What is a frappé coffee?
Frappé coffee (from the Greek φραπέ, frapé) is an iced coffee covered in foam made from… instant coffee.
Frappé coffee is a coffee with a known origin, and its traditional way of preparation is also well known. Still, like all successful coffees in the world, it has been diversifying and adapting to the tastes of the different areas where it has settled.
If we fancy fresh, light drinks to drink at home, with friends or family, or on an outdoor patio, frappe coffees are an excellent option.
How did the frappé come about?
Frappé was first created in 1957, but accidentally.
The story goes that Dimitris Vakondios, a Nestlé employee at the time, attended an international trade fair in Greece.
Dimitris presented his latest product: an instant cocoa drink made in a shaker cup.
Dimitris wanted to make himself a coffee before his presentation but could not find a way to heat the water.
Then he came up with a great idea.
Mix coffee with cold water in his blender glass to dilute his coffee, creating a frothy drink similar to a milkshake.
Suppose you want to go for the more original version. In that case, you will have to drink instant coffee, although many, like me, prefer espresso coffees or those made in a Moka pot for their preparation.
This coffee is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the world, especially in summer, as it is a cold coffee in the form of a milkshake that is attractive and very tasty.
In Greece, frappé is a cold coffee drink made and served in a special way, which makes it one of the most typical drinks to drink on the street, especially in big cities.
How do you drink frappé coffee?
While cold coffees are usually drunk with a couple of whole ice cubes, frappé coffee is drunk with crushed ice, which makes it a very tasty drink when the temperature rises and you feel like cold coffee.
Frappés are served in very large glasses and jars (for indoor drinking) and large airtight glasses for drinking on the street.
And although it is a refreshing cold drink typical of summer, it is also very common in any season of the year.
How did frappé coffee become widespread?
We already know the story of Dimitrios Vakondios, the person who obtained the first frappé in history.
The coffee assumed its official name (Frappé) and became the national coffee drink of modern Greece around 1979. Although the word frappé comes from a French word meaning “shaken”, the Greek invention has nothing in common with the French frappés that do not even have coffee.
Greek frappé is available in three degrees of sweetness, determined by the amount of sugar used:
- Glykós (sweet – two teaspoons of coffee and four teaspoons of sugar).
- Métrios (medium – two teaspoons of coffee and two teaspoons of sugar).
- Skétos (low – two teaspoons of coffee and no sugar).
All varieties can be served with regular or evaporated milk, called “frapogalo” (frappé-milk).
Sometimes frappé is served without water, and milk is used instead; this variation is most commonly found in Cyprus.
Sometimes, liqueurs are used to make new variations, such as chocolate milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of milk.
Frappé coffee outside of Greece diversified with numerous variations depending on local adaptations of the coffee.
In much the same way as it is consumed in Greece, frappé coffee is also consumed in Cyprus, where Greek Cypriots have adopted it into their culture, in North Macedonia, Albania, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, regions of Turkey, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania.
Café frapé: How to prepare it?
It’s very easy to prepare and can be made in many different ways, so it’s easy to find one to suit your taste.
Ingredients for frappé coffee
- Regular or decaffeinated instant coffee: two teaspoons (you can substitute espresso or Italian coffee without any problem)
- Sugar or equivalent sweetener to taste, you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like your coffee or even no sugar at all.
- 200 ml of crushed ice (if you don’t have crushed ice, you can try 100 ml of very cold water and 100 ml of ice cubes).
Preparation of the frappé
- Pour the instant coffee (or cold brewed coffee), cold water, ice cubes, or crushed ice into a shaker and shake vigorously. As you know, if you want something, it costs you something.
- Shake vigorously for one or two minutes until you notice that the sound of liquid inside the shaker stops.
- Open the shaker carefully, and serve immediately because the foam tends to overflow.
- We can use a straw and, if we want to give it a refreshing touch, add a slice of lemon.
If you don’t have a shaker handy, you can prepare this coffee by pouring the ingredients into any jar with a tightly closing lid and shaking thoroughly.
However, whether you use a shaker or a jar, you must be careful that when pouring the ingredients, there is enough space for the foam to develop, which can double the initial volume introduced into the shaker.
I have already mentioned that a very interesting option is to change the instant coffee for a good espresso coffee or even a coffee made in an Italian coffee machine, substituting these three types of coffee in the instant coffee shaker.
In fact, to a greater extent, I recommend any of the latter two options, and you can whisk as if there were no tomorrow to get your wonderful coffee.
As you can see, there is no shortage of options to personalize your coffee and enjoy this delicious coffee for this summer.