Greek-Style Frappe

Greek-Style Frappe Recipe

For the Greek who lives by this sensationally frothy iced coffee frappe and the non-Greek initiate who swears by it, the way they drink their frappe—one, two, or more teaspoons (level, rounded, or heaping) of coffee; with milk or black; unsweetened, medium-sweet, or super-sugary—is a matter of personal expression. Setting down specific quantities for its preparation therefore contradicts the frappe spirit. The amounts suggested below are best used only as a departure point; adjustments should then be made according to personal taste and mood.–Daniel Young

Greek-Style Frappe Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 1 serving


  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated or regular milk


  • 1. Place the coffee, sugar, and 2 tablespoons cold water in a shaker, jar, blender, or drink mixer. Cover and shake well for 30 seconds, or, if using a blender, drink mixer, or handheld frother, mix for 15 seconds to produce a thick, light-brown foam.
  • 2. Place a few ice cubes in a tall glass. Slowly pour the coffee foam into the glass. Fill the glass with water, adding milk if desired. Serve the frappe immediately with a thin, flexible straw and glass of cold water on the side.
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  1. To get a Greek-style frappe you have to use Greek (or European) Nescafé, which is stronger than regular American instant, especially if you use milk, and most Greeks do. The sugar is more optional. Also, to avoid ending up with a lukewarm, gritty drink, use a blender and crushed ice. Best one I had, bar none, wasn’t in Greece but years ago at the “White Tower” pastry shop in Astoria. They used a milkshake machine to produce a frothy, icy masterpiece. Not really traditional, but better than most real Greek renditions. I’ve suffered through many.

    1. You’re right, Calli, Greek Nescafé is stronger in taste than its American counterpart. And assertions by Greeks that their Nescafé is special are justified. Nescafé varies its blends and roasts according to regional preference. Whereas a German drinker might find the Greek version of Nescafé too harsh or not very aromatic, the Greek might find the German version to be watery and mild.

      But though you might need Greek Nescafé for the true Greek frappe taste, you can achieve the authentic frappe effect with Mexican Nescafé (which you can sometimes find in American supermarkets) or almost any other North American air-dried instant coffee.

      Finally, I agree, a Hamilton Beach-style milkshake mixer will make the thickest, creamiest frappe foam. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to crushed ice, as you may end up adding too much water to the coffee powder. Better, as always, to pour the foam over ice cubes and then fill the glass with water and milk.

      See my frappe how-to video at

      1. Also, the actual coffee is usually spray-dried instead of freeze-dried which results in less oil leading to thicker bubbles.

  2. I tried to make it with my Ninja Bullet and with a Kitchenaid hand blender and it would not thicken/ froth….Any suggestions….I just got back from Greece and am having withdrawals.

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