No it’s nothing like a Starbucks frappuccino.
A Greek frappe is a frothy, ice cold coffee made with instant coffee, or typically Nescafe.
It’s a staple in Greece and Cyprus; anywhere you go you can order a frappe, every household has a frappe machine, we live and breathe frappe. What with our summers being 5/6 months long and temperatures around 35ºC a hot coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Except my mum, she’ll drink piping hot coffee in 40 degree heat under the scorching sun any day.
How did it come about?
Funny thing, the frappe was actually invented by accident. We owe this wonderful creation to a Greek man named Dimitris Vakondios a Nescafe representative. The frappe was born in 1957, when Dimitris was at an exhibition promoting a children’s iced chocolate drink. During his break he wanted to make a Nescafe but couldn’t find any hot water so he improvised by shaking the instant coffee with ice and water creating the frappe that has held a place in every Greek person’s heart ever since. 💙
So how do you make it?
Making frappe is fairly simple, but that doesn’t mean everyone can make a good frappe. 😉
What You’ll Need
- Instant coffee (Nescafe recommended)
- Cold Water
- Lots of ice
- Milk (optional)
- Sugar (optional)
- A tall glass
- A straw (reusable preferably, even though nearly all the pics here are with plastic straws 😔)
Now the main thing you’ll need is a frappe mixer. You can get handheld ones, battery operated ones or fancy standing ones. A standing one looks like this:
However, the only place I’ve seen these sold is in Cyprus or Greece. So if you don’t have one you can use a cocktail shaker or jar and froth it up by hand.
- Place however much coffee you like in your glass, or jar/cocktail shaker ( I put a bit more than usual for a frappe, about 1 1/2 teaspoons). If you take sugar in your coffee, then add that too.
- Then put very little water in, no more than a finger. If you put too much then you’ll have too much froth and no space for anything else!
- Take your frappe mixer and froth away. Or if you’re using a shaker just keep shaking (this will take a while, but hey it’s a great arm workout!) Basically you want a nice thick froth, thick enough so that if you turn your glass briefly upside down it won’t spill!
- Next is the ice, add a few ice cubes, for a big glass I add about 5, I like mine icy cold!
- Now you can either top up the rest with water, milk or half milk, half water, depends how you like your coffee!
- Add a straw (You can’t really drink it without one because of the froth) And voila! You have your very own frappe!
If you do decide to try and make a frappe, I’d love to see! Tag me on instagram @coffee_travel_repeat 😊
Also, if case you’re more of a visual person, here’s a short video of me making a frappe!
A frappe is best enjoyed slowly. That’s part of Greek culture, life may be moving pretty fast but there’s always time to stop and enjoy a coffee without rushing. Basically the longer your frappe sits the stronger it gets as the coffee seeps out of the foam, so keep stirring as you drink! It’s the perfect drink if you like to take your time as it’s already cold!
How to order a frappe
If you’re visiting Greece or Cyprus and love coffee then you have to try a frappe! So I will give you a brief Greek lesson on how to order one, because yes there’s specific lingo for ordering coffee in Greek! You’ll start with:
Ena frappe, parakalo(One frappe, please)
They’ll then ask how you would like you’re frappe:
Sketo – no sugar
Metrio – medium sugar
Gliko – sweet
Olo gala – all milk
Miso miso – half milk, half water
Ligo gala – little bit of milk
Mavro – black, no milk
For example, I drink my frappe with no sugar or milk so I would say:
Ena frappe, parakalo. Sketo, mavro.
If you want one teaspoon of sugar and half milk you’ll say:
Ena frappe, parakalo. Metrio, miso miso.
And so on!
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