Greek Language Blog

Coffee, coffee, coffee: how to make a Greek frappe Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Culture


(by Tilemahos Efthimiadis on

(by Tilemahos Efthimiadis on

Coffee is a very popular beverage in Greece. The most famous coffee is a   type of cold coffee called φραπές (frappe). Some people love it, some others hate it and for some of us it’s a comfort drink, related to the summer. If you have been to Greece, you have definitely tasted it, or  heard about it.

Etymology and history

The noun φραπές comes from the French verb frapper, which means to hit.

Frappe was invented in 1957 in Thessaloniki by Dimitris Vakondios, an employee in Nestle company. According to the legend, he wanted to have a cup of instant coffee but couldn’t find any hot water, so he used cold water instead. He mixed coffee, sugar and water in a shaker, and this is how frappe coffee was born!


Only two ingredients are necessary, coffee and cold water. You can add sugar, evaporated milk and ice cubes. Do not use a liquid sweetener, such as honey or agave syrup, because it won’t melt. You also need a shaker, an electric coffee stirrer or a jar, and a straw.

For more information on how to make a frappe coffee, please watch this video:

Getting the best out of frappe:

  •  Frappe is served with no cookies or chocolate on the side. However, it’s better to avoid drinking it with an empty stomach, even if you are a big coffee drinker.


  • Do not overdo it, one frappe per day is enough. The quality of instant coffee is not the best one, and if you are not used to this kind of coffee you might experience some side effects: frappe is laxative; it stimulates the nerves, and might cause dehydration.


  • Never eat the foam (αφρός, afros)! The cover of your frappe that looks so nice and frothy  is NOT cream, nor milk.


  • Do not drink it quickly, take your time. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy your friends’ company, the sea view, a newspaper or whatever. If you’re in a hurry, have another type of coffee instead.

How to order a frappe.

You should be very specific when you order frappe. Frappe is a cold coffee and sugar cannot be added after it is prepared. You must also mention if you need milk or not.

  • Ένα φραπέ σκέτο με γάλα / χωρίς γάλα.(Ena frappe sketo me gala / horis gala. A plain frappe with milk / with no milk)


  • Ένα φραπέ μέτριο με γάλα / χωρίς γάλα. (Ena frappe metrio me gala / horis gala. A medium frappe with milk / with no milk)


  •  Ένα φραπέ γλυκό με γάλα / χωρίς γάλα. (Ena frappe glyko me gala / horis gala. A sweet frappe with milk / with no milk)

If you want be  less direct way you can add παρακαλώ (parakalo, please): Ένα φραπέ μέτριο με γάλα, παρακαλώ. (Ena frappe metrio me gala, parakalo. A frappe metrio with milk, please)

Some grammar for the Greek learners:

The word frappe is a French participle that has been “Hellenized” It’s conjugated like the noun ο καφές (o kafes, the coffee). Exemples:

Αυτός ο φραπές δεν είναι αρκετά κρύος. (Aftos o frappes den ine arketa krios. This frappe isn’t cold enough)

Η Άννα πίνει πέντε φραπέδες τη μέρα. (I Anna pinei pente frappedes ti mera. Anna drinks five frappes per day.)


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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


  1. Kalymary:

    Thank you Rania,
    now I know what kind of frappe I want to drink when I come back to Greece!
    Keep writing, I enjoy reading your posts!
    Greetings from Spain