Monday, December 29, 2014

Greek Coffee [How To]

Growing up Monday afternoons meant Greek School at church.  If I'm completely honest, it was not my favorite part of the week, but I can vividly picture all the moms sipping little cups of Greek coffee and working on their needle work when we came out for recess.  If we were really, really good Sweet Petrula would read our fortunes in the grounds.  To this day, I can't make Greek coffee without remembering.

Last year Dr. Oz reported on the cardiovascular benefits of drinking Greek coffee.  A study was performed on the island of Ikaria, which has one of the highest percentages of people living well into their 90s and even centenarians.  It's been determined that one cup of this joe has a high level of antioxidants and polyphenols.  Read here to learn more about the coffee's benefits.

We always had a briki (the little pot in which to make the coffee -- wider on the bottom and tapering at the top) at my childhood home, but for Christmas I received one of my own....and I'm tickled pink about it!!

How to Make Greek Coffee
  • Greek coffee*
  • briki (find one for yourself here)
  • sugar, if desired
  • water
  • demitasse (2-3 oz coffee cup)

*I purchase Greek coffee at the local International Market, in Greek Town in Chicago, or from Amazon.  Locally, Trader Joes and Fresh Thyme also offer "Turkish Ground" on their coffee grinders.

  • Measure out cold water for each cup of coffee you are making.  Add to briki. 
  • Add 1-2 tsp. of coffee for each cup of water.  (For unsweetened coffee (sketos) do not add any sugar.  For medium sweet coffee (metrios) add one tsp sugar for each cup.  For sweet coffee (glykos) add 2 tsp of sugar.  For extra strong and sweet coffee (vary glykos) add 2 tsp of coffee and 3 tsp of sugar for each cup.)
  • Heat briki and coffee over medium low flame and stir just at bit to dissolve coffee and sugar.  Once dissolved do not stir again.

  • Heat slowly and watch carefully.  Foam will begin to rise just before the coffee boils. Once it rises remove from heat and tap briki slightly on counter.
  • Return to heat and repeat 2 more times.
  • Divide among cups.  Be sure to add a bit to each cup, then go back and fill so as to equally distribute the kaimaki (foam).  [Lots of bubbles means lots of money!]

  • Allow coffee to rest in cups for a few minutes to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom.  Be careful not to drink them :).
Greek coffee is traditionally served with a glass of very cold water and is especially delicious with paximadia.  I have a slight confession....I like mine best served a little less than a double with a little bit of milk and always metrios.

Happy Greek Mornings!

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