Firostefani, Santorini, Greece
|Hotel Galini, location of the fab café.|
|The entrance, from the footpath along the caldera.|
|White umbrellas and canvas chairs, white marble-topped tables...ahhh!|
They also do a lengthy menu of cocktails, so I expect it's a popular spot for Santorini's famous sunset. I ended up spending several hours there on several visits, and if you're ever on Santorini, I recommend that you do too.
And as an added bonus, you can enjoy traditional Greek coffee -- if you're game.
|Coffee on Santorini.|
|Neat and pretty.|
|Pouring Greek coffee in Santorini.|
Start with very cold water. Use the demitasse cup to measure the water needed for each cup of coffee (one demitasse cup of water is about 1/4 cup), and pour the water into the briki.
Greek coffee is brewed to taste, and there are four standard types, varying by sweetness and amount of coffee. Experimenting will help you find the exact brew for you.
For unsweetened coffee: Add one heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki. In Greek, this is called sketos (σκέτος, pronounced SKEH-tohss).
For medium-sweet coffee: Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called metrios (μέτριος, pronounced MEHT-ree-ohss).
For sweet coffee: Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 heaping teaspoon of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called glykos (γλυκός, pronounced ghlee-KOHSS).
For extra-strong sweet coffee: Add 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 heaping teaspoons of coffee to the briki and stir. In Greek, this is called vary glykos (βαρύ γλυκός, pronounced vah-REE ghlee-KOHSS).
Turn on the heat (medium low), stir the coffee until it dissolves, and don't stir again. Heat slowly. Foam will start to rise in the briki before it boils. Note: This foam is called kaïmaki (καϊμάκι, pronounced kaee-MAH-kee) and the richer the foam, the better Greeks like it.
When the foam rises to the top of the briki (it can move very quickly once it starts), remove from heat and serve. Evenly divide the foam among all cups, then fill cups with the remainder of the coffee, taking care not to disturb the foam. Serve piping hot with a glass of cold water.
|When in Greece....|
So what exactly is Greek coffee? The brew comes primarily from Arabica beans, which contain higher concentrations of cafestol and kahweol, molecules rich in antioxidants. And it’s these antioxidant properties that benefit the vascular function, says study author Gerasimos Siasos, MD.You might like to consider that while you're enjoying a new favourite café and a cup of coffee.
As opposed to the filtered coffee most Americans drink, Greek coffee is thicker and richer, almost chocolatey in the way real hot chocolate tastes, says Diane Kochilas, a chef and author of The Country Cooking of Greece. You don’t get the caffeine kick that your typical coffee gives, she says, but rather, it’s a much more subtle intake. “It offers a sweet awakening, not the brutal slap-your-face to cognizance approach of filtered coffee," Kochilas says.