Greek frappé coffee

Greek frappé coffee

Greek frappé (Café frappé)(Greek:φραπές) 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.

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 International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki [1957 [ International Trade Fair] in Thessaloniki)] . 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.

In 2006 food critic Daniel Young teamed up with his wife, editor Vivian Constantinopoulos, to write Frappé Nation, the coffee-table book about the history and culture of Greek frappé.

Frothy Top

The spray-dried instant coffee contains nearly no oil, just tiny particles (coffee solids), some molecules responsible for flavor and taste, and of course caffeine. When dissolved, spray-dried coffee forms a simpler and more stable colloid relative to traditionally brewed coffee. This enables creation of the characteristic thick frothy layer at the top of the coffee. This layer appears similar to créma, the foam found in espresso, but is much thicker and the composition is different. It can be characterized mainly as a three phase colloid where tiny bubbles are held together by the coffee solids.

The absence of oil (or the significantly lower oil content compared to traditionally brewed coffee) makes the system more stable and the bubbles do not collapse with the same ease as in créma. Soon after the foam is created a process of thickening taking place, where water molecules are constantly pushed out of the frothy mixture. The bubbles come very close together and the foam almost solidifies. This process can take somewhere between 2 to 10 minutes depends strongly on the agitation process during mixing. When almost all the water is pushed out the bubbles have came so close that will slowly start to coalescence and create bigger bubbles.

At this point the presence of oil (a hydrophobic agent) can significantly accelerate the collapsing process, resulting the creation of a lighter foam with average bubble diameter larger than 4 mm. This is the reason it is not possible to make a good frappé in many countries, unless one can find spray-dried coffee (which actually is less expensive). The utilization of a hand mixer makes possible the creation of finer bubbles which increases the time that the foam can last. The best frappé coffees are often held to be those with the smallest bubbles and a thickness of about 1.5 to 2 inches (30 to 50 mm) of foam.

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 IPA| [me ˈɣala] ), in which case they may be called φραπόγαλο "frapógalo" (IPA| [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.

An iced-coffee called espresso freddo (or cappuccino freddo) has also emerged. The difference from frappé in preparation is that it consists of an espresso lungo shaken in a glass full of crushed ice cubes. Capuccino freddo is served with a topping of milk in a form of a dense froth. Cocoa or cinnamon powder is optionally dusted on the foam, to resemble real cappuccino. Its preparation is sometimes confused with the iced café latte (espresso in iced cold milk but without shaking) that is consumed in the rest of Europe.

Frappé outside Greece

Frappé is also consumed in Cyprus, where the Greek Cypriots adopted the frappé into their culture, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Poland and Romania. In recent years Balkan immigrants in Greece have taken frappé to their homelands, where it has been adopted with some differences. In Bulgaria, Coca-cola is sometimes used instead of water (possibly the inspiration for Coca-Cola Blāk), in Denmark, cold milk is often used instead of tap water, and in Serbia, ice-cream is added.

Starbucks markets a line of drinks under the name "Frappuccino."

In France a frappé is a milkshake beverage produced by mixing milk or fruit juices in a shaker without coffee. In New England, a frappe (there pronounced /fræp/) contains ice cream, and is the equivalent of the American milkshake. In Ireland a frappe is composed of freshly ground coffee, ice, milk and sometimes ice-cream or coffee flavouring such as vanilla or caramel.

External links and articles

* [ Greece enjoys 50-year love affair with the frappe]
* [ Official site of Frappé Nation book, blog and forum]



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