The history and origins of Greek coffee culture:
Coffee (Καφές) has its origins in the Ottoman Empire, where it was introduced to Greece in the 16th century. The influence of Turkish coffee is evident in the brewing method and the traditional copper pots used, known as briki. Over the centuries, Greek coffee has evolved into a unique cultural symbol combining Eastern and Western traditions.
The coffee ritual in Greece
Greek coffee is more than just a drink; it is a cherished ritual that brings people together. The process of brewing and serving the coffee involves attention to detail and a sense of hospitality. From the careful measurement of the coffee to the rhythmic stirring, each step is crucial for the perfect cup. Coffee in Greece is often drunk in the company of friends or family, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and conversation.
The art of brewing coffee with a briki:
Making "Ελληνικός καφές" requires finesse and patience. The finely ground coffee is measured out and added to the briki along with water and possibly sugar. The briki is then placed on a heat source and the coffee is slowly brought to a boil. The foam that forms, known as kaimaki, is an essential part of the experience. Once brewed, the coffee is poured into small cups, where the dregs can settle before you enjoy the rich and intense flavours.
Variations of coffee:
Although traditional Greek coffee is drunk as is, there are variations that cater to different preferences. For sweet tooths, metrios offers a moderate sweetness, while glykis is a sweeter version. Sketos, on the other hand, is drunk without sugar. Some also prefer coffee with a splash of milk, known as me gala. These variations ensure that there is a suitable Greek coffee for every taste.
Greek coffee and meze culture:
Greek coffee is often drunk alongside meze, small plates of savoury snacks that complement the flavours of the coffee. The combination of the strong, aromatic coffee with the diverse flavours of the meze creates a harmonious culinary experience. Whether it is the creamy feta, the salty olives or the flavoursome spanakopita, Greek coffee and meze culture go hand in hand.
Greek coffee as a cultural symbol:
Coffee has a special place in Greek culture and symbolises hospitality, connection and tradition. It is served at social gatherings, during family celebrations and in traditional cafes known as kafeneia. The aroma of coffee floating through the air is a familiar and comforting presence that evokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth.
Coffee culture is a celebration of tradition, community and the art of enjoying every moment. From the meticulous brewing process to the lively conversations over a cup, Greek coffee embodies the essence of Greek hospitality. Experience the magic of Zorba's brew by embracing the secrets of coffee culture and incorporating them into your own daily rituals.
Visit our online Greek webshop for a selection of authentic Greek coffee and traditional briki. We offer a range of high-quality products that allow you to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Greek coffee. Embrace the rich flavours, aromatic aromas and sense of belonging that Greece brings. Opa!