Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

How to Make Greek Coffee

Greek coffee is a strong brew, served with foam on top and the grounds in the bottom of the cup. Although it can be made in a different pot, the traditional small pot (shown in photo) is best because it allows the proper amount of foam, which adds to the unique taste.

What You Need to Make Greek Coffee:

  • Greek coffee
  • Sugar (if used)
  • A briki (μπρίκι, pronounced BREE-kee)
  • Demitasse cups
  • Cold water
  • Water glasses

The pot used for making Greek coffee is called a briki. It comes in 2, 4, and 6 demitasse cup sizes that help create the right amount of foam … a very important part of the process. If you plan to make coffee for more than 6 people, I suggest you do it in stages, making more than one pot.

Start with very cold water. Use the demitasse cup to measure the water needed for each cup of coffee (one demitasse cup of water is about 1/4 cup), and pour the water into the briki.

Step 1: Start with the briki (the pot)

Start with the briki (the pot)

Start with the briki (the pot)

Step 2:  Add coffee and sugar (if desired)

Add coffee and sugar (if desired)

Add coffee and sugar (if desired)

Measure one heaping teaspoon for each cup of coffee.

Greek coffee is brewed to taste, and there are four standard types, varying by sweetness and amount of coffee. Experimenting will help you find the exact brew for you.

  • For unsweetened coffee: Add one heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki. In Greek, this is called sketos (σκέτος, pronounced SKEH-tohss).
  • For medium-sweet coffee: Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called metrios (μέτριος, pronounced MEHT-ree-ohss).
  • For sweet coffee: Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called glykos (γλυκός, pronounced ghlee-KOHSS).
  • For extra-strong sweet coffee: Add 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 heaping teaspoons of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called vary glykos (βαρύ γλυκός, pronounced vah-REE ghlee-KOHSS).

Step 3: Let the foam rise in the briki

Let the foam rise in the briki

Let the foam rise in the briki

Turn on the heat (medium low), stir the coffee until it dissolves, and don’t stir again. Heat slowly. Foam will start to rise in the briki before it boils.

Note: This foam is called kaïmaki (καϊμάκι, pronounced kaee-MAH-kee) and the richer the foam, the better Greeks like it.

Step 4: Share the foam

Share the foam

Share the foam

When the foam rises to the top of the briki (it can move very quickly once it starts), remove from heat and serve. Evenly divide the foam among all cups, then fill cups with the remainder of the coffee, taking care not to disturb the foam.

Step 5: Serve and sip

Serve and sip

Serve and sip

Serve piping hot with a glass of cold water for each person and, if desired, homemade cookies or sweet biscuits.

This coffee is sipped, often loudly, quite slowly. One cup of coffee often lasts a few hours, however recently, Greek coffee has become popular with the younger set who order “doubles” and often add milk.

Preparation note: There is another type of coffee that is quite popular: sweet boiled coffee (glykivrastos, γλυκήβραστος, pronounced ghlee-KEE-vrah-stohss).

To make:

1 teaspoon of coffee and 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup; lift the briki up and down from the heat allowing the coffee to come just about to the boiling point three times until it makes a lot of foam. Be careful not the let the foam spill over. Serve as above.

  • Effie Giannou-Kodros says:

    When Greek coffee does not foam does it mean that it has lost its strength? Where can I find Greek coffee beans so I can have fresh coffee?
    Thank you

    March 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

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