Drinking coffee is an essential part of the Greeks’ everyday life. It is part of our culture to go out for a coffee with friends and chat, socialize, gossip and watch other people. In the past decades the cafeneio was a traditional institution of every Greek village and neighbourhood. It was a simply furnished coffee shop where Greek coffee was served as well as retsina and ouzo along with snacks. This places were frequented strictly by men who went there after job and spent their time socializing or playing cards. Nowadays there is a vast variety of coffee shops, from very simple to very trendy and busy ones frequented by everybody.
In fact, it is such an indispensable part of the Greek way of life that you can find a café on every corner of the city taking over the pavements during summer.
Drinking coffee is a ritual and we spend an hour or more over their coffee. Just relax, sit back and let yourself enjoy your coffee, no matter whether it is a Greek coffee, frappe, espresso, cappuccino or some of their varieties.
The Greek coffee – actually a Turkish invention – is made with one teaspoon of finely ground coffee beans and sugar boiled in a pot until it rises to the surface. Then it is served in a cup, but you have to wait for the grounds to settle and it is only drunk to a certain point. When you order one you should say whether you want it glykos (sweet), metrios (medium) or sketo (black).
The most popular drink in summer is the frappe, an ice coffee with a french name but a 100% Greek invention. It is made with instant coffee, sugar and ice, all shaken in a shaker. You can drink it sweet, medium or black and also with milk. It is very refreshing but also very strong.
No matter whether you are, at the Constitution or Kolonaki Square, in Plaka, Monastiraki or on the coast, go to a café, order the coffee you wish and just enjoy it!