Every morning since I have arrived in Crete I start the day with Greek coffee and it's amazing! That's quite a compliment coming from Seattle, the birthplace of coffee in the U.S. (and Starbucks).
Why is Greek coffee so much better? Well, it's all in the preparation which creates a higher concentration of more protective compounds than your average cup of joe.
The Greeks boil their coffee rather than brew it. This method also creates a foam the Greeks call kaimaki, which adds a rich, creaminess to the coffee. The process of boiling coffee extracts much more nutrients from the coffee beans than the filtering method. But that's not all; they also used Arabica coffee beans which are ground to a very fine powder which also delivers a higher concentration of antioxidants per cup!
Could it be one of the secrets of the longevity of the locals? A recent study found that the elderly residents of the Greek island called Ikaria who drank the coffee at least once a day displayed better overall cardiovascular health.
Well, whatever it is, I'm taking this practice back home!
Make Your Own Greek Coffee
1. Grind freshly roasted coffee beans to a fine powder.
2. Fill 1 small coffee cup or demitasse cup with cold water
3. Add the cold water to a briki.
4. Put 1 teaspoon of the ground coffee beans into the briki.
5. (optional) Add your desired amount of sugar to the briki. An average cup of coffee has 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in it.
6. Use the measuring teaspoon to stir the coffee and sugar into the briki's water. Let the coffee sink to the bottom of the briki and dissolve the sugar into the water. Remove the teaspoon from the briki.
7. Place the briki over a gas burner.
8. Heat the briki on low until the water just starts to boil (an incomplete ring of foam should form on the coffee's surface).
9. Remove the briki from the heat before the foam ring closes. Pour the coffee into the cup and serve!