How to make authentic Greek coffee

Greek coffee is basically the same type of coffee as Turkish coffee. It is an integral part of Greek culture and is found everywhere in Greece. Greek coffee is a strongly brewed coffee and requires a specific style of coffee pot, called a briki, and a fine grind of coffee beans. It, also, requires a specific amount of coffee foam, which adds a unique taste to it. This foam is called kaïmaki (καϊμάκι), pronounced kaee-MAH-kee. Greek coffee is served with foam on the top and the grounds in the bottom of the cup.

Ingredients For Greek Coffee

Special Equipment

• Heat source, ideally gas
• Small coffee pot called briki
• Espresso cup or Greek coffee cup

Coffee Variations

While brewing, sugar can be added to the coffee directly and the amount added creates the four main styles of nektar coffee:

• Unsweetened coffee:

Add 1 heaped teaspoon of coffee to the briki and no sugar. In Greek, this is called sketos, written σκέτος and pronounced SKEH-tohss.

• Medium-sweet coffee:
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 heaped teaspoon of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called metrios, written μέτριος and pronounced MEHT-ree-ohss.

• Sweet coffee:
Add 1 heaped teaspoon of coffee and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called glykos or γλυκός and pronounced ghlee-KOHSS.

Extra-strong sweet coffee:
Add 2 heaped teaspoons of coffee and 3 teaspoons of sugar to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called vary glykos (βαρύ γλυκός), pronounced vah-REE ghlee-KOHSS.

Let the foam rise

Turn on the heat to medium low, until the sugar dissolves. Stir the coffee and then do not stir again. Heat slowly. The foam, kaïmaki (καϊμάκι), will start to rise in the briki before it boils. The richer the foam, the tastier the coffee.

Share the foam, then pour

The foam rises to the top of the briki very quickly once it starts. When it reaches the top, remove from the heat and it is ready to serve. Evenly divide the foam among all the cups, taking care not to disturb the foam.

Serve and Sip

Serve coffee piping hot with a glass of cold water for each person. Greek coffee is all about enjoying life and the company you are with over a good long chat. Try having some Greek biscuits or handmade baklava with it for the full Greek coffee experience! This coffee is sipped, often loudly and quite slowly.


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