Greece´s Tasty Ice-Coffee Variant
I admit that I am a coffee addict. I am not trying to quit, either. Anyone that sees me regularly usually sees me with a cup of ‘black lightning’ in my hand. I love the stuff, dammit.
So accordingly, one of the most intriguing questions I like to discover about traveling to new places is: “How’s their coffee?” Greek coffee is like an instant espresso with a chalky black mucky powder at the bottom. Coming from the divine Italy and above-average Spain coffees, Greece’s sloppy take on my favorite morning beverage was utterly unsatisfying. I thought I was really in for a struggle, people. That is, before I found the frappe!
I discovered the frappe, really, before I tried Greek coffee. I remember we were finishing our first gyro pita and the shop owner shirtlessly walks out of the kitchen with a frappe in his hand. At the time I didn’t know what it was (I thought it was Greek coffee, actually), but it looked awesome! He drank an iced light brown beverage with about 4 inches of foam on the top with a straw. So, I ordered a Greek coffee- my first and last.
I was determined to figure out what this tasty coffee-variant was that I looked around and found everyone to be drinking. So, I looked in our trusty LP and there is was in black and white: It was of course, the almighty Frappe!
I ordered it, then ordered another, then another, then another. I continue ordering them to this day and will probably make them when we get home to the States. The frappe is everything its look promised. A cool refreshing watered down coffee with plenty of sugar and some playful foam on top. The quality obviously varies from place to place, but very little. The average price is 3 euros, we’ve found.
The basic ingredients of the frappe are this: water, Nescafe, and sugar to taste. Froth with a milk frother for a few seconds until it becomes really frothy. Add milk. Don’t mix. What you have is a fantastic 3-layered Greek frappe. Add vanilla ice-cream for an ‘ice-cream frappe’; use real espresso instead of Nescafe for an ‘iced-freddo’.
So, what have we learned? When you come to Greece, try the “Greek coffee” but do so for cultural exploration and not sensory satisfaction; do so with full awareness that a sweet, caffeinated, foaming heaven awaits you.