Greek-Style Frappe

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.

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

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.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Greek-Style Frappe

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  • (7)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 1 serving
4.9/5 - 7 reviews
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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. Originally published July 28, 2009.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This summer refresher summons all of my super powers 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 heat stroke.

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

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!


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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