Greek or Turkish Coffee

Greek coffee
photo by jane kotsiris |

There is nothing like Greek coffee. Known around the world as Turkish Coffee, but when you’re in Greece – it’s Greek  (ελληνικός καφές). It’s so good. Granted, like regular coffee, it’s an acquired taste.

Today’s Greek cafés are a bit different from the old Kafeneion’s of the old. You can still find people sitting at tables all day slowly sipping coffee (or a frappé) and talking. The coffee places are an area of slow motion. People will sit for hours talking while the older crowds play backgammon.


  1. Greek Coffee: Here are the two most popular – Bravo and Loumidis
  2. A briki
  3. Water
  4. Sugar
  5. Demitasse cups

Making Greek Coffee

  1. Take however many demitasse cups are needed and fill each with water. Then you dump the water from each cup into the briki.
  2. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of Greek coffee into the briki for each demitasse cup. Now here is where is will differ greatly from Greek to Greek.
  3. Add sweetener according to taste:
    1. Sketos (skeh-tohss): Unsweetened and therefore no sugar
    2. Metrios (meht-re-ohss): Medium-sweet coffee: Add 1 teaspoon of sugar per 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee. (most popular)
    3. Glykos (ghlee-kohss): Sweet coffee: Add 2 teaspoons of sugar per 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee.
  4. Put the briki (now with coffee and sugar if desired) on a gas burner (In Greece, this is taken so seriously, that people will go out and buy a single gas burner if they don’t have one. It helps direct and control the flame.) and turn it on to medium-low heat.
  5. After a few minutes when it starts to get warm, continually stir the mixture until it dissolves. Once all is dissolved and blended. Stop stirring; do not stir again from this point forward.
  6. Continue to slowly heat and watch for the foam to rise and take it off right before it begins to boil. (This foam is called kaïmaki (καϊμάκι, pronounced kaee-MAH-kee) and the richer the foam, the better Greeks like it.
  7. If it’s just one cup, pour and enjoy. If there is more than one, pour a little into each cup, then go back to the first, and fill up each cup to the top. The reason for this is that you spread the foam to each of the cups so it will be present in each person’s coffee.

**It will be very hot. So be careful. Best to wait a bit before drinking. Additionally, it’s not like American coffee where you want to drink the whole thing. There will be coffee residue (grinds) at the bottom of each cup so watch out for that**

Article originally appeared on Lemon and olives.