Archive for June 2008

The Real Greek Coffee

17 June 2008, by

Since I mentioned Frappe in a previous post, I thought I would let you all in on a well known Greek secret. “Greek coffee” is not the concentrated brew with sandy grains at the bottom. That, in actuality, is Turkish coffee. It was even called Turkish coffee in Greece until a few decades ago. The real Greek coffee is Frappe: an iced coffee beverage made from instant coffee. And it is better than it sounds. In general here is the recipe, followed by some tricks to be sure you get it right.

The Frappe

  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 3-4 tsp water
  • 4 ice cubes
  • Enough water to fill the glass (a normal 9 oz. glass)
  • Sugar and milk to taste

Put coffee and 3-4 tsp of water and sugar as desired into a jar with a water-tight lid. If you have a milkshake machine or a hand blender, you can do this right in the glass you want to drink from. If using a jar, tightly close the lid and shake until you can’t shake no more. If you are using a hand blender, blend until the mixture turns into pale frothy coffeeness. Pour from the jar into a glass; add ice cubes and enough water to fill the glass. If you want, add milk. Place straw in glass and drink.

Some notes about Frappe…Nescafe for Frappe

The coffee: Nescafe is ubiquitous. In fact, I can’t remember seeing ANY other brand of instant coffee. For a proper Frappe, I suppose it must be Nescafe. However, I have heard rumors that outside of Greece, the formula is different. Try it out and let me know.

The water: In Crete, in the summer, there is no cold water. It comes out of the tap warm, no matter how long it runs. The bottled water never sits in coolers long enough to get cold. It’s hot and dry here and so you drink warm water. And you use warm water to make Frappe.

The drinking process: To feel the true Frappe experience, sit outside house/on roof/at cafe and nurse coffee for 2-4 hours. Talk about everything you can think of.

UPDATE: In case you were wondering about the authenticity of my story, there is a whole book about the history and use of Frappe.

Happy Fathers Day

15 June 2008, by

Another Goofy KristyDave Production

Click the button to the left of the volume control to go to “full screen” for a BIGGER view.

And yes yes, we know… we’ve got years and years of practice before we put Mr. Spielberg out of work. But it’s the thought that counts, and we’re thinking of you, Dads.

The American Invasion

4 June 2008, by

Chania\'s StarbucksIn the beginning of April, the entire town of Chania was getting a facelift. Stores were shut down, buildings gutted and coats of paint were being applied. Everyone was preparing for the coming tourist season. A few weeks ago we noticed one of the souvlaki shops near the παλαιό λιμάνι or old harbor had shut its doors and was being renovated. Figuring this was just another example where a shop decides it needs freshening up, we were expecting a nearly identical souvlaki shop to open in a few days. In its place was this Starbucks.

We have been blissfully absent of any major American brands (save Coca-Cola, of course) since we arrived here. I have heard there is a McDonald’s on the island, but it is only open for the tourist season and it is in the next town over. Our more “intellectual” city has shunned the presence of such American trash, until the American trash got a new more intellectual appearance.

I have been keeping an eye on the place, and it never seems as full as some of the other coffee shops in the harbor, so I am hopeful that the American invasion will fail. We, in distinct protest of the presence of this place, will continue with our happy adoption of the true Greek coffee: the Frappe.