Thursday, 14 May 2009

Café frappé, the national coffee of Greece

Greek frappé (Café frappé) (Greek: φραπές, frapés) is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from spray-dried instant coffee. It is very popular in Greece especially during summer, but has now spread on to other countries. It is the basis for the North America "Iced Cappucino" as well as the Anglo-European "Float" and the European "Frappuccino".
In French, when describing a drink, the word frappé means shaken and/or chilled; however, in popular Greek culture, the word frappé is predominantly taken to refer to the shaking associated with the preparation of a café frappé


Frappé dates back to the 1957 International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki[1]. The representative of the Nestlé company, Yannis Dritsas, was exhibiting a new product for children, a chocolate beverage produced instantly by mixing it with milk and shaking it in a shaker. Dritsas' employee Dimitris Vakondios was looking for a way to have his usual instant coffee during his break but he could not find any hot water, so he mixed the coffee with cold water and a shaker.

This improvised experiment established this popular Greek beverage. Frappé has been marketed chiefly by Nestlé and has amazingly been the most popular drink in Greece. More recently, Kraft, under the Jacobs label, have launched their own brand of frappé. Frappé has been called the national coffee of Greece, and is available at virtually all cafes, where it is typically served with a glass of water.

Frappé variations

Frappé are available in three degrees of sweetness, determined by the amount of sugar and coffee used. These include: glykós (γλυκός, pronounced [ɣliˈkos], "sweet", 2 teaspoons of coffee and 4 teaspoons of sugar); métrios (μέτριος, "medium", 2 teaspoons of coffee and 2 teaspoons of sugar); and a skétos (σκέτος, "plain", 2 teaspoons of coffee and no sugar). All varieties may be served with evaporated milk (με γάλα [me ˈɣala]), in which case they may be called φραπόγαλο frapógalo ([fraˈpoɣalo], "frappé-milk"), or without.

Kahlua or other liqueurs are sometimes used for additional variation, as well as chocolate milk. Many restaurants add a ball of vanila ice-cream into their frappe instead of milk. Though not technically "frappé" (since they are not shaken), some variations are stirred with a spoon, creating a slightly different texture and, according to some, taste.

Do you want to taste real Greek café frappe? Go to, book you hotel and order a café frappe in the closest bar or restaurant. Enjoy!

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