How to Make Greek Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide to Brewing the Perfect Cup

If you’re a coffee lover, you’re in for a treat! In this article, we will delve into the wonderful world of Greek coffee and show you how to make it right in the comfort of your kitchen. Greek coffee is not your average cup of joe; it’s a unique and delicious experience cherished for generations in Greece. So, grab your cezve (the traditional coffee pot) and explore the art of making Greek coffee.

The Origins and Cultural Significance of Greek Coffee

Before diving into the brewing process, let’s delve into Greek coffee’s origins and cultural importance. This style of coffee preparation is believed to have been introduced to Greece during the Ottoman Empire’s rule. It quickly became ingrained in Greek culture, serving as a symbol of hospitality and community. Today, it remains a beloved part of Greek daily life, often accompanied by lively conversation and traditional treats.

Greek coffee is more than just a caffeinated beverage; it’s a ritual. When visiting a Greek household, it’s customary to be offered a cup of coffee as a sign of warmth and hospitality. Brewing and sharing coffee is a time-honored tradition, and mastering the art of making it is a skill passed down through generations.

The Ingredients and Equipment

To make Greek coffee, you’ll need a few essential ingredients and equipment:

  • Coffee Beans: Start with high-quality coffee beans. A medium to dark roast with a robust flavor profile is ideal. You can choose Arabica, Robusta beans, or a Greek coffee blend for an authentic touch.
  • Cezve (Coffee Pot): The cezve is a small, long-handled pot for making Greek coffee. It’s an integral part of the process, allowing for precise control over the brewing.
  • Cold Water: Start with cold water, which plays a crucial role in brewing.
  • Sugar (Optional): While sugar is optional, it’s commonly added during brewing to sweeten the coffee.

Choosing the Right Coffee Beans

1. Coffee Bean Varieties

Two primary coffee bean types are commonly used: Arabica and Robusta. Each type has its unique characteristics and flavor profiles.

Arabica Beans

Arabica beans are known for their smooth, mild, and slightly acidic flavor. They often have a more delicate aroma and a lower caffeine content than Robusta beans. While Arabica beans are not traditionally used for Greek coffee, some enthusiasts prefer their subtler taste.

Robusta Beans

Robusta beans, on the other hand, are the preferred choice for traditional Greek coffee. They are known for their robust, bold flavor with earthy and slightly bitter notes. Robusta beans also produce a thicker crema (foam) on the coffee’s surface, a highly sought-after characteristic of Greek coffee.

2. Roast Level

The roast level of the coffee beans plays a crucial role in determining the flavor and aroma of your Greek coffee. For this style of coffee, a medium to dark roast is recommended. Here’s why:

Medium to Dark Roast

A medium to dark roast brings out the rich, full-bodied flavors that Greek coffee is known for. The extended roasting process caramelizes the sugars in the beans, imparting a deep, smoky flavor with hints of chocolate and nuttiness.

3. Freshness Matters

When it comes to Greek coffee, freshness is paramount. Using freshly roasted coffee beans to ensure the best possible flavor would be best. Coffee beans start to lose their freshness and aromatic qualities as soon as they are roasted, so it’s advisable to purchase whole beans and grind them just before brewing your Greek coffee.

4. Authentic Greek Coffee Blends

Those seeking an authentic Greek coffee experience may want to explore coffee blends labeled “Greek coffee” or “traditional Turkish coffee.” These blends are often crafted to meet the specific requirements of this brewing method, ensuring a delightful and culturally accurate experience.

Grinding Your Coffee

One of the secrets to perfect coffee is the fineness of the coffee grounds. You’ll want to grind the coffee to a powdery consistency, similar to flour. A burr grinder or a specialized Turkish coffee grinder will help you achieve the ideal texture.

Preparing the Coffee

1. Measuring the Ingredients

Coffee Grounds:

The first step in preparing Greek coffee is measuring the grounds. Typically, 1-2 teaspoons of finely ground coffee per 3 ounces (90 ml) of water. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preferences. Some people prefer a stronger coffee, while others prefer a milder flavor.


The next ingredient to measure is cold water. The water quality is essential, as it affects the overall taste of the coffee. Use fresh, cold, and preferably filtered water to ensure the best results. The water-to-coffee ratio is vital, so maintain the proportions to achieve the desired strength.

2. Optional: Adding Sugar


While sugar is optional, many people enjoy sweetened coffee. If you prefer your coffee with sugar, add it to the cezve along with the coffee grounds and water. The amount of sugar can vary depending on personal taste, but a common starting point is one teaspoon of sugar per 3 ounces of water. Adjust the sugar content according to your sweetness preferences.

3. Stirring the Mixture

Once you’ve combined the coffee grounds, water, and sugar (if used) in the cezve, it’s time to give the mixture a gentle stir. Stirring ensures that the coffee grounds are evenly distributed in the water and that the sugar dissolves thoroughly if added. Properly mixing the ingredients at this stage sets the foundation for a well-balanced flavor.

4. The Importance of Cold Water

One noteworthy aspect of coffee preparation is the use of cold water initially. Starting with cold water allows for the gradual extraction of flavors as the coffee heats up, contributing to developing the characteristic foam (“kaimaki”) on the coffee’s surface. This foam is a hallmark of well-prepared coffee and enhances the overall experience.

5. Customization and Experimentation

While there are traditional guidelines for preparing Greek coffee, the process is open to customization and experimentation. Coffee enthusiasts can adjust the coffee-to-water ratio and sugar levels to suit their preferences. Some may prefer a stronger, more intense brew, while others opt for a milder and sweeter flavor.

Brewing the Greek Coffee

  1. Place your cezve on the heat source.
  2. Add your coffee grounds and water to the cezve.
  3. Please give it a gentle stir to combine the coffee and water.
  4. Heat the mixture slowly over low to medium heat.
  5. As the coffee begins to heat up, keep a close eye on it. You’ll notice it forming a frothy layer on top.
  6. Just before it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat source. Be careful not to let it boil over.

The Foam Game

The hallmark of a perfect Greek coffee is the foam, known as “kaimaki.” Achieving a thick and creamy foam is an art in itself. To enhance the foam, you can use the following tips:

  1. Allow the coffee to heat slowly.
  2. Remove it from the heat just before it boils.
  3. Use cold water when starting.
  4. Wait to stir once the coffee is on the heat.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to make Greek coffee like a pro. This centuries-old tradition is not just about brewing a beverage; it’s about connecting with Greece’s rich history and culture. So, the next time you’re looking for a unique coffee experience, reach for your cezve, follow these steps, and savor the wonderful world of Greek coffee. With practice, you’ll master the art and share this delightful tradition with friends and family.

About the Author Leman Acosta