Greetings from Crete: One Too Many Frappes

The coffee junkie that I am, I must confess that the frappes here in Crete kick ass. I am on my third one as we speak.

The drink goes like this: you take spray-dried instant coffee. Yeah, I know. You wonder how anything made out of Nescafe (aka “no es cafe”) can make a decent drink. Really though, it does. Except, you can’t use the Nescafe sold in the US because it is usually freeze-dried, which ruins the formula. Sorry.

In Greece, they have been drinking them way before Starbucks found a lucrative market for fluffy coffee drinks, specifically since 1957. That’s 50 caffeinated years! And I mean caffeinated. Some sources say, a frappe has four times the caffeine as an espresso.

Wikipedia has a great blow-by-blow chemical explanation of exactly what’s happening, but suffice to say, this stuff is an excellent summer drink.


2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon evaporated milk (optional)
Cold water

1. Place coffee, sugar, and 5 tablespoons of water in a drink mixer. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds to produce a thick, light-brown foam.

2. Place three ice cubes in a tall glass. Slowly pour the coffee foam into the glass. Add milk. Fill with cold water until the foam reaches the top of the glass.

3. Insert a thin, flexible straw (colored) and gently stir. Serve with an accompanying glass of cold water.

4. Drink in the company of old, tan men smoking cigarettes.