16 August, 2006
at approximately ...
... 6 o'clock every afternoon on weekdays, I have my coffee break.
I sit down, with my diary and cup of coffee and start writing...Sometimes I write about my day, sometimes I plan my schedule for the next few days and sometimes, when I haven't been having a particularly good day, for one reason or another, I biro-doodle till the delicate white pages of my A6 diary look like they have been dipped mercilessly over and over in thick blue ink...
I do the same thing on Saturdays but instead of a diary I curl up in my favourite chair with a good book!
The one thing that stays a constant to this 30 minute ritual is the type of coffee I drink: A double cup of semisweet freshly brewed greek coffee...
I remember as a young girl observing my aunts and mum drinking the same kind of coffee while exchanging flaouna recipes or talking about my energetic grandfather's latest escapade ...75 and climbing trees got them all a bit anxious and worried, but once they had a sip of coffee all the tension in the air would settle a little too magically...
Occasionally , if they were really upset about something an aunt would attempt to foretell the future by reading the coffee stains on the cup, with such an air of self confidence that I was convinced the stains were long forgotten hieroglyphics that only the gifted could understand...
Wanting to grow up quickly and decipher these grown up rituals I was very excited when my mum decided it was time I should learn how to make coffee myself...The slightly magical aura that surrounded the dark brown substance unavoidably excited my imagination... the "briki" transformed into a magical cauldron and the coffee and sugar, into oriental alchemical ingredients...Each time the make-believe ingredients would change according to whom I was preparing the coffee for: for example,if It was for a person I liked the imaginary ingredients would transform into rosepetals and cinammon sticks... if it was for someone I didn't like...well..lets just say it certainly wasn't something that carried the scent of rose petals...
Here is the recipe and preparation for greek coffee (imaginary ingredients are omitted, but feel free to add them if you like :)
1 small cup of water
1 teaspoonful of sugar
1 teaspoonful of coffee
Pour water into the "briki" (a very small saucepan will do) to heat.
Just before the water starts to boil, add the sugar and coffee.
Stir, and as soon as it rises and remove from heat.
Pour a small amount into cup, and then return the briki to heat the remaining coffee till that rises too.
Pour the remaining coffee into the cup.
Always served with a glass of ice cold water!
Greek coffee is never drunk to the "last drop" because there is always an undrinkable think coffee sediment that remains on the bottom of the cup (and is called "katakathi")