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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 22

Tales from Crete | 22

Today I intend that the story will be about coffee. But why that, some will probably think, because if there is anyone who should know about coffee, it is probably us Danes, with an average coffee consumption of 8.6 kilos of coffee per year. Only exceeded by the Finns with 12 kilos and the Austrians with 9 kilos and significantly greater than the average consumption of coffee in the whole of Europe, which is four kilos. Let it be said right away – I definitely help to keep the average consumption up, because I can drink coffee anywhere and anytime.

In 2005, when my wife and children had fallen head over heels for Crete after our first holiday trip there at the end of September and a week after returning home I simply had to go there again at the beginning of October, I was introduced to Greek coffee for the first time. It was extremely hot for the time of year, with up to 40 degrees, so it wasn't exactly coffee that I was thinking about the most, when the owner of the small hotel we stayed at came over and offered me a cup, so he and I could sit in the shade for a bit and fix the world situation. Just like you do now, when a couple of men or more get together for a Greek coffee. It took forever for the coffee to arrive, but before then his wife came out to the small table we were sitting at in the shade between stacks of beer and fruit crates, which made up his stock for the hotel's pool bar. She had 2 glasses of ice-cold water with her, which she placed on the table. Ugh, that was nice, I thought, and quickly rinsed the water down to cool off as best I could. "You were probably thirsty" he said with a smile on his face, and yes I was. A little later the coffee came. Two small cups with a fragrant steaming hot coffee. But it wasn't quite the same as the mugs I usually drink coffee from at home. They were tiny cups, but the coffee tasted absolutely wonderful. Far better than the one I usually drink in Denmark. It could turn into a few sips, but the third sip was the one that made the difference. I drank the last of it, just like I usually do at home, and emptied the cup in one last gulp - it wasn't good at all. My mouth was filled with coffee grounds that sat everywhere on the palate, on the tongue and between the teeth, and it felt like I was choking on coffee grounds. He laughed loudly and called his wife, who also came out and laughed big when she saw how I sat there and had no idea what to do with myself. "I guess you shouldn't have drunk the water first" he said, after which he just laughed even more.

It was my debut with Greek coffee, but I learned a lot from it, or as many of my Greek friends say about that story, I learned to drink Greek coffee the right, but hard way.

Greek coffee is not something you simply prepare or drink. There are a lot of rules and just as many rituals associated with it, when two or more men sit down to fix the world situation over a cup of Greek coffee, and first of all you have to give yourself plenty of time, both to prepare it and to to drink it. But then it is also a coffee performance that far surpasses everything else in my eyes. The very old rituals of how many times you must stir the coffee with your spoon, which way you must stir and how many times you must bump your Briki (the small jug you use) have been somewhat forgotten over time, but the technique for making the perfect Greek coffee is still the same. If you want to learn how, watch this little video with and by Ted Lelekas and learn all the basics. Well, not quite the authentic way of doing it over hot sand, but still the next best way. Well, of course you can get the most important thing, the coffee powder, at Elena's.

Yammas and have a good weekend

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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