How to Make Greek Coffee: A Clear and Confident Guide

Greek coffee pot, briki

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Greek coffee, also known as Ellinikos Kafes, is a traditional and authentic coffee that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a strong and flavorful coffee that is brewed in a special pot called a briki.

To make traditional Greek coffee, you will need finely ground coffee beans, water, and sugar (optional). The coffee is brewed by simmering the coffee grounds and water in the briki over low heat until it reaches a frothy consistency.

It is important to note that Greek coffee is not the same as Middle Eastern coffee. While they may look similar, the brewing process and taste differ.

The key to making the perfect cup of Greek coffee is to use the right amount of coffee and water and to pay close attention to the brewing process. The coffee should be ground to a fine powder, and the water should be cold.

Once the coffee is brewed, it is typically served in small cups with a glass of water on the side. It is customary to drink the water before the coffee to cleanse the palate.

Essential Ingredients

Coffee Beans

When it comes to making Greek coffee, the type of coffee beans you use is essential. We recommend using Arabica coffee beans, which are known for their rich, smooth flavor. It’s important to use freshly roasted beans to ensure the best taste. You can either buy pre-ground coffee or grind the beans yourself. If you’re grinding the beans yourself, make sure to grind them as finely as possible.

Water and Sugar

The water you use should be cold and fresh. We recommend using filtered water to ensure the best taste. The amount of water you use will depend on how many cups of coffee you want to make. For each cup of coffee, you’ll need one teaspoon of sugar. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking, but keep in mind that Greek coffee is traditionally quite sweet.

To summarize, the essential ingredients for making Greek coffee are freshly roasted Arabica coffee beans, cold and fresh water, and sugar. Make sure to grind the beans finely and use filtered water for the best taste. Don’t forget to add sugar to taste.

Key Equipment

Briki Coffee Pot

To make Greek coffee, the most important piece of equipment you’ll need is a briki coffee pot. The briki is a small, narrow pot made of copper or brass, which is traditionally used to make Greek coffee. The pot is designed to heat the coffee evenly and to create a thick, frothy layer of foam on top of the coffee.

When choosing a briki, look for one that is made of high-quality metal and has a sturdy handle. The size of the briki will depend on how many cups of coffee you want to make at once. A typical briki will hold between 1 and 4 demitasse cups of coffee.

Demitasse Cups

Demitasse cups are small, ornate cups that are used to serve Greek coffee. These cups are typically made of porcelain or ceramic and are designed to hold just a few sips of coffee at a time. They come in a variety of colors and designs, so you can choose ones that match your personal style.

When choosing demitasse cups, look for ones that are well-made and have a comfortable handle. You’ll also want to make sure that the cups are the right size to fit under the spout of your briki.

Overall, having a good-quality briki and a set of demitasse cups is key to making delicious Greek coffee. With these essential pieces of equipment, you’ll be able to enjoy the rich, frothy coffee that Greece is famous for.

Greek Coffee Preparation

Grinding Technique

To make a perfect Greek coffee, we need to grind the coffee beans to a fine powder. We recommend using a burr grinder to achieve a consistent grind size. The ideal grind size for Greek coffee is very fine, almost like a powder. It’s important to note that pre-ground coffee won’t work for this recipe as it won’t be fine enough.

Brewing Method

To prepare Greek coffee, we need a stovetop coffee pot called a briki. We recommend using a gas stove for best results. Fill the briki with water and add one teaspoon of finely ground coffee per demitasse cup. Stir the mixture until the coffee dissolves in the water. Place the briki on the stove over low heat and wait for the coffee to heat up. As the coffee heats up, it will start to foam. Once it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few seconds. Repeat this process two more times to create a foamy texture.

Serving Style

Greek coffee is traditionally served in a small cup called a demitasse. Pour the coffee into the demitasse cup, and serve it immediately. The foam on top of the coffee is an essential part of the serving style. It’s recommended to serve Greek coffee with a tall glass of water to sip between sips of coffee.

In summary, to make a perfect cup of Greek coffee, we need to use a burr grinder to achieve a fine powder, use a stovetop coffee pot called a briki, and serve it in a demitasse cup with a tall glass of water.

Types of Greek Coffee


Sketos is the Greek word for “plain” or “without sugar”. Sketos coffee is made with finely ground coffee beans and water, with no sugar added. This type of coffee is usually enjoyed by those who prefer a more bitter coffee taste and is typically served in small cups.


Metrios, which means “medium”, is a type of Greek coffee that is made with a moderate amount of sugar. This coffee is less bitter than Sketos, but still has a strong coffee flavor. It is a popular choice for those who enjoy a balance between the bitter taste of coffee and the sweetness of sugar.


Glykos is the Greek word for “sweet”, and as the name suggests, this type of coffee is made with a lot of sugar. It is a very sweet and rich coffee and is often served with a small glass of water to balance out the sweetness. It is a popular choice for those with a sweet tooth.


Rio, which means “thick”, is a type of Greek coffee that is made with a thicker grind of coffee beans. This results in a thicker, richer coffee that is often compared to espresso. It is typically served in small cups and is a popular choice for those who prefer a stronger coffee flavor.

In Greece, coffee is an important part of the culture, and there are many different types to choose from. Whether you prefer Sketos, Metrios, Glykos, or Rio, there is a Greek coffee that is perfect for you.

Greek Coffee Culture

Morning Ritual

In Greece, coffee is an essential part of the morning ritual. We take our time to savor a cup of strong brew, usually made with Loumidis or Bravo coffee. The coffee is prepared in a briki, a small copper or brass pot with a long handle and a spout. We add water, coffee, and sugar to the briki and bring it to a boil on the stove. Once the coffee starts to rise, we remove it from the heat and let it settle for a few seconds. We then pour it into small cups and enjoy it with a piece of sweet pastry.

Afternoon Nap and Coffee Breaks

In the afternoon, we take a break from work or school and enjoy a cup of coffee during our afternoon nap. We make our coffee with kaïmaki, a foam made of boiled water and coffee grounds. We add the kaïmaki to the coffee and let it settle before drinking. This creates a creamy texture and a rich flavor that we love.

Kafeneio and Cafés

In Greece, coffee is not just a drink, it’s a social experience. We gather with friends and family at kafeneios, traditional coffee houses, or at modern cafes. We enjoy our coffee while chatting, playing backgammon, or reading the newspaper. In kafeneios, we often order a frappé, a cold coffee drink made with instant coffee, sugar, and water, shaken until frothy. In cafes, we can choose from a variety of coffee drinks, including espresso, cappuccino, and latte.

Overall, Greek coffee culture is an important part of our daily lives. We take pride in our coffee-making traditions and enjoy sharing them with others.

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