What is Greek Coffee and How is It Made?

What is Greek Coffee and How is It Made?

Sean Gregory
5 minute read

Before you begin brewing cups of coffee using the Greek brewing method, you should understand how these beans should be ground, brewed, and eaten.

Greek coffee is a rich and robust beverage produced from finely ground Arabica beans. The coffee grounds are pounded to powder form and boiled in a briki (special pot) with sugar and water. It's the ideal afternoon pick-me-up when paired with a sweet pastry.

What exactly is Greek coffee?

Greek coffee is a distinct beverage prepared from Arabica beans that have been coarsely processed into a powder. It has the consistency of flour and is brewed in an unusual manner. The coffee grinds, water, and optional sugar are put in a special pot known as a Briki and slowly heated until a froth (kaimaki) forms. The coffee is then poured into cups, with the coffee grounds sinking to the bottom. The ultimate result is a flavorful, smooth, and robust cup of coffee.

Grinding For Greek Coffee

The very first step is to grind the beans to make Greek coffee.  This is an important step to Greek coffee as you need to grind to what is known as a Turkish grind.  This means super fine. These grounds are virtually powdered, with a texture similar to espresso powder, but they are not the same.

However, if you have a cheap blade grinder on your kitchen counter, it is unlikely to produce such a fine grind of coffee beans. If you want to get the work done well, you'll need a quality burr grinder if you want to get the job done right. Drinking coffee is a pain if your Greek coffee grounds aren't very fine!

What Is A Briki And How Is It Used For Greek Coffee

You won't be able to make an excellent cup of Greek coffee with a conventional coffee machine. You're going to need a briki!

A briki is just a thin pot that is tall and has a long handle that curves upward from the rim. These little brewers are often sold in two, four, or six-cup capacities. But don't mix "cups" with "servings." Greek coffee is often served in a demitasse cup that holds approximately three ounces. Compared to a basic mug which holds eight ounces.

If you're not a math expert, we'll break it down for you:

  • 2 cup briki  serves 6 people
  • 4 cup briki serves 11 people
  • 6 cup briki serves 16 people

Do you see why this type of beverage is so popular for social gatherings?

Leave Room for the Foam!

The little Greek coffee pot, or briki, should be able to hold the number of serves being brewed plus one; that extra space is for the froth (known as kaimaki) to rise. If you leave too much space in the briki, you will end up with wrongly textured foam, but if you leave too little space, you will end up with a giant mess!

Demitasse Cups

As previously stated, demitasse cups (you can find them on Amazon) are the preferred cups for Greek coffee consumption. These are the identical cups used by most modern coffee shops and baristas to serve espresso. As you might expect, this type of coffee cup is quite little, containing only a quarter to a third of a cup of coffee. Because Greek coffee is very concentrated, similar to espresso, a modest amount of joe is plenty.

Because the sugar concentration is determined before brewing, you won't add milk or sugar to this Greek-style beverage. Honestly, milk isn't going to work. After all, it's meant to be consumed as black coffee, which goes well with sugary Greek cookies and candies.

Brewing Your Greek Coffee

Now that you know a little bit more about this coffee, it's time to gather all the materials and tools you'll need to brew a batch! But don't worry if you don't have much time to spare in your morning routine; making a cup won't take long.

Take out your briki and fill it with three ounces of water.

Then, into the water-filled briki, add two teaspoons of finely ground coffee beans and two teaspoons of granulated sugar.

Place the Greek coffee pot on the stove and heat it slowly until the coffee mixture begins to foam.

Remove the coffee from the heat after foamy bubbles appear and allow them to settle. When all of the bubbles have settled, reheat the briki until more foam forms.

Remove the briki from the heat when the second round of foam emerges on top of the coffee, and pour the coffee into a cup.

Finally, you can enjoy your freshly brewed Greek-style coffee! Just make sure you have a cup of water around as well - it's customary to drink the two liquids at the same time.

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Variations of Style

Most people believe that Greek coffee is served black. However, this might be perplexing, especially in the United States. The phrase "black" in this context refers to normal coffee with nothing added — no cream, sugar, or flavored syrups.

This is not the case with this sweet coffee, as you can see from the recipe, as sugar is used in almost all Greek coffee recipes. When someone says Greek coffee is black, they imply no milk is added, and the color of the brew is kept.

So, where do beverage differences come into play if Greek coffee is virtually always served black? Of course, with sugar!

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