Cyprus' Traditions: The Cult Of Coffee | Cyprus Inform
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Cyprus’ traditions: the cult of coffee

Cyprus coffee

Wherever you go in Cyprus – to the smallest shop, office, and even more so in the taverns or cafes – you will definitely be offered a cup of coffee. In fact, this is a kind of a welcoming ritual.

You are offered to lay back and relax, because there is absolutely no place to hurry to: time flows slowly on the island; the pace here is completely different from what you know. And everywhere, even in small villages, you will meet Cypriots sipping strong coffee and drinking it with water.

Coffee shops in Cyprus

a traditional coffee shop in CyprusCypiots drink coffee in the morning, inthe afternoon and in the evening. The village residents usually go to the so-called coffee shop or kafenion, which is a small cafe of one, two or a few more tables. Such places are often formed directly from any store.

The rustic tavern regulars go there when planning a tight lunch or dinner, or just have a cup of coffee at any time; it’s a ritual, during which you will not only enjoy a drink, but also chat with friends and neighbors.

Urban residents usually go to large coffee shops, the most popular of which are the chain-stores on the island, such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee.

During lunch, let alone a weekend, they are filled with locals, discussing things and events over a cup of hot drink. However, you experience the true sensation of a traditional Cypriot coffee only in small establishments.

 

coffee varietiesCyprus coffeecoffee beans and cinammon sticks

In order to partake in the ritual of coffee-drinking, you must sit comfortably and relax, so the Cypriots use the so-called ritual of three chairs. For this you need to take three chairs: the first is designed for sitting, the second chair is placed opposite of you so that you put your feet in the case of fatigue, and the third, to support the cup of coffee. Have you sat down? Are you in this relaxing position? Well, you can now call the waiter.

Cyprus coffee

Cyprus coffeeCyprus coffee is traditionally very strong, so it is served with a glass of cold still water. It varies according to the degree of the strenghtness of the coffee and in the degree of sweetness: Sketo (without sugar), metrio (medium sweet) and gliko (sweet).

The cost of coffee varies depending on the location and ranges from 1 euro in the village coffee shops to 4 euros in hotels and restaurants.

Worth mentioning is the fact that, until recently, entrance to the traditional kafenion was allowed only to men, and only in 2003 (only 11 years ago) the first women’s coffee shop opened in Cyprus, where males are not recommended to go. Here ladies can discuss the latest news, play backgammon and, of course, have a cup of coffee.

In Cyprus, there are many different varieties of coffee, sold it in small paper bags and in bulk. The Cypriots prefer finely ground coffee, containing no spices, except for cardamon.

Imagine a hot afternoon, after spending the morning sunbathing, the hot breeze still persistent and there is still much to do, so you must find the strength to go for a walk by the sea and later on for an evening meal and dancing! That is why you must go to the coffee shop and rejuvenate with the help of coffee, cooked in the original recipe.

The recipe of Cypriot coffee is fairly simple, but to cook it at home, you must buy the 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.

 

Cyprus coffeeCyprus coffee

You need to pour 150-200 ml of water in the pot (depending on size), bring the water to a boil, then add to the boiling water 2 teaspoons of ground coffee and begin stirring vigorously. Gradually a lush coffee foam isformed. Then it is brought to a boil again and poured into the cup. If sugar is added to the coffee, it is done during the cooking process along with the coffee.

Frappe

ФраппеAnother popular type of coffee beverage in Cyprus is te  frappe.

The tradition of the drink originates from Greece. As with many other discoveries, it appeared completely random. In the late 50’s , during the international exhibition in Thessaloniki, Nestle introduced its new product – a chocolate drink with milk, which had to be shaken.

One of the company representatives, Dimitris Vakondios, was a big fan of instant coffee. As usual, during the break, he decided to have a cup of coffee, but hot water was not at hand, so then Vakondios made coffee with cold water, whisking all the ingredients in a shaker.

And there was the  frappe, which quickly gained popularity among Greeks and Cypriots!

Cypriots like regular coffee, frappe drinks without sugar, medium sweet and sweet. Someones even add milk. They drink it not only in the summer – frappe is popular all year round.

In fact, the word etymology is French and means “mixed, shaken up.” However, the French frappe – it is usually a cold cocktail with milk, ice cream, or a variety of fruits. The Greek frappe is rarely served with ice cream, but if you ask for it, it can be done.

The Greeks have altered the French word for themselves and called the drink ο φραπές { o frapes}, as well as ο καφές {o kafes}, making them both male nouns.

When visiting Cyprus, you are surely going to taste the famous Cypriot coffee. There is no doubt that the taste and flavor will remain in your memory for years to come.

Well, to remind yourselves of the island, you can purchase pots and a couple of bags of ground coffee as a souvenir and enjoy it at home in a warm and cozy atmosphere. It will be a wonderful reminder of your holiday on this small Mediterranean island.