A Greek-style frappe is, for the uninitiated, a frothy iced coffee that’s made simply from coffee, milk, and sugar and easily customizable in terms of sweetness. A summer essential, no matter your heritage. Here’s how to make it.–David Leite

Greek-Style Frappe FAQs

What type of instant coffee should I use for making a Greek frappe?

If you can locate the Greek Nescafe (with the Greek writing on the can), it will make the most authentic-tasting frappe. Most Greek or international markets will carry it.

How is Greek frappe traditionally prepared?

When in Greece, you can order your iced coffee by sweetness level. Without sugar, it is called “sketo”, with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar, it is called “metrio”, and a “glykos” frappe will have 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar.

Two tall glasses filled with Greek-style frappe, with colorful straws standing up in them.

Greek-Style Frappe

4.86 / 14 votes
This Greek-style frappe, made with coffee, sugar, water, and milk, is a summer staple. Cool, refreshing, and completely customizable. Here’s how to make it. No blender required.
David Leite
Servings1 servings
Calories51 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, or to taste
  • About 2/3 cup cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons milk (optional)


  • Place the coffee, sugar, and 2 tablespoons cold water in a shaker, jar, blender, or drink mixer. Cover and shake well for about 30 seconds, or, if using a blender, drink mixer, or handheld frother, mix for 15 seconds until you have a thick foam.
  • Toss a few ice cubes in a tall glass. Slowly pour the foamy coffee mixture into the glass. Fill the glass with water, adding milk if desired. Serve the frappe immediately.
Coffee Love by Daniel Young

Adapted From

Coffee Love

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Serving: 1 frappeCalories: 51 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 2 mgSodium: 22 mgSugar: 10 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Daniel Young. Photo © 2009 Elina Manninen. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This summer refresher summons all of my superpowers as a Greek girl and a coffee lover and also beautifully solves the problem of the heat of summer.

Two tall glasses filled with Greek-style frappe, with colorful straws standing up in them.

Tip: Buy Greek Nescafé with the Greek writing on the can. Any good international or Greek market will have it. It’s the classic that virtually any Greek cafe will be using.

I tweaked it a little for my own taste (less sweet, adjusting the milk) and it reached perfection and resembled the drink I ordered from cafe to cafe lingering in the shade of an umbrella for over a sweltering month in Greece. Frappe became my safe word to avoid heatstroke.

I settled on a proportion of 1 teaspoon sugar to 3 teaspoons Nescafé, shook up in a jar (or better, the nifty shaker bottle you might find from Nescafé at the Greek store) for 30 to 40 seconds with 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water until a lush foam fills the bottle, then poured it over a tall (16-ounce) narrow tumbler with 5 to 6 ice cubes, added about 1/4 cup ice water, and then 3 tablespoons evaporated milk. Sit and sip while imagining the Aegean in front of you.

A self-proclaimed coffee snob, I couldn’t imagine liking something that includes instant coffee. I only had instant espresso on hand so I used it. And to my surprise, in less than 2 minutes, I was drinking something that was coffee flavored yet sweet and frothy and sort of refreshing on a summer day. I haven’t had this in any Greek restaurant nor have I been to Greece to I can’t speak to its authenticity but I can say that, based upon my efforts, I was pleased with the outcome.

I used a lidded jar as I couldn’t see dirtying my blender. In 30 seconds I had plenty of froth. I used a 16-ounce glass filled with ice cubes and ended up adding 4 ounces water and a drop of milk as that is how I prefer to drink coffee. No relationship to a root beer float but a nice drink nonetheless. This serves 1 adult. Next time I may actually dirty my blender!

I love iced coffee beverages and this one is terrific! The coffee flavor was rich but not bitter and had a very nice mocha-tasting finish. It reminded me of an affogato without the guilt of ice cream!

It couldn’t be quicker to make, as it took me a total of 7 minutes to round up the ingredient items, shake in a cocktail shaker, pour over ice in a tall glass, and add water and milk. The foamy froth held up well while I was drinking it.

I was a little hesitant about using instant coffee since I don’t like the taste (even in moments of desperation!), so I tried this recipe with Café Bustelo instant espresso. I used 1 1/4 (.09 oz) packets to equal 2 teaspoons instant coffee. Definitely not watered down as I would have expected from instant coffee, especially once ice is added.

This frothy iced coffee is a great no-fuss afternoon treat!!! Definitely just 1 serving. Not sharing!!!

This took me back to that time I was at a bar overlooking the beach on a Greek island. I honestly didn’t think it would work so well, especially since I shook it in a jar, but it was perfect and, better yet, it was so simple. This is going to be my new summer drink addiction!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Late to the party. I was making these blindfolded for a couple of years, bought an espresso machine and suddenly wanted a quick iced coffee. I couldn’t find my recipe and yours was the first hit on google. I use 3 tsp instant decaf – yeah, go ahead and judge me. The brand is Tastle and it’s amazing, I tried the Greek-branded Nescafe, but found it to be too bitter. I also use a couple of TB heavy cream instead of milk and use my handheld milk frother to whip a stiff beige foam before adding the water and cream. Plop in a couple of ice cubes and it’s better than any dalgona/coffee shop iced coffee.

    1. Nice, Lari! Keep making them like that and soon you’ll have people lining up at your door for iced coffee.

  2. 5 stars
    We live in Canada close to the U.S. border. I found San instant latte when shopping at Costco in Bellingham, a 3 pound bag, absolutely delicious. Can not get it in Canada and I have been unable to find a substitute, not for lack of trying. Borders are closed. Today I happened to come across this recipe. Hallelujah! It is sooo good and easy. Love it.

    1. Jean, we’re thrilled that you happened across the recipe and that it worked so well for you. It’s always a great day when you realize that you can make an equally satisfying version of something at home!

    1. Thank you Lily, for taking the time to share your lovely image with us. We’re delighted we can help you reminisce in such an enjoyable way!