The wonderful strong Cyprus Coffee! It accompanies almost any meal; in fact, when in Cyprus, an afternoon meal just isn’t complete without a strong Cyprus Coffee.
Greek Coffee is a strong brew, mostly served with foam on top as the coffee itself produces a creamy affect when brewed. As the coffee is not filtered in any way, the coffee grounds remain at the bottom of the cup. Although it can be made in a different pot, the traditional small pot is best because it creates the correct amount of foam, which adds to the unique taste. When in Cyprus… Generally
Cypriots drink coffee in two ways:
The traditional way is still prepared as it was when it was first discovered that the grains needed roasting in the mid 1400s. This type is defined by the way the grains are squeezed, then the method of roasting the coffee. This special squeezing which is where the unique flavor to Cyprus Coffee, is a well kept professional secret. For all Greeks and Hellenic Cypriots, the roasting of the coffee is a ritual, an art form of precision and unique personal preference. The more recent type is served ice cold and is made by a special type of coffee, which comes as powder or as small grains. This type is served during the summer and has started to spread around Europe and the American continent carrying the name invented in Thessaloniki, Greece by Dimitrios Vakondios, ‘frappé’.
The activity of drinking the coffee, without exaggeration, can be described as a holy moment for all Greeks!
There are four main ways to have Cyprus Coffee:
Sketos (plain without sugar, strong and bitter),
Metrios (medium, usually with one small teaspoonful of sugar)
Glykys (sweet, usually two small teaspoons of sugar)
Vrastos (The coffee is boiled until the froth/cream has almost completely disappeared)
There are many more combinations of how the coffee is sweetened and cooked, to individual preference.
Making a Cyprus Coffee: Easy to cook! Difficult to master!
It is made and served to be drunk slowly. Always served with a glass of cold water. The specialised pot called an Mbriki.
- The measure should be one of the cups that the coffee is going to be served in.
- The mbriki is placed on a low heat on a gas oven and its contents stirred only a little, until the coffee is diluted in the water. Over stirring will disturb the creamy foam.
- The mbriki must be watched continuously from the moment it is placed on the gas oven, as it quickly heats up can boil over.
- Observe as it begins to rise.
- Let it rise until it reaches the top of the mbriki and then immediately poor the foam into the coffee cup.
- Place the mbriki back on heat again let it rise to the top and immediately poor the contents to top-up the coffee cup.
Things to remember:
-Do not fill the cup to the top, most Cyprus coffee drinkers like to poor a little water into the coffee themselves for various reasons.
– Once the coffee has been made, let it stand for one minute to allow the coffee grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup.
– When making coffee for more than one person, pour the coffee a little in each cup, to distribute the froth in all the cups. Then proceed and just fill them up.