How to make Greek Coffee

Greek coffee is both delicious and mysterious! It is a wonderful drink to serve your house guests, but also provides a window into your past, present and future…well, apparently, but we’re not quite sure. Greek coffee is quite strong and is served with the foam at the top and the grounds at the bottom of the cup. It is made using a small pot, called a briki in Greek, and is sweetened according to taste: bitter, medium, sweet, or very sweet. The coffee is served in demitasse or espresso cups and is always served with a cold glass of water. We bought our coffee in Greece while we were there last summer, but it is also widely available in Greek specialty stores as well as the ethnic section of most grocery stores across North America.

To make Greek coffee you will need:

  • Cold Water (1 demitasse cup per person)
  • Sugar (For medium sweetness use 1 teaspoon per cup, but you can adjust this according to your own preference)
  • Greek coffee (1 teaspoon per cup)
  • A small pot (briki)

Use the demitasse cup to measure out 1 cup of water per person and pour the water in your pot. Once the water is hot but before it begins to boil, add the sugar and then the coffee. For medium sweetness use 1 teaspoon of sugar for each cup you are making. If you would like it sweeter, add 2 teaspoons of sugar for each cup, but if you prefer your coffee bitter then don’t add any sugar at all. For the coffee you will use 1 teaspoon of coffee for each cup you are making. Stir to dissolve the coffee and sugar, but do not stir again. Turn your stove to medium-low heat and wait for the coffee to begin to bubble. As the water begins to boil, the foam will rise to the top. As Eva explains in the video this foam is called kaïmaki in Greek. Once the coffee has begun to foam, it’s ready. Place 1 teaspoon of foam in each cup (this way everyone’s coffee gets a bit of the delicious foam) and then pour the rest of the coffee in the cups. The coffee is now ready to serve. Be sure to give of your guests a tall glass of cold water with the coffee!

If you’ve had the chance to visit Greece you might have see people turning their finished cups of coffee over onto the saucer and then having their fortune read to them, a practice known as tasseography. Let us know your experiences with this!