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Frappe Greek Coffee

Frappe Greek Coffee

While many of us might cringe at the thought of “Nescafe”, in Greece the coffee giant Nestlee has found a committed following – before Starbucks invented the “Frappuccino”, the Greeks invented the “frappe”. What’s terrific about this intense cold coffee drink is that you can make one fairly easily (and cheaply) on the go. Just visit any kiosk and look for the prepackaged “just add water” version or find yourself a “Nescafe stick” at any supermarket, dump it into a bottle of icey cold water and shake vigorously.

The frappe (pronounced fra-pay), an ice coffee drink, is now as much a part of Greek culture as feta cheese and olives. A frappe is made with four basic ingredients: Nescafe (instant coffee), sugar, water and milk. Each ingredient on its own would be ok with the exception of the Nescafe, but it is the combination, in closely guarded proportions of all four, that have won the hearts of nearly the entire Greek population.

Mixing the Nescafe, sugar and a little bit of water together is the first step in the delicate process of frappe creation. The mixture is then given a quick spin the frappe machine (of course they have developed a special appliance for frappe) to stir up the ingredients and create a thick, foamy head. Finally, milk is added along with a couple of ice cubes. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice cold water, add a straw and prepare yourself for the long, slow relaxing process of drinking the fabled frappe.

Drinking frappe is an art itself and one that the Greeks have perfected over many years. You can see evidence of this in any of the cafes along Imittou. When a frappe arrives at your table on a hot summer’s day, your first impulse is to slurp down the cold refreshing coffee drink as quickly as possible. If your goal is to shock your Greek hosts into disbelief, this will most likely have the desired effect. However, if you are trying to blend in with the local culture you will need to sit back, relax and take small sips, stretching out your coffee pleasure for at least an hour. This way, no one will stare, point and comment that you are a Frappe amateur!

How to order a Frappe:

Skeh-toe – Plain, no milk or sugar

Skeh-toe may ghala – Milk, no sugar

Meh-tree-oh – Medium sweet

Glee-koe – Very sweet

Mey –ghala – With milk

By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!

One thought on “Frappe, the national drink of Greece”
  1. This site came up in a weird google result, I was looking for a frappé stand address in Athens! But I have to comment in case tourists do not believe it- we drink frappé ALL the time! In the warmer part of the year at university my friends and I bring Nescafe sticks and coffee creamers and use the drinking fountains to make frappés in water bottles!
    If you are drinking with friends, they will think you want to hurry up and leave if you finish your frappé too quickly! It is a social drink, like tea in Britain used to be I think.

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