Drink coffee like a Greek
Coffee is an integral part of the modern Greek culture and that’s something you will realize as soon as you set foot on the country: nearly everyone holds a paper cup of coffee and every city or town is filled with modern café-bars, traditional “kafeneio” and café -patisseries where locals sip their coffee for hours. More than 40.000 tons of coffee is consumed yearly in Greece, which translates into 5.5 kilos of coffee per person, putting Greece on the 17th place on the list of top coffee-consuming countries in the world.
Greeks just love to drink coffee. It’s a ritual that everyone repeats at least twice or even more times daily. These are the most popular coffee drinks you must try while in Rethymno this summer:
Ellinikos (Greek coffee)
Ellinikos or Greek coffee is similar to Turkish coffee. It’s made from Arabica coffee beans, ground to a fine powder and boiled (not brewed) in a small, yet tall pot called “briki”, over low heat. The contents of the briki are poured slowly into a small cup, therefore while drinking it you must be careful so as to avoid the sediment which is left on the bottom of the cup. You may order your Greek coffee “sketos” (no sugar added), “metrios” (one teaspoon of sugar for each teaspoon of ground coffee), or “glykos” if you need more sugar. Sip your coffee slowly, the Greek way with no rush; it’s not an espresso after all.
Frappé is a famous Greek invention and became the national coffee beverage of modern Greece. This iced coffee drink consumed with a straw used to have many devotees before losing ground to freddo espresso and other gourmet coffee drinks. It’s made from instant coffee, water, sugar, milk (optionally) and ice cubes, shaken in a cocktail shaker or blended with a hand mixer. The drink is foamy and refreshing, yet quite strong, so it’s not recommended for sensitive stomachs. As with Greek coffee, you may order it “sketo”(no sugar), “metrio” (same proportion of sugar and coffee), and “glyko” (sweet).
In the midst of the hot summer, it’s almost unthinkable for Greeks to drink hot coffee. That’s why they invented the successor of frappe, “freddo espresso” and of course “freddo cappuccino”.
Most Greeks wouldn’t even bother ordering a “freddo espresso”; by just saying “Freddo” the barista would know what they want. To prepare a freddo, the espresso brew is shaken with ice (and sugar to your preference). When served with cold foamed milk, then it is a freddo cappuccino.
Where to have a coffee in Rethymno:
Barrio The Neighbourhood café (1, Dimitrakaki str.)
Barrio serves quality and specialty coffee, brunch, sweets, snacks, and signature cocktails in a modern setting.
Living Room lounge café (5, El.Venizelou str.)
One of the most trendy places to be in Rethymno, situated on the town’s seaside avenue. There is a great variety of coffee drinks to choose from and they also serve breakfast and brunch.
Arokaria café (7, Salaminos str.)
Αrokaria is a traditional cafe with a laid-back atmosphere. They serve Greek coffee in the “briki” and delicious sweet pastries.
Bankery (2, Dimitrakaki str.)
A favourite local hangout situated in the city center, just across the Municipal garden of Rethymno. There is a wide selection of sweet pastries and pies to pair with your coffee.