Ahh, fall is here, pumpkin spice and everything nice. What a perfect time for #NationalCoffeeDay! Starbucks a buzzing, Dunkin’s swarming perky, and our local roasters and coffeehouses are brimming with offerings of caffeinated delights! We can almost smell the brewed berries from here.
How do you draft your cup o Joe? Percolator, Drip, Single pod or Briki?
If you are Greek you are familiar with the Briki, or a small pot, which is used for a distinctive style of brewing- by way of cooking up and down, a certain number of times to taste, and is sweetened according to bitter, medium, sweet, or very sweet. The coffee is served in demitasse or espresso cups and is always served with a cold glass of water or Mastiqua.
Now, I must mention that coffee in Greece is a big deal, a huge deal! Events are crafted for or around the coffee. Everything starts with a cup of coffee. It is a whole culture, a tradition. The act of drinking coffee, serving and making coffee is an art.
Check out our friend Diane Kochilas, in this video, making a Greek Coffee.
Some say that there are 45 different ways to prepare Greek coffee, below are some of the ways it can be consumed:
- Plain pronounced Sketos: Only coffee and no sugar
- Strong pronounced Varis: 2-3 teaspoons of coffee with 1 teaspoon sugar
- Light pronounced Elafris: ½-1 teaspoon of coffee + 1 teaspoon sugar
- Sweet pronounced Glykos: 1 teaspoon coffee +2 teaspoons sugar
- Strong-Sweet pronounced Variglykos: 3 teaspoons coffee +3 teaspoons sugar
- Yes and No pronounced Ne ke Ohi: 1 teaspoon coffee + ½ teaspoon sugar
While this is a small coffee, it is not to be confused with the espresso, which is basically consumed quickly standing up. This coffee is consumed sitting down. To get the full flavor you should sip the coffee slowly.Once you start tasting the first grounds you are done. Do not try and drink the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup. Greeks make much better use of these mysterious flakes. Click here for the Art of Reading Coffee.
Coffee is a source of antioxidants, Greek coffee in particular contains much higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol, substances that appear to have ant-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition Greek style coffee has moderate caffeine levels. A few years ago, a similar Greek study about Greek coffee found that consumption of Greek coffee improved the elasticity of arteries in individuals with high blood pressure.
Cheers to the Briki and all the history, mystery and health it has to offer! OPA!