A Crash Course in Greek Coffee

It’s been a while since I’ve talked coffee. I was super excited for my summer in Greece, and I was hoping to scope out some cute little coffee shops for you guys. Well, it hasn’t really gone as planned. The Greek islands have yet to catch the third wave coffee scene. However, I have come away with some favorites so far! Here is a crash course in Greek coffee.

There are three greek coffee drinks that really stand out to me in terms of what everyone seems to order. Myself included. The first one is a good ol’ Greek coffee. Second and third, which are very similar, are the freddo espresso and the freddo cappuccino.

A Crash Course in Greek Coffee

Greek Coffee

By ‘Greek Coffee’ I just mean their traditional cup of joe. You can get this anywhere you fancy really. I did not particularly get on with having Greek coffee for breakfast. It seemed that depending on where the coffee grounds were, each sip was a different experience. I like my coffee experience a little more consistent, you know?

It was definitely interesting to try, as it reminded me a lot of Turkish coffee. In fact, I don’t think there were any differences. If you like Turkish coffee, then you’ll love Greek coffee. But for me, even instant coffee (a British favorite that I don’t mind at all) edges out Greek coffee.

Tips: When the coffee arrives, make sure to let it settle for a few minutes. The grounds will settle at the bottom. I know, we are so privileged here in the states with our coffee filters. But if you haven’t choked on coffee grounds before, then you’re missing part of the experience. Okay, not really…

A Crash Course in Greek Coffee

Espresso Freddo

This was by far my favorite drink to order! You can either call it an espresso freddo or a freddo espresso. It makes no difference. All this drink consists of is a shot or two of espresso (usually two to fill the cup enough), ice, and foam. Sugar is also another component that 90% of people add.

I cannot tell you how many espresso freddos I ordered. One for breakfast, one for an early afternoon delight, and then one for a late afternoon pick me up. My favorite way to order was with sugar. It made for a super refreshing and slightly sweet drink while hitting 90+ degrees this month.

Tips: You can control how sweet the drink is. You can either ask for slightly sweet, medium sweet, or very sweet. I always asked for medium sweet, and surprisingly the sweetness was always consistent no matter where I was ordering. Starbucks take note.

A Crash Course in Greek Coffee

Cappuccino Freddo

This drink is 95% the espresso freddo. I believe the only real difference is that the foam on top is more ‘pillowy’ like a real cappuccino would be. It’s basically an iced cappuccino, or a cappuccino over ice. I ordered this drink a few times to see if I could spot any sort of difference, and I didn’t. So I mostly stuck to the espresso freddo.

The espresso freddo seems a little more fierce. Hey, I need to blend in! Greeks like their coffee strong.

Again, you can control the level of sweetness on this one too. It tastes identical to the espresso freddo, and it’s perfect to enjoy on a hot day by the ocean.

Tips: Though Greek coffee is relatively cheap, if cost is a problem for you then make sure to check the prices of the espresso freddo too. You might find the cappuccino freddo is slightly more. Since the espresso freddo is nearly the same thing, you might save a few cents! Or vice versa. 

Another coffee that you can order is the frappe. I never actually ordered this one, but it’s pretty similar to the above coffee drinks. The frappe is made with water, instant coffee, sugar, and fluffy foam. The main difference is the instant coffee vs the espresso.

A Crash Course in Greek Coffee

I was so bummed to not find any third wave coffee shops on the islands. I had done some scouting before I left, but came up empty handed. Just make my life difficult why don’t you! On a positive note, the Greek coffee experience has been one that I’ll never forget.

I remember when I first tried the espresso freddo and how in love I was. If you’re going to Greece soon and trying any of the espresso drinks for the first time, they will be very strong. So do give it some time! Sip your first one slowly and really get used to the taste.

Have you had any of these drinks before? Which one sounds the best? Leave a comment with either #teamgreekcoffee, #teamespressofreddo, or #teamcappuccinofreddo!


  1. This is actually an eye opening post for me, Emily. I had no idea that instant coffees are actually a British thing or as you put it, favourite because it’s the same for us Malaysians. I pretty much only drank instant Nescafe sachets all my life in Malaysia but discovered it’s not a thing here in Canada.

    I say this post is interesting because I had no idea how similar us Malaysians are to the British. Yes, we are in the Commonwealth but Canada is also in the Commonwealth but Canadians are very American while Malaysian uses Bristisg words, spellings, references. My colleagues always point it out to me that I speak very British so it’s interesting to learn that like the Brits, we also love instant coffee.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    1. I am pretty sure it is a British thing. I always see British Youtubers making ‘instant coffee’ and the few times I’ve gone to London for workshops, there is always instant coffee available. It’s actually quite good! At first I put my nose up to it haha. But when I tried it I was so shocked at how delicious it was!!

  2. Nice to read about coffee again in your blog. I wonder if Greek coffee is also similar to Lebanese coffee which I tasted and is really strong that it gave me a migraine. I like your description of cappuccino freddo, seems like that’s the one I will go.


    1. I know, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve talked coffee!! I think the cappuccino freddo comes off more refreshing than strong. Though at first it might be a little rough!

  3. The Espresso Freddo sounds delicious and like a fantastic refreshing drink in hot weather. Would love to try it – I am in Greece next summer so I will definitely order one!

    Miriam xx

  4. So now I want a coffee…I’ve never tried an Espresso Freddo. In fact each time I’ve been to Greece I’ve really not been adventurous with my coffee at all. I’ll definitely have to try one of these though next time I’m over there!


  5. Okay, well this post has opened my eyes to just HOW little I know about coffee, haha. On the other hand, I know a lot about crepes… and so that perfect crepe-setting is the perfect source of daydreaming material!


  6. Blimey, I wouldn’t have even thought about coffee in a hot country, let alone realise the different types! You truly are a pro, Emily. It would definitely about been a Cappuccino Freddo for me I think!

    Musings & More

  7. Oh my gosh, how many times can I say YUM to this?! Honestly, one of our favorite parts of traveling is getting to experience all the coffee in different countries haha. Espresso freddo sounds right up my ally. And I can always appreciate a culture who likes their coffee strong. Putting this on our (ever growing) list of things we must do in Greece!

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