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When we speak about Greek coffee, we clearly don’t refer to the product itself, which is mostly imported from Brazil, but to the way it is prepared. The Greeks drink coffee in two ways. The former, which is more traditional way, dates back to old times and is characterized by the way the grains are compressed and roasted. It’s just that kind of compression which gives a special taste to the Greek coffee, and its technique is secret jealously guarded by the professionals of this sector. The latter, and more recent kind of Greek coffee, is served with ice and made from a special type of coffee which is sold powdered or in small grains. This kind of coffee is served in summer and has started spreading all over Europe and in the American continent. It is called “frappe”, a name invented in Greece by some French tourists. Coffee time is, without exaggeration, a holy moment for all the Greeks. The Greek coffee is easy to prepare. First of all, you have to measure the cups of water needed in the “briki” (traditional little pan): one for each cup of coffee to be served. It’s advisable not to do more than three or four little cups each time. The Greek coffee may be served in four different ways: “sketos” (without sugar, strong and bitter), “metrios” (one teaspoonful sugar); “glykys” (sweet but boiled more than one time, so that it loses most of its froth). According to the kind of coffee you like, measure and add the coffee in the “briki” (one teaspoonful coffee for each cup and the sugar). For a “metrios” coffee, the best proportion is adding the same quantity of sugar and coffee. Now the “briki” has to be placed on a slow flame and mixed until the coffee is diluted in the water. It is important to hold the “briki” with its handle all the time, since the coffee boils so fast that it might spill everywhere. Look at it while boiling and forming a thick froth: Don’t panic and wait until it has reached the rim of the “Briki”. Then, take it away from the fire. Once the coffee is ready, leave it to settle for one minute, so that the powders of the coffee are gathered in the lower part of the “briki”. Pour a small quantity of coffee into each, so that the froth is equally distributed, then fill in the cups till the rim. The Greek coffee must never be mixed and should be drunk slowly. To be served with a glass of fresh water.

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The origins of coffee date back to 1100 B.C. in the Arabian peninsula, where coffee-plants were first grown. At first, coffee was boiled and toasted by the Arabs, who used to make the “qhawa”, a drink directly made from plants. In 1475, the first coffee shop in the world was open by the Greeks soon after the occupation of the former capital of the Byzantine Empire – Constantinople – by the Turks. In Constantinople, as well – several coffee houses were open. In about 1600, coffee came into central Europe, through the port of Venice. But the crucial time in the history of coffee was when it was introduced into the New World. That happened in 1607. Since then and until these days, coffee has been turned into the most popular drink in the world. More than 400 billions cups are consumed every year in the different parts of the world. The most important producer of coffee is Brazil.
The greek coffee
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