If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to enjoy a cup of strong, flavourful, traditional Greek coffee then you will definitely want to try making it yourself at home, but do you need to have the right equipment? Can you make Greek coffee without a briki?
It is possible to make a version of Greek coffee without a briki by using a saucepan to replicate the brewing process. You can use Greek coffee grounds in other brewing devices, but the result won’t be quite the same.
Read ahead to understand how to make Greek coffee without the traditional equipment.
Why Is a Briki Used for Greek Coffee?
To make true, authentic Greek coffee, then you would generally use authentic methods and equipment. Greek coffee is typically made in a briki (in Turkish, known as a cezve), which is a small pot with high sides and a long handle that is used for boiling your coffee directly on the stove.
There are many different kinds of briki or cezve. They are usually made from brass or copper, but modern alternatives use stainless steel, aluminum, and ceramics as well.
The briki is used because Greek coffee is supposed to be boiled in water rather than brewed. Unlike most methods, it is also not filtered. The very fine grounds settle to the bottom during the process and the coffee is then gently poured out to leave most of the particles behind.
The boiling of the coffee and the large surface area of the fine grounds result in a very intense and rich flavor. Greek coffee is meant to be sipped slowly in small quantities, and it is often served with a glass of water and/or sweetened with sugar.
You also want to leave the last sip in the cup. If you drink it too fast, you can end up with gritty coffee grounds in your mouth.
Can You Make Greek Coffee in a French Press?
What if you don’t have a briki lying around in the kitchen? Could you simply use a French Press for your Greek coffee instead? Technically, yes, although you would get a very different drink.
You can buy Greek coffee grounds and put them in almost any brewing device of your choice, however, due to the particular way they are intended to be used, they are not ideal for a French Press.
Greek coffee is roasted at a very specific temperature, and it is ground down to an incredibly fine consistency. You will notice straight away that the particles are much smaller than you would usually find with coffee from other countries.
In a French Press, these fine grounds will often pass through the mesh filter and result in quite a muddy brew and, without the boiling process, they will not always sink to the bottom to be left behind when you pour.
The French Press brewing process also gives very strong coffee and combining this with the intense roast of Greek grounds can make it pretty overpowering, without producing the richness or texture that Greek coffee is known for.
Can You Make Greek Coffee in an Espresso Machine?
An espresso machine is much better than a French Press for finely-ground coffee, so could you use your Greek coffee in one of these instead?
You cannot make traditional Greek coffee in an espresso machine and, though it is possible to make an espresso with Greek coffee grounds, most baristas would not recommend it.
Greek coffee grounds are finer than an espresso machine is designed for, which means that they can pack down too densely and prevent the water from being pushed through at the right consistency. This can make it impossible to pour a cup and it will, at the very least, affect the amount of extraction.
If you do manage to make a cup, it will be closer to an espresso than true Greek coffee. The espresso machine achieves extraction by forcing hot water through the grounds with high pressure. It is highly concentrated and clean, but you will not be able to achieve the rich, creamy flavor or distinct mouthfeel you would expect from traditional Greek coffee.
Can You Make Greek Coffee on Electric Stove?
So, using a French Press or an espresso maker is not going to give you a cup of Greek coffee, but that doesn’t mean that you have no options in a modern kitchen.
While a briki might be the perfect brewing utensil, anything that you can carefully boil your Greek coffee in would do the trick (such as a saucepan), and it can even be done on an electric stove.
Traditionally, a briki is heated over an open flame, but that is not an essential part of the process. As long as you can heat the coffee and water together until they foam, then you can make a delicious brew.
How to Make Greek Coffee in a Saucepan
The closest thing that most people have to a briki in their homes is a saucepan. They are about the right shape and are perfect for heating liquids on the stove.
Since you will only want to drink a small cup at a time, make sure to use the smallest pan you have. Most saucepans are much too large for a single cup of Greek coffee, but you can definitely boil up a batch in one.
The actual process itself is pretty simple:
- Fill up the cup/cups that you want with cold water so that you know how much you need, then add this to the saucepan.
- Add about two teaspoons of coffee for a strong flavor, and two teaspoons of sugar if you would like.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and give it a couple of stirs.
- Let the coffee heat up (without stirring) until it starts to foam.
- Remove it from the heat to let the foam settle, then place it back on the heat again.
- Let it foam once more before removing it completely. Don’t let the coffee fully boil.
- Gently pour the coffee into your cup, then let it rest for 4 or 5 minutes before drinking.
So, can you make Greek coffee without a briki? You definitely can, although it can be hard to replicate the exact process.
The closest you can come is to use a small saucepan so that you can heat up the coffee and water together in the traditional manner. A French Press or an espresso machine definitely won’t give you quite the same result.
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