Coffee Lesson #26

briki:

  • a briki is a small long-handled pot used to make coffee
    • coffee made with this pot, and in this style, is most common in Armenia, Greece, Turkey/Türkiye, and throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans (these two regions have some overlap–)
    • coffee made with this pot, and in this style, is often referred to as Greek or Turkish coffee
  • a briki is a small long-handled pot used to make coffee
    • the pot is traditionally made of brass or copper; however, nowadays, it is routinely made from stainless steel, aluminium, or ceramics
  • briki – Greek; cezve – Turkish — term referenced in two previous coffee lessons (#25 and #24)
Photo by Ricardo Díaz on Unsplash

Happy Holidays!

Whether it’s simply winter break for you, a much-deserved break, that you’re celebrating, or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, Christmas, Winter Solstice . . . Happy Holidays; have fun, and savor the coffee!

Photo by Kate Laine on Unsplash

Coffee Lesson #25

Greek Coffee:

  • similar to, at times argued to be the same as, Turkish Coffee
    • a particular way to brew, serve, prepare coffee . . .
      • coffee is prepared in a briki, using very finely ground coffee beans without filtering
        • briki: a small pot with a long handle, traditionally made of copper or brass
    • coffee brewed with very finely ground coffee beans
      • when served, do not drink the entirety of the serving–in this preparation coffee grounds are not removed from the coffee when served
    • coffee preparation style that can be found throughout the world, though it has particular prominence in Turkey/Türkiye, Greece, Armenia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans

Greek v. Turkish Coffee: similar to one another, argued to be exactly the same . . . however:

  • Greek coffee tends to be lighter roast
  • Both can be sweetened, but generally Turkish coffee will add sugar directly into the cevze (“briki” in Greek), while Greeks add sugar afterward . . .

  • In my experience Greek coffee was larger–had more that I could actually drink. When I ordered Greek coffee I was always asked if I wanted sugar, and then how much or what kind (sketos/black; metrios/semi-sweet); glykos/sweet). When I ordered and received my Greek coffee, it was generally served alone, sometimes an unsweetened cookie might be served with it, it was just the coffee; whereas, in Turkey, Turkish coffee was almost always served with something sweet (Turkish delight).
MS Rooftop Garden–Attica, Athens, Greece

Attica, Athens, Greece

Between November 2021 – April 2022 I visited Athens, Greece 🇬🇷 three times, for a total of 62 days.

I went in November, sort of on a whim, begrudgingly, a sort of layover between jobs. It wasn’t my first choice to travel just then, and it wasn’t my first choice to go to Greece either. In fact, I had never really had any desire to travel to Greece . . . but I went . . . and I absolutely LOVED it!

The job fell through, and so did a couple of other applications, but I had a seasonal remote contract with something else, so I kept returning to see more, enjoy more, do more. I fell in love with everything — the language, the people, the museums, the sites, the greenery, the coffee!

I have to go back, and see more of Athens, and venture beyond it as there’s a whole lot more to the country to see, but before I do, before I recommend some coffee and share about this amazing adventure, allow me to share some pictures 🤗.

Here’s a preview, a taste, a sneak peak into Greece, and some Greek coffee ☕

November 2021:

December 2021-January 2022

March 2022-April 2022

Coffee Lesson #24

Turkish coffee:

  • a particular way to brew, serve, prepare, coffee originating in the former Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey/Türkiye)
    • coffee is prepared in a cezve using very finely ground coffee beans without filtering
      • cezve (“briki” in Greek): a small pot with a long handle, traditionally made of copper or brass
  • coffee brewed with very finely ground coffee beans
    • when served, do not drink the entirety of the serving–in this preparation coffee grounds are not removed from the coffee when served
      • the grounds left in the cup after drinking are sometimes used to tell fortunes
  • coffee preparation style that can be found throughout the world, though it has particular prominence in Turkey/Türkiye, Greece, Armenia, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans

Turkish coffee – Etiler, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey

Coffee Gallery

Okay–it’s a dessert (butterscotch cheesecake & fruit tart) and coffee gallery 😉

Theta Restaurant; Attica, Athens, Greece–dessert & Greek Coffee

The Reusable Cup–

In March 2022 Starbucks unveiled a plan to continue reducing the use of single-use cups: I say “continue” because pre-pandemic reusable cups, and incentives for using reusable cups, were already in place. That being said, Starbucks has encountered challenges, and continues to do so, as they attempt to increase sustainability.

It is is interesting that in a world and culture that lauds sustainability, picking the most sustainable coffee cup option has proven difficult. Starbucks never reached their initial benchmark goal, but in all fairness reusable things were a hard sell if not outright banned due to the pandemic. Some of their troubles were out of their control.

Starbucks–to be clear–needs to, and understand they need to, go beyond just making reusable cups available, or providing a 10 cent discount to encourage people to act more sustainably.

I wonder if the reusable cup were plain, and did not have the logo, and it was mandatory in-house, would that help?

If Starbucks remove the branding, not only would the company save on added print and design costs, but it would remove the sentiments associated with carrying around the brand. There is something about holding name-brand (whatever) for many people, including Starbucks fans . . . but is Starbucks willing to go *that far*.

Are they willing to trade-in something normal, like a plain green cup, and just focus on being sustainable? It would demonstrate true commitment to the cause . . .

Or, is branding of special-order reusable cups part of the marketing, and that marketing (and I assume those profits) more important, just as important, as being “sustainable”? Is Starbucks aware and afraid that people, if given the option, will choose, or naturally choose, their branded disposable cup?

In local and small business coffee shops, there are often no disposable cup options in-house. It makes sense: you’re staying here, why do you need a disposable cup? I always wondered what the cost-benefit analysis comparison was–after all, the reusable cup needs to be properly washed and stored–but if the goal is ditching the disposable cup, then why not make it a rule and routine to provide real cups for those dining in?

It is admirable that Starbucks has not given up; however, it is just as much about environmental concerns as it is about image concerns, if not more so–they have vested interests in this campaign, let’s be real here.

Regardless, as they play with options and ideas all over the world, I look forward to the ripple effect at other major coffee chains, and the new collection of reusable mugs I will carry with me to each 😉

2020 Coffee Destinations

Where to go this year to enjoy some amazing coffee?

  • Attic
  • Backyard
  • Balcony
  • Basement
  • Bedroom
  • Dining Room
  • Driveway
  • Family Room
  • Front yard
  • Garage
  • Garden
  • Guest Bedroom
  • Hallway
  • Kitchen
  • Living Room
  • Nursery
  • Patio
  • Playroom
  • Pool
  • Porch
  • Spa
  • Spare Bedroom

Oh . . . the possibilities . . . #2020

Photo by Agape Trn on Unsplash

Coffee — and a slide

Drink your coffee. Go down the slide.

New Ground coffee is opening shop in London — and the shop features a giant slide. Yes, like the kind in a playground.

I have never tasted their coffee, but I would be willing to say that the ambiance, at the very least, would be a whole lot of fun. And, as if the slide and laughter of those sliding down aren’t enough, New Ground is invested in decreasing recidivism and supporting the community at large. They train and hire ex-offenders to work for them. They give people a second chance–and any organization that believes in people, that allows them to re-enter the world with work and a chance to start over positively, that’s the kind of organization I want to promote and support. Next time I’m in London, I know what coffee I’ll be sipping first.

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