Cyprus coffee is a characteristic part of the island’s coffee-shop culture, and preparing this strong brew takes a little skill to perfect!
Made of finely ground coffee beans, a heaped teaspoon of coffee is used for one tiny demitasse cup, with water added, and sugar if it is taken. This is then ‘cooked’ in a small, long handled pot called a ‘mbriki’. Although nowadays you can find more modern ‘mbrikia’ - and even electric ones - they were traditionally made of copper, with every household owning at least one.
The tricky part is then ensuring that you take the coffee off the boil at exactly the right time to ensure that it forms a frothy top called ‘kaimaki’. The all-important ‘kaimaki’ starts from the sides and causes the coffee to rise.
Cyprus coffee is very strong and is served with a glass of water. You can order it ‘sketo’ (plain), ‘metrio’ (one teaspoon of sugar), or ‘glyki’ (two teaspoons of sugar). Milk is never added!
The coffee is best sipped slowly and the thick layer at the bottom is not consumed, although traditionally, fortune-tellers can interpret your future from the dried patterns!