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Feb 17, 2007

Mr Goudas book Greek or Turkish Coffee

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Believe it or not, we have just been advised that this article is receiving more hits in the Good Food Recipe Section of and Google.
Mr. Goudas himself is the author of this article, of course with the assistance of one of his secretaries. 

How many of you do not consider yourself awake until you have had your first cup of coffee, be it Maxwell House, Nescafe, Nabob, that Italian Espresso, Cappuccino, or lo and behold a demitasse of Greek Coffee? And yes, we are talking about our need for caffeine. Greeks enjoy coffee and there are Coffee shops everywhere in Greece.

Some Greeks do not say good morning until that first demitasse (flitzani - name for the coffee cup in Greek). In the good old days, a pleasant day began with a few cups early in the morning and ended with a nightcap at the town square. Having coffee in a Greek Cafe is an event.

It is sitting comfortably on a patio and having an apron-clad waiter at your disposal.
If you are a regular patron, he knows exactly how you drink your coffee and there is no room for error, because he may end up with a black eye. (Of course this is a joke, Greek people are not violent - but if push comes to shove, then instead of one, you will have two black eyes). 

The tradition goes that after drinking the coffee, the cup is turned upside down until the residue makes marks in the cup, and someone capable of reading the cup, can tell you what your future holds.
As you can see in the pictures and from the expression on the gentlemans face, there is surprising and happy news. And you know something? Sometimes if the cup reader is good, maybe what he/she predicts comes through. For example, this guy predicted the price of rice in China! 

There are subtle variations in the preparation of each demitasse, for example: boiled sweet, semi sweet, black, over boiled sweet, under boiled sweet, over boiled with no bubbles, semi boiled with lots of bubbles, light with bubbles, double dose, double sweet, etc.
We could continue with variations to fill a book! Buenos Dias, Senor Juan Valdez. (In English, we are saying Good Morning, Mr. Juan Valdez - the king of coffee). 

Research has indicated that coffee was first brewed by the Arabians, but the first coffee shop was opened in Greece centuries ago, and to this day, the Greeks and the Turks have the strongest coffee in the world! The preparation of Greek Coffee is very specific. You need the following equipment: an Irbrik or briki, which is a small metallic pot with an unusually long handle, and a demitasse, which is a small coffee cup (as seen in the picture). Let us now prepare some Greek Coffee for 2. You will need: 

2 teaspoons of Greek coffee 
2 demitasses (small cups) cold water 

Pour the cold water into the briki and add the coffee. Place the briki on a hot stove and bring to a slight boil. Just as the coffee begins to bubble and foam, remove from stove and pour into demitasse; place on appropriate saucers. Sugar is a personal choice. Serve.
It is important for you to keep a close eye on the pot, because at the moment the coffee begins to bubble, within a fraction of a second, the elevated bubbles will overflow the briki.
This would then be considered as an over boiled coffee, which only 1 - 2 percent of Greeks enjoy. 

Sip slowly, savor the flavour and enjoy your conversation. Keep the pinkie finger elevated. It is a cool thing to do, like the British when they are drinking tea. (Hope this made you laugh a little). 

There is always a thick coffee ground residue left in the cup. Do not drink or attempt to eat...if you do, you have a lot of sleepless nights ahead of you. Although we refer to this method as Greek or Turkish Coffee, the main ingredient comes either from Brazil or Colombia.
However, both the Greeks and the Turks have a special way of roasting the coffee beans, and not even the coffee bean producing countries know the secret. 

It is known that when a Greek person invites you for coffee, he does not mean you are going to Tim Hortons or Country Style. The invitation is for coffee either at his house or at a Greek restaurant/Cafeteria, which in this case you must know what you are getting yourself into. 

If you are brave enough and willing to try it, you must decide after the first sip whether you want to quit right there, and give the excuse that you forgot the advice of your doctor to avoid coffee at this time of the day or, you can risk the strong chance of becoming hooked on Greek Coffee for the rest of your life! 

"Since you have a great diploma in Coffee making, make Coffee for me tonight". 

Sometimes Greeks make fun of themselves and to understand the following story you have to imagine that the man is doing the outside work to bring money into the house, and the woman looks after the home, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Now obviously things have changed, but some of them keep the tradition, and Mr. Goudas knows at least one of them and that happens to be one of his salesmen. 

The story begins as follows: 

This particular salesman named Ted, visits Mr. Goudas office at least twice a week to brief him on what is happening in the market, and since Mr. Goudas is most of the time very busy, he asked Ted to go into the Laboratory kitchen and make Coffee.
Ted told him that he does not know how to cook. Mr. Goudas was very surprised and said to Ted "Are you trying to tell me that you do not know how to make Coffee? Shame on you! I am going to take a few minutes of my time and we are going together and I will show you how to do it". 

Finally, he showed Ted all the procedures how to make Coffee. During the following week, he asked Ted to go into the laboratory to see if the effort he had put in the previous week was worthwhile.
Ted started make Coffee and he went as far as knowing how to boil the water. Mr. Goudas then thought it would be a good idea to give him a diploma just to encourage him for his future efforts.
The diploma was framed and stated that Ted had graduated from the Goudas University in state of the art cooking and Coffee making, signed and sealed by Mr. Goudas himself. 

Ted proudly accepted the diploma, took it home and found the nicest area in his house to set it up.
When the wife asked him what it was all about, since she did not know any words in English, Ted told her that he had just graduated from a university as a great salesman. 

We want to mention here that Ted is one of those men who, upon returning home from work, throws one shoe to the north, the other to the south, he wiggles out of pants and kicks them somewhere into the corner and he expects his wife to have everything prepared and ready on the dining room table. 

Well that was then, until, one day a lady friend of hers visited their home and noticed the diploma and asked what this was about. The innocent Mrs. Ted told her that that was her husbands university diploma in great salesmanship.
The visitor, who knew the English language well, promptly told her that your husband received the diploma because he was a great chef and Coffee maker.
So when Ted arrived home on this occasion he found his wife laying down on the chesterfield, having absolutely nothing prepared for dinner. He placed his hands on his hips and enquired as to what was going on and the wife responded calmly and said 

"since you have a diploma in cooking, you make Coffee for me tonight". 

Thankfully, he knew at least how to boil the water. 

The following day, Ted was the first one in the office and in the presence of everyone he threw the diploma on Mr. Goudas desk. When Mr. Goudas enquired as to what was wrong, Ted informed him that this diploma had almost cost him his wonderful marriage. 

P.S. A few years later Ted doing all the cooking and Coffee making at home with an apron marked 

"Goudas on the Label means good food on the table!"

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