|Greek Coffee: How to prepare one|
Greek coffee has a long history back at the Ottoman empire. Actually is the same coffee preparation as the Turkish, Armenian, Libanese and many other coffee preparations that have their roots at those times. It is proven that it is a much more lighter coffee than espresso or instant coffee and that's why we usually drink more than 3 or 4 per day. In the following paragraphs I ll try to show you how to prepare your Greek coffee as I am a huge fan of this type of coffee. Even if in our times most of the young people prefer either instant coffee or espresso I continue to prepare my Greek coffee the way my mother taught me more than 20 years ago. I have to admit that my mother makes it better than me but experience is something you can't buy or learn.
Let's start with the basics. First, we need a small copper pot like the one shown at the picture with an aluminum or wooden handle. The size of the pot is proportional to the cup we use and it has to be just a little bigger than the cup otherwise the foam wont be think enough. The second very important thing is the fire. We need either the embers of a fire or a low heat so the water doesn't come to boil fast. In modern houses we use gas. Don't use electric heat as it will take ages to make a coffee and the result wont be satisfactory at the end of the day. Finally we need a very fined grinned coffee. Please note that the Greek coffee is made from any type of coffee beans but they have to be very fined grinned so they become like a smooth powder. Actually the Greek coffee is nothing more than the preparation and not a coffee made from special beans. So now we have everything we need to prepare our coffee. Maybe we also use sugar depending on how sweet we like our coffee. Be cautious though that Greek coffee is not so bitter like espresso and you only need half the sugar quantity to make it equally sweet.
We start the fire and we put the pot on it filling it with a cup of water, actually a bit less than a filled cup. We use demitasse for the Greek coffee and not a full sized cup. Now we have our pot on the fire and we put the sugar and the coffee in it. We don't wait to boil but we put them from the start. We want to get all the flavor from the coffee as it boils. The first secret I share with you is the quantity of the coffee we put. If you want your friends to be happy and ask you for a coffee every time they visit you, don't stint on coffee. One of the most important things in the Greek coffee is the foam or as we call it in Greece, kaimaki (cream) and we can't make a good one without enough coffee quantity. Then we just stir a bit to make our mixture homogenous and we wait. During the preparation we don't stir. You will probably read or listen other people say otherwise, to stir all the time etc. You can try it and then decide that I am right :-) . There is only one exception to this rule, we stir again the mixture one second before it boils. You will see that the coffee starts to rise. Then we have to stir a bit to create a blonde cream. Don't let the mixture rises till the edge of the pot just take it from the fire and pour the coffee in your demitasse slowly and rising the pot a bit.
You can now enjoy your Greek coffee reading your newspaper as I plan to do shortly.
There are many different variations depending on how you like your coffee. In Greece, an experienced coffee shop owner knows how to prepare all these different variations according to the customers' orders. These variations have to do with the amount of coffee, sugar and the time you withdraw the pot from the fire as well as the number of bubbles on the coffee surface. I' ll prepare a different article about the different variations and their interesting names in the near future. I hope you enjoy you Greek coffee.