05/08/2005

Frappé

To serve one:

1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
ice cubes
COLD water (refrigerated)
cold milk (optional)

Method:
Put the coffee, sugar if used, ice cubes and about 3/4 cup cold water in a large jar with a well-fitting lid (such as an empty coffee jar). Screw the lid on tightly, then shake hard up and down for about 30 seconds. This creates a slightly thickened, frothy mixture. Pour into a tall glass.

Put about the same quantity of milk (or more water) in the same jar and shake a few times more, then add to the glass, topping up with more milk or water as needed.

Drink with a straw.

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Most Cypriots use frappé-makers, which are like little electric whisks to make the coffee mixture froth up quickly. We've tried them, but prefer the old-fashioned method above. The taste is much the same either way. It's very important to use cold water. Lukewarm, even with extra ice cubes, doesn't seem to work.

Although I don't have sugar in coffee normally, I do like frappés with about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. If you normally have sugar in coffee, you may find you want a bit extra for a frappé. You might also want to use more coffee; the person who initially taught us to make this used two heaped teaspoons per person. If I have that much caffeine after lunch, I can't sleep at night so I find one is just fine. We use Maxwell House granules, the ones said to taste like filter coffee. They don't, but they're smooth and rich without any bitterness, ideal for frappés. The de-caffeinated variety work equally well although I don't suppose a Cypriot would dream of drinking a de-caff frappé!

Apparently Greeks often add cardamom. We've never seen this done and it's not a taste I particularly like. But it could be worth trying. Chocolate powder or syrup can be added for frappucino taste, and a scoop of ice cream can be added to make it more like a milk-shake. There are probably many variations on this, which is one of my favourite drinks for straight after lunch in the summer.

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