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Coffeehouse Coolers: Frappe, Freddo and More

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Coffeehouse Coolers: Frappe, Freddo and More

The Greek Coffee Craze

As a serious coffee lover hailing from the unofficial coffee capital of the world, Seattle, I’ve made it my mission to explore the coffee cultures of different countries. And let me tell you, Greece has a coffee game that can definitely hold its own against the Pacific Northwest.

From sipping a homemade frappe on a seaside bench to chatting for hours over an iced cappuccino in a cozy cafe, coffee is deeply ingrained in the Greek way of life. In fact, when I first arrived in Greece, learning how to order my beloved brew in the local lingo was one of the top priorities on my to-do list – right after mastering the art of saying “cheers” (or rather, “yamas”) with a glass of ouzo.

You see, the Greeks take their coffee seriously. They’ve even got their own unique lingo and specialty drinks that don’t exactly translate to your average Starbucks menu. But fear not, my fellow caffeine addicts, I’m here to be your guide to the wonderful world of Greek coffeehouse coolers.

Mastering the Greek Coffee Lingo

Before we dive into the delicious world of frappes, freddos, and more, let’s make sure we’ve got the language down pat. After all, ordering your perfect cup of joe is half the battle.

First things first, there are four common coffee choices in Greece:

  • Freddo – A cold espresso or cappuccino
  • Frappe – The quintessential Greek iced coffee, made with Nescafé
  • Elleniko kafe – The traditional Greek coffee, served hot

When you’re placing your order, you’ll need to specify if you want it plain (sketo), sweet (gliko), or somewhere in the middle (metrio). So, for a cold espresso with a touch of sugar, you’d say “Freddo espresso metrio.”

If you really want to impress the barista, you can take it up a notch by ordering a “var-e” (strong/hard espresso or cappuccino) or asking for it “me crema” (with heavy cream). For a creamy cold brew that packs a punch, try a “Freddo espresso metrio me crema, var-e.”

And of course, don’t forget your manners! A hearty “yassas” (hello/goodbye) and an “efharisto” (thank you) will go a long way.

The Frappe Phenomenon

Now, let’s talk about the undisputed king of Greek iced coffee: the frappe. This frothy, foam-topped delight is a national obsession, and for good reason. It’s the perfect pick-me-up on a hot, sunny day, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

The key to a truly authentic frappe lies in the method. Rather than simply pouring hot coffee over ice, the Greeks use a special technique that involves vigorously shaking or blending Nescafé instant coffee with ice, water, and sugar until it transforms into a thick, creamy concoction. The result is a refreshing, indulgent sip that’s equal parts sweet and caffeinated.

Here’s a visual guide to the perfect frappe-making technique – trust me, it’s worth the effort.

Of course, the beauty of the frappe lies in its customizability. You can order it “me gala” (with milk) or “horis i gala” (without milk), depending on your preference. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with flavors like chocolate or vanilla.

The Rise of the Freddo

While the frappe may be the undisputed king, the freddo is quickly becoming a close contender in the Greek coffee scene. This chilled espresso or cappuccino is the perfect solution for those who prefer a more sophisticated, less saccharine sip.

Surprisingly, both the frappe and the freddo were actually invented in Greece – a testament to the country’s enduring coffee creativity.

To order a freddo, simply specify if you want an espresso (“Freddo espresso”) or a cappuccino (“Freddo cappuccino”), and then indicate your preferred sweetness level (sketo, metrio, or gliko). For a rich, indulgent twist, you can also ask for it “me crema” (with heavy cream).

The great thing about the freddo is that it offers a more balanced, complex flavor profile compared to the frappe’s sweet and creamy dominance. It’s the perfect choice for the coffee connoisseur who wants to savor the nuances of their brew, without sacrificing the refreshing chill of an iced delight.

Exploring the Greek Coffee Scene

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to navigate the Greek coffee landscape, it’s time to get out there and start sipping. Whether you’re wandering the winding streets of Athens, relaxing on the beaches of Crete, or soaking up the sun in Thessaloniki, you’re sure to find a cozy cafe or charming street vendor serving up some of the best iced coffee creations you’ve ever tasted.

And who knows, you might even stumble upon a hidden gem that puts your beloved Starbucks to shame. After all, Home Cooking Rocks is all about discovering the awesome in unexpected places, one delicious sip at a time.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your sunglasses, practice your Greek, and get ready to embark on a caffeinated adventure that will forever change the way you think about iced coffee.


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