17 June 2008, by Kristy
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.
- 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…
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.