Coffee is deeply rooted in many cultures around the world. Greece is no different. Greek coffee is a strong, smaller cup of coffee that many people enjoy over a more extended period than traditional coffee.
The flavors are intense and will leave you feeling energized as well as connected to Greek culture. You don’t have to be in Greece to enjoy a cup of this coffee or even at a Greek coffee shop. If you know what to do and what you need, you can make authentic Greek coffee at home.
Greek Coffee Recipe
- 2 teaspoons Finely ground Greek coffee heaping teaspoon
- 1 ½ cups water at room temperature
- Sugar optional
- Measure 1 ½ cups of water with a demitasse cup and add the water to the Briki.
- Add 2 heaping teaspoons of ground Greek coffee to the Briki.
- Add the appropriate amount of sugar (optional).
- Stir the mixture until the coffee is dissolved completely.
- Place the Briki over medium-low or medium heat. Let the coffee heat for about 3 minutes
- Remove the Briki from the heat when the foam reaches the top.
- Evenly distribute the foam amongst the Demitasse cups.
- Pour the rest of the coffee into the demitasse cups.
- Serve each coffee cup with a cold glass of water.
What Is Greek Coffee?
Traditional Greek coffee, commonly known as ellinkos in Greek, is heavily connected to Greek culture. You can find this coffee all over Greece, and it generally comes with a cold glass of water. This coffee has coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup and foam at the top.
Greek coffee has a robust flavor that is hard to find in many parts of the world. This coffee is boiled and then shared amongst family and friends. Traditionally, Greek coffee is to be sipped slowly rather than in a rush to work. There’s even some evidence that consuming Greek coffee regularly can prolong your life.
Greek coffee is different from coffee you’ll find at a traditional coffee shop because Greek coffee is boiled, not brewed, and unfiltered, unlike other types of coffee. You’ll notice when you make or order Greek coffee, there is foam at the top, and there are coffee grounds at the bottom.
Greek coffee is similar to Turkish coffee and Middle Eastern coffee. Both styles of coffee are boiled in specific coffee pots. They’re boiled in almost the same way and served similarly. So don’t be surprised when you see many Turkish coffee pots (Cezve/ibriki) in the search result when you are actually looking for a Greek coffee pot (Briki).
How To Prepare Greek Coffee – Things You’ll Need
You don’t need to travel to Greece to experience the taste of Greek coffee. However, if you want to try making it at home, there are a few things you’ll need to accomplish this task.
A Briki is a special pot that you use to boil Greek coffee. Many families in Greece will have multiple lying around their houses in varying sizes. They are quite affordable and much cheaper than an espresso machine. If you don’t know how to choose, check out our buying guide.
A Briki is a pot with a long handle and often comes in different demitasse cup sizes according to the amount of the greek coffee servings.
Most Brikis come in copper, brass, or stainless steel. Consuming Greek coffee is commonplace, a briki is used very often so try to find a more durable and thicker one.
Copper or brass is more elegant and traditional, however, they’re not machine washable. Stainless steel Briki is modern and easier to take care for, you can place your Briki in the dishwasher if you don’t want to wash it by hand.
You’ll need to use the correct size Briki, which is dependent on the number of people you’re serving coffee to. When choosing the size of the Briki, it should be able to hold the number of cups you’re serving, plus one. That’s the secret to creating the right amount of foam (kaimaki).
For example, you wouldn’t want to use a Briki that can make coffee for five people if you’re making a single cup of coffee.
Where To Buy a Briki?
If you’re in Greece, you’ll be able to find a Briki in almost any shop that sells kitchen things. However, for those who don’t live there, your best bet is to check online. You can find Brikis on Amazon.
What Type of Coffee Should You Use?
Basically, you can make Greek coffee with finely ground Arabica beans. You’ll get a strong brew with foam on top. The final product will look like a traditional cup of Greek coffee, but the taste will not compare.
Coffee snobs believe creating a good greek coffee recipe, you’ll need a particular greek coffee blend. Not only are the bean varieties incredibly specific, but these beans are roasted at a specific temperature and ratio.
If you have a store near you that sells Greek coffee grounds, you’ll want to pick up a bag of one before making your Greek coffee. But, not to worry if you don’t know where to buy them near you. Loumidis and Bravo are two fantastic brands of Greek coffee beans that you can find on Amazon.
Demitasse cups are the cups you’ll traditionally serve this drink in. These cups get their name from the French language, meaning they translate to “half cup.” They hold about half the amount of a traditional cup of coffee.
Typically a demitasse cup holds around two to three ounces of coffee. Because this Greek beverage is incredibly strong, this size is ideal.
These cups are perfect for and often used for measuring the water that you’ll use to boil your coffee.
Sugar is another thing you’ll need before making Greek coffee. Many people enjoy their coffee with a bit of sweetness, but you don’t need to add sugar to your coffee if you don’t enjoy drinking sweet coffee.
When making Greek coffee, there are different names for the drink based on their sweetness level:
- Unsweetened (Sketos): One heaping teaspoon of coffee and no sugar
- Semi-sweet (Metrios): One teaspoon of coffee and one teaspoon of sugar
- Sweet (Glykos): One teaspoon of coffee and two teaspoons of sugar
- Very sweet (Vary glykos): two teaspoons of coffee and three teaspoons of sugar
How To Make Greek Coffee?
The recipe for making Greek coffee will change based on the number of servings you want to make. The recipe we’re giving is for one serving of coffee. If you are making more than one coffee, please adjust the amount of ingredients accordingly.
Greek Coffee Recipe and Instructions
To make traditional Greek coffee, here are the ingredients and equipment you’ll need to get started.
This recipe will make one serving of Greek coffee. If you need more than one serving, let’s say two cups, you’ll double the recipe.
You don’t need many things to make Greek coffee, but you do need the right equipment. You’ll need a Briki, Greek ground coffee, a heat source, and Demitasse cups for serving.
Once you have your equipment ready, you can gather your ingredients:
- 2 heaping teaspoon of finely ground Greek Coffee
- 1 ½ cups of water, measured with the Demitasse cup
- Sugar as requested (see above for sugar to a coffee ratio based on sweetness preference)
Step-By-Step Brewing Guide
Now that you’ve got your equipment and ingredients ready to go, here’s your step-by-step brewing guide for Greek Coffee.
Add the Water
The first step is to add water to the Briki. You can use a measuring cup to do this, but if you want to make it how it’s traditionally done in Greece, you’ll use a Demitasse cup to measure your water.
For this recipe, you’ll need 1 ½ cups of water.
Add the Coffee and Sugar
Once you’ve added the correct amount of water to the Briki, you can add in your coffee and, if applicable, sugar.
You’ll add two teaspoons of finely ground Greek blend coffee. If you want to serve it unsweetened (Sketos), you can move on to the next step.
If you prefer some sweetness to your coffee, now is when you’ll add the sugar. Here is the amount of sugar you’ll need for each sweetness level based on this recipe:
- Semi-sweet: 1 tsp
- Sweet: 2 tsp
- Very sweet: 3 tsp
Place Over Heat
After you’ve combined your water, coffee, and optional sugar, place the Briki over a heat source. Typically you’ll put the Briki onto a heated stovetop that is at medium-low or medium heat.
Once the Briki is on the stove, you’ll stir the mixture until the coffee has dissolved. After it has completely dissolved, do not stir the coffee again. You’ll see the foam begin to rise before it reaches a boil.
Let the Foam Rise
The foam on top of the coffee is called Kaïmaki (kaee-MAH-kee). When the foam has risen to the top of the Briki, remove it from the heat source.
Before you serve the coffee, you’ll want to evenly distribute the foam, Kaïmaki, amongst the Demitasse cups.
Pour the Coffee Into Cups
After you’ve distributed the foam evenly, you can pour the remaining coffee into your cups. In addition to serving this robust and hot beverage, you’ll want to make sure each person has a glass of cold water in front of them too.
Enjoy Your Greek Coffee
Now that you’ve served the coffee, it’s time to enjoy it! Consuming Greek coffee typically lasts a couple of hours. People gather and enjoy each other’s company while sipping on the piping hot beverage. If you’d like, you can serve cookies or other sweets, but it’s not necessary.
Before you begin enjoying your coffee, you’ll want to let the coffee grounds settle at the bottom. Then, as you’re drinking the coffee, you’re finished if you taste the grounds. You do not want to drink the coffee grounds that are at the bottom of your Demitasse cup.
There’s nothing quite like sipping Greek coffee at a cafe in Greece. But, if you can’t make it there to enjoy a mug you can make it at home fairly quickly. All you’ll need is a Briki, Demitasse cups, and a robust Greek coffee blend.