Do Not Disturb My Coffee!

In Greece, coffee virtually represents the blood running in our veins! We drink more of that black elixir than water! Its scent is our oxygen! The temperature we order it (whether hot or cold) depends on our mood and on the warm or chilly weather (our coffee has character thank you very much!)! When it is freshly ground… its sound & aroma becomes our moment of “Happy Hour”! As for the first sip of the day… it symbolizes the “start” button on our computer system! Basically, it is a ritual in the morning for most of us and it can become more important than breakfast for many Greeks: BIG SMILE OF SATSIFACTION!

In other words… Please do not disturb me before I drink the first one when I wake up! If by any chance you dare to do so… you will be responsible for the word attack you might get!

Bear in mind, as foolish as it may sound, we can even understand some basic characteristics of a person depending on what coffee he or she drinks! But I shall not analyse that, as it honestly seems too senseless for my nervous system to bother with such matter!

In Greece we can have our coffee in various ways! Set aside the well-known ones such as filter coffee, espresso and cappuccino or latte. We also have:

Cold espresso

Cold cappuccino

Turkish / Greek coffee

And of course: Nescafe Frappe!

Each one of them can have different levels of sweetness depending on our preferences especially for the cold ones which are mixed with ice at the moment of preparation. Thus a “Freddo Cappuccino Metrio” means a cold cappuccino with medium sugar (usually with 2 spoons of sugar). A “Frape Sketo me Gala” is a cold instant coffee mixed with cold water, no sugar (SKETO = No Sugar) and condensate milk (Gala = milk) etc… “Glyko” = sweet – with 4 spoons of sugar. Let me test you here! If I order an “espresso freddo glyko”? Send me the answer!!

For those of us who drink Cappuccino, bear in mind that we are very strict with the foam milk!

Coffee has become a mastery and an art! Thus, allow me to openly express myself here: in 2018 – I only expect my coffee to be made at the right temperature, with a neat foam milk and with a good quality coffee blend.

I do not want it to be burned as it will taste bitter & sour, and I definitely DO NOT want to get a cup of Coffee with a foam milk that has bubbles on it like some kind of skin with acne! NO… it has to be elegantly creamy to sooth my senses and give me a feeling of warm comfort.

Don’t laugh!

Coffee breaks are truly precious moments during the day! Coffee is one of my favourite little Passions! To close my eyes and bring my lips to the mug that holds the soothing texture that will indulge me to wake up in a relaxing way! To inhale its Aroma and feel its rich buttery taste warming every thought or anxiety I might have. It is a moment of pure bliss… just those few minutes if I am drinking it alone with my book or my newspaper.

What lies however, behind the philosophy of coffee in my country is to socialize!! To do Business. To tell our news. To talk about our worries. To share our problems or happiness with our friend. To laugh at the events in our lives. To find a solution. To advise. To listen. To think or not to think! To tell a joke. To become the joke of the day! To bring back memories & be grateful to talk about them! To meet a new person. Even to fall in Love… Just like I take pleasure in enjoying the taste of my cappuccino, all the same, I cherish the company I will have chosen to be with and dedicate my time!

Le Café en Grèce is about the hour where our mind-set stops from work and smiles to the minutes and to the person who will share THE moment with you! And believe me… Greeks will always find a good excuse to have that break even while at work!! We need our 10 minute shot of socialization 2 to 3 times per day! And at least a 2 hour long cup of coffee once or twice per week after work or during the weekend. And although it might seem absolutely absurd what I am about to say… These little time pauses actually make us more productive and …. HUMANE!

BUT! The best experience of coffee in Greece… is to have the traditional Turkish / Greek one in a small village by a “kafeneio” (which is a traditional Greek cafeteria) in company of locals, usually elder in age, and listen to them narrating their story… through WW1 to WW2 – to Civil war – to the first man on the Moon – to Rock n Roll – to the first telephone – to the first computer and mobile up to 2018!!

My Grandmother who is 96 years old, tells me sometimes: I can still hear them marching through Athens with their riffles and boots back in the 1920’s 1940’s & 50’s! She will then change the subject matter and would explain how some things back in those years were done as a housewife and we would burst out laughing when we compare the two ends of the century she has lived!!

She is my live beginning and I am her evolution. Watching an old man or woman narrate a substantial part of a chronology through their emotions, reality, experience, grief but also joy… is extraordinary! Gazing into their wet eyes emitting their passion for life takes my breath away! And what makes the moment astonishing, is that after all that they have been through, their piercing glance that seems to read your Soul, still looks at you with endless Love. Not with misery, not with remorse, not with hate… But with Love! And their wrinkles are the proof of their genuine authenticity.

Coffee in Greece is a time of sharing with a taste of philosophy… a point in time that reminds you of essential principles such as to Smile & Laugh, to be Grateful, to Cherish, to Devote yourself, to do that “intermission” that will allow you to listen to your Heart relaxing and enjoying the break of the day… Always with Passion!

So please be kind enough not to disturb my Coffee!!!

Lydia Bassadios Passadaiou
Laugh Through your Heart! Breath into Life with a Lucid Smile! Love Naturally! Genuinely! Daily Moments are Passions To Grasp! To Sense! To Savour! To Listen! To Touch! To Master! Welcome to My Style of Living!

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