If you’ve been to Cyprus, you have noticed locals hanging out at traditional Coffee Shops and enjoying a cup of Cyprus coffee. From senior residents to young students, coffee in Cyprus is more of a lifestyle than just a ‘wake up’ drink.
Let’s go through one of Cyprus’s ever-present and delicious traditions, the cult of coffee.
So, when did it all begin?
As far as coffee goes, Europeans didn’t get to enjoy coffee until the 17th century. When the beverage became popularly known. In Cyprus, drinking coffee began at the time of the island’s origins.
Today locals and urban citizens alike, drink coffee on every chance they get. Enjoyed at local coffee shops or Kafeneia, the rustic tavern regulars meet up at these places to discuss anything and everything with friends and neighbors. It’s a ritual when planning a tightly scheduled lunch or dinner, or simply to have a drink of coffee. People who live in the cities and urban areas enjoy the same privileges at the multitude of chain stores situated on the island.
In order to properly partake in this essential ritual, you must first understand what you are drinking exactly. Let’s dive into the two most popular coffee drinks the island offers.
Traditionally very strong and so enjoyed with a cold glass of cold water. Cyprus coffee varies in the intensity of the strength, as well as in the degree of sweetness that accompanies this strength. The 3 levels of sweetness are categorized as sketo (no sugar/sweeteners), metrio (medium or moderate amount of sweetness), and glyko (very sweet).
The cost of the coffee depends on the location at which you choose to drink it, with prices varying from 1 euro to 5 euros. Worth mentioning, only until recently, only men were allowed to enter the traditional Kafeneia.
In Cyprus, there are many different varieties of coffee, sold in small paper bags and in bulk. The Cypriots prefer finely ground coffee, containing no spices, except for cardamon. The recipe for Cypriot coffee is fairly simple, but to cook it at home, you must buy specific pots (similar to the Turkish ones), designed for 1-7 cups of coffee. It is through these pots that you can create the most memorable thick foam that covers the thick coffee.
Moving on, another popular type of coffee is Cyprus’s coffee polar opposite. In the sense that it is served cold (usually enjoyed during the summertime). The similarity is that it comes with the same varying degrees of sweetness for you to choose from (sketo, metrio, and gliko).
Traditionally, the drink originates from Greece. Its story of origin is purely coincidental, as with most great discoveries. In the late ’50s, during the international exhibition in Thessaloniki, a worldwide colossal company introduced its new product – a chocolate drink with milk, which had to be shaken. Dimitris Vakondios, a company representative, was a big fan of instant coffee. As usual, during the break, he decided to have a cup of coffee. Not having access to hot water, Vakondios made coffee with cold water instead. Whisking all the ingredients in a shaker, the frappe was born, quickly gaining popularity among Greeks and Cypriots!
Next time you are staying at Louis Hotels you can ask for a Cyprus Coffee or a Frappe. Cheers!