Making Greek Frappes At Home: A Way of Life!


If the frappe was around thousands of years ago, I guarantee it that Socrates and Plato would have taken a break from their philosophizing, taken a walk to the village square, pulled up a couple of chairs and ordered a few. Maybe even one to go.

In the 50′s, two Greeks working for Nestle, Yiannis Dritsas and Dimitris Vakondios, invented what has long been considered by many to be the National Drink of Greece. And if you’re familiar at all with Greek culture, coffee always plays a central role in any Greek-inspired symposium, no matter what time of day or night.

With the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s featuring it on their respective menus, the frappe is being enjoyed worldwide.  Although it’s not the same as the Greek-style original, it’s a good effort.  But now, you don’t have to depend on someone making it for you. With a few easy steps, you can make an authentic Greek-style frappe in your own home.

There are two types of Greek coffee.  One is hot, often quite strong and made in a delicate and intricate manner using a briki.  The frappe meanwhile is prepared with a shaker, served cold, with three degrees of sweetness, determined by the amount of sugar and coffee used. Follow this recipe:

  • Look at the size of your pinky finger.  Note the length of it.  Now take a cocktail mixer or hand shaker and fill it with cold water using that exact length. (You don’t want too much water in the shaker at the start)
  • Take desired amount of coffee and sugar and mix with water.
  • Shake the mixer or shaker for about 45 seconds until you see a foamy top.
  • Empty contents into a desired glass (usually, standard drinking glass).
  • Add more water (about 1/3 of a cup).
  • Add about 1/3 cup of Milk.
  • Add ice cubes; they keep the beverage around them cold (obviously) but when mixed with the warmer water on the bottom of the glass, produce a consistent coolness.
  • Use a drinking straw to mix the foam with the ice cubes and coffee. To many, the sound of the straw moving around and mixing all of the ingredients is what truly creates an authentic frappe drinking experience.  And again, using the straw maintains the consistent texture and flavour of the drink.

As far as varying degrees of sweetness is concerned, take a look below and determine which one suits you best:

  • Sweet (2 tsp coffee and 4 tsp sugar and often mixed with milk)
  • Medium (equivalent to a double-double)
  • Straight (no sugar)

Frankly, I love sitting on a patio and people watching while drinking a frappe on a hot day. But of course, everyone enjoys it  their own way.

Ask yourself, why do Greeks love the frappe so much?  Why is so much time and money devoted to it on a daily basis?  Life is meant to be appreciated, absorbed and analyzed using the art of passionate conversation. A frappe forces one to slow down once in a while and smell the coffee, sorta-speak. But most of all, it unites people, inspires those passionate talks.

In every sense, it’s a way of life!

Photo credit: greece. greekreporter. com 

Jim Bamboulis
Jim Bamboulis has held several posts over the past 12 years, including National Sportscaster, Food Host and Writer, Talk Show Host, Olympic Researcher and Travel Film-maker.

Born and raised in Toronto, Jim learned early on that the combination of travel and food meant ultimate living. Combining his insatiable creative spirit and desire to document his travels, Jim took his unshakable travel bug and set off to explore. Add the fact that Jim also grew up in a Greek household and he learned that not only does Mom always make the best meals, but as importantly learned the importance of understanding and appreciating the countless beautiful cultures and the integral role food plays in every corner of the World.

In August 2009, Jim founded Travel Mammal, a site that brings together his travels and experiences (both good and terrifying) with the hope that others are inspired to share their own. We are all storytellers, especially when it comes to travel and food. He urges everyone to be inspired, explore and love the world and the people that share it with us. Or in other words, Live to Travel and travel to live!
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