Tuesday, January 23, 2007

regional coffee culture, mega-multi part many

"'frappe looks so thick, but it glides through the straw so easily,' said daniel young, an american food critic who teamed with his wife, vivian constantinopoulos, to write a coffee-table book on the subject.

it may drink smooth, but it has a kick. young says many frappes have four times the caffeine as an espresso. and it is fueled by something considered the dregs of the beverage world in many countries - instant coffee.

frappe is a simple beverage. a spoonful of instant coffee is combined with water, sugar and sometimes milk, then shaken vigorously in a cocktail mixer. when to add the ice - during or after shaking - is hotly debated.

the resulting dark drink has a foamy head so large it resembles a half-pint of guinness more than a coffee.

how the freeze-dried coffee drink became a national craze is hard to say, but supporters insist it matches greeks' erratic lifestyle: Laid-back mediterranean with bursts of energy thrown in.

young and constantinopoulos . . . believe greeks' relationship with the drink is rooted in their centuries-old thirst for public dialogue and social interaction.

'it doesn't have to do with quality or quantity, but it is more about the way people sit and enjoy,' said constantinopoulos, who claims the average person takes 93 minutes to drink a frappe.' "

greek frappe is, from a specialty-coffee bccy perspective, a frightening prospect, as it relies on the lowest quality coffee -- instant, or soluble, which is nearly always made from the worst grades of robusta. that accounts for its nasty caffeine kick.

still, regional coffee culture is regional coffee culture, so i bravely report. you decide.

frankly, i find the stuff undrinkable, no matter how much sugar you use or ice you let melt into it to try to dilute that awful cooked taste of instant coffee. i don't suggest you follow the recipe that accompanies the article.

if you want a delicious cold foamy coffee drink, i suggest dear readers you investigate the shakerato. . .made with specialty espresso!

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posted by fortune | 8:01 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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