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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
Originally published July 28, 2009