Coffee is a part of Greek culture and over the warmer months, Greeks are known for spending hours sipping on their iced coffee. Whether it’s for a morning pick me up, an afternoon coffee hit or just cruisy days on the beach, an iced coffee and Greek summer go hand in hand.
And although once upon a time the good old Frappé was the only iced coffee available, these days whether you are in Athens, Thessaloniki or on an Aegean island, you will also find a Freddo Cappucino and Freddo Espresso on the menu.
So if you are heading to Greece for the first time and wondering what the difference is, we give you the low-down right here!
The original iced coffee in Greece is a Frappé, which is made from instant coffee (Nescafe), water, sugar, and evaporated milk. Accidentally invented by a Nescafe representative named Dimitris Vakondios in 1957 in Thessaloniki, you can now find a frappé available all over Greece.
A Frappé is basically a coffee drink that is shaken and available in three degrees of sweetness, determined by the amount of sugar used. These are: glykós "sweet", which is 2 teaspoons of coffee and 4 teaspoons of sugar; métrios "medium", 2 teaspoons of coffee and 2 teaspoons of sugar; and skétos "plain", 2 teaspoons of coffee and no sugar.
All varieties may be served with evaporated milk or without. Also, sometimes, a frappé is served without any water and milk is used instead.
The latest craze in Greece's coffee scene is the Freddo, which is available as an espresso or cappuccino version. A Freddo Espresso is basically 1 shot of espresso poured hot into a metal canister. It’s then mixed with an electric blender, using a couple of ice cubes, and sugar is also added during the mixing process. The contrast in temperatures between the hot and cold is what creates the signature foam when mixed.
The Freddo Cappuccino is pretty much a Freddo Espresso with a lovely creamy foam layered on top, so if you prefer milk in your coffee, this one is for you! Its froth is created by putting some ice cubes in a glass and pouring enough evaporated milk to cover the ice cubes. Using a hand mixer or blender, it’s frothed up until it’s really light and fluffy.
It all comes down to personal taste, so we recommend you try all three and decide for yourself!