she was over the moon. As many Greek Cypriots are about their food because they take a lot of pride in their hospitality.
Hubby put me to the test and asked me to try and recreate my Mums version and I’m proud to say I’ve passed the test. Plus my Dad said I’ve nailed it too and he’s Mr fussy (“,) So if you follow my technique you’ll be guaranteed to be drinking the best Greek Cypriot coffee ever (” ,)
THE 3 DIFFERENT WAYS TO MAKE GREEK COFFEE
Before we get into the technical first you have to decide how you want to drink your coffee:
- Sketos (σκέτος) – Plain coffee, bitter and strong; 1 heaping tsp Greek coffee
- Metrios (μέτριος) – Medium coffee, half sweet half bitter; 1 heaping tsp Greek coffee and 1 tsp sugar
- Glykos (γλυκός) – Sweet coffee; 1 heaping tsp Greek coffee and 2 tsp sugar
HOW TO MAKE GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE
Greek coffee is not difficult at all to make. If you add a little bit of patience and love into you coffee making prep and stirring you will have the best tasting cup of Greek Cypriot coffee. watch my how to make traditional Greek Cypriot coffee video below to see just hoe easy and simple it is to make a cup of Greek Cypriot coffee,
HOW TO PREPARE GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE
The key things to remember when you are measuring out your coffee is:
- Don’t add just a teaspoon of coffee. Add a big heaped teaspoon of coffee.
- To measure out the amount of water you will need. Fill the cup you will be serving the coffee in with water. Repeat this for the amount of people you will be serving.
WHAT TO MAKE GREEK COFFEE IN
It’s best to make your coffee in a briki (μπρίκι). If you don’t have a traditional Greek coffee pot you can use a small coffee pot or saucepan, like the one I’m using in the video above.
WHERE TO BUY A TRADITIONAL GREEK COFFEE POT CALLED A BRIKI & GREEK COFFEE CUPS
You can find Traditional Greek Coffee pots called a briki and traditional cups and saucers from Greek and Middle Eastern shops in the UK. They are also available online just search for ‘Greek coffee pot’ ‘Turkish coffee pot’ ‘Briki’ or ‘Treaditional Greek Coffee cups’. If you do happen to visit Cyprus or Greece you will find a large collection in the local supermarkets. They are also in the souvenir / tourist shops and markets at a very cheap price.
Whenever we go to Cyprus there is always an offer in the supermarkets selling 2 packs of Greek coffee with a free coffee cup, saucer and long teaspoon. These are really cheap, they make great gifts and are also good if you don’t want to buy a pack of 6 cups and saucers.
HOW TO SERVE TRADITIONAL GREEK CYPRIOT COFFEE
Make sure your cup is on your saucer so you don’t have to move your cup and risk spilling your coffee. Pour a glass of water to serve with your coffee to counter balance the bitterness. The coffee grounds will settle at the bottom of the cup don’t drink them because they are really bitter and have a grainy texture.
Traditionally Greek coffee is served with either something sweet or savoury like watermelon glyko/ spoon sweets. koulouri, halloumi bread and olives. Or if you really love coffee and can’t get enough of it how about serving your Greek coffee with a an easy no bake Greek frappe cheesecake? You can adjust the coffee and sugar amounts to get the cheese cake to taste just like your favourite coffee. Click here to see how easy and delicious it.
Talking about frappe, if you would like to see how to make the best Greek frappe coffee click here and click here for more Greek Cypriot recipes.
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- 1 tsp Greek coffee
- Sugar (for a semi-sweet or sweet coffee)
- Water (the amount that can fill up the cup you will be drinking from)
- 1 Briki or small pot
- 1 Teaspoon
- 1 Cup
- Fill your drinking cup to the top with water and add it to your briki
- Add your heaped teaspoon of coffee and sugar _if you are having a sweet or semi-sweet coffee) to you briki
- Put you briki on the lowest heat and start stirring your coffee continuously until you see a light coloured swirl on the top,, this is your kaimaki froth. (The kaimaki will be a light golden brown and the coffee below will be a dark brown, check my video below to see the colour I mean)
- Now wait patiently and loving, looking at your coffee for a few minutes waiting for it to rise. Don't try to stir your coffee again because you will disturbed your foam and end up with none. Don't walk away because you may come back to an overflow of coffee.
- When a ring starts to rise around the edges like leather turn off the heat and pour your coffee into your coffee cup. Do this really slowly trying to keep as much of your kaimaki in your briki so you can lay it gently on top.
- Serve with a glass of water to counterbalance the bitterness with some freshness. If you want to be authentic serve with something sweet or savoury like some kourabiedes or koulouri (",)
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