Freddo Espresso: Bring Greek Summer To Your Home
When summer rolls around, your thoughts may be turning to a more refreshing way of enjoying your daily coffee. Iced coffee and cold brew are popular choices, but you might want to consider the Freddo espresso.
This chilled Greek coffee is perfect for sipping on a hot day. The best part is, it’s simple to prepare at home.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Double shot of espresso
- Sugar to taste (optional)
- Ice cubes, plus extra for serving
- Drinks mixer or cocktail shaker
AT A GLANCE
What is Freddo Espresso?
You may be familiar with the frappe, but if you take a trip to Greece, you’re more likely to see locals drinking the Freddo espresso. Essentially, it’s a double shot of hot espresso shaken with ice cubes until cold and foamy, served either sweet, medium, or plain (without sugar).
Although the country has enjoyed traditional Greek coffee for centuries, espresso wasn’t widespread until the 1990s (1). At this time, the Freddo espresso was invented, taking cues from the famous frappe but incorporating the specialty coffees that were now part of the cafe scene.
Unlike some other cold drinks (we’re looking at you, Starbucks), the focus here is on the authentic taste of the beans rather than ingredients like whipped cream or syrups.
…using specialty coffee will result in a high quality [drink], as anticipated. Freddo is the only answer if you want a cold beverage with the qualities and consistency of a traditional double espresso.
Try the Freddo espresso’s brother, the Freddo cappuccino, if you like milky drinks but still want to enjoy this true coffee flavor. To prepare a cappuccino Freddo, you simply top the drink with a layer of cold, frothed milk. This adds a hint of creaminess without being too heavy or overpowering the taste of the beans.
Cafes in Greece traditionally use a drinks mixer to make the espresso Freddo. If you don’t have one, a cocktail shaker works just as well–even a jar with a tight-fitting lid will do the trick. Just stay clear of using a blender. The blender will crush the ice cubes, changing the texture of the drink and diluting the taste.
When it comes to choosing your beans, opt for something full-bodied. The mixing does affect the flavor, so you’re going to want coffee that will stand up to the process. The increasing popularity of the drink means that some roasters are now offering Freddo blends, but any coffee that you usually use for espresso would be a good place to start.
How To Make Freddo Espresso
You don’t need to visit a cafe to enjoy this Greek summer drink. The Freddo espresso is quick and easy to make at home; it’s just a matter of getting that signature foam.
Make your espresso
Pull the shots of espresso as usual. If you want to follow the advice from Greek barista champion Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, you’re aiming for a 40-42 gram espresso output from 19-20 grams of coffee (2). If you plan to enjoy it sweet, stir the sugar into the hot espresso to dissolve before you proceed to the next step.
Pro tip: It’s all down to personal taste, but skipping the sweetener will allow you to get the true taste of the coffee. Recommended if you’ve used some nice beans for this (which, of course, you should).
Mix it up
Add your double shot and ice cubes to the mixer or cocktail shaker. Then it’s a matter of mixing (or shaking) until you are rewarded with a light, fluffy foam. There is a bit of a balance to strike here, however. You don’t want to over mix and break up the ice cubes.
You’re trying to avoid diluting the coffee as much as possible during this step.
Pro tip: It should go without saying that you should make your ice cubes from clean, quality water – filtered if possible.
Serve and enjoy
Fill a glass with fresh ice cubes and add your freshly frothed espresso, straining out the ice you used to mix. Once served, enjoy your Freddo espresso as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes. If it’s left to sit too long, the foam will begin to collapse, and the ice will melt, diluting the drink.
Pro tip: The Freddo espresso is often served with a straw so that you can enjoy the different layers, but just make sure it’s a reusable or paper straw.
Looking for more ways to enjoy your coffee cold? Check out these 21 different iced coffee recipes.
Try the Freddo espresso next time you want a refreshing coffee drink, or if you’re interested in seeing how different beans taste with the foaming treatment. It’s so simple to make at home; you could easily spend your summer drinking a tall glass of espresso Freddo rather than your daily double shot. Kick back and imagine you’re on a beach in Greece.
The key difference between a Freddo and a frappe is that the frappe is prepared with instant coffee. The instant coffee granules are shaken with cold water to produce a foamy texture, then the drink is served over ice, with optional sugar and milk (3). The frappe is also much older than the Freddo, invented in Greece in the 1950s.
You can foam milk for a Freddo cappuccino using a drink mixer, cocktail shaker, or even a handheld milk frother. If you are using an automatic milk frother, make sure it has a cold foam option. Some people swear by full-fat milk, while others claim that skimmed milk will create longer-lasting foam.
You can make Freddo espresso with Nespresso coffee, but be aware that the flavor will not be the same. You’ll need to use an espresso machine to make the true espresso that forms the base for this drink. If you are using Nespresso coffee, choose capsules with a darker roast and stronger flavor.
- 1. Grant, T. (2020, February 24). A complete guide to The Greek Freddo. Perfect Daily Grind. https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/02/a-complete-guide-to-the-greek-freddo/
- 2. Pospisil, A. (2019, October 8). How to MAKE Freddo Espresso & Freddo CAPPUCCINO: A step-by-step guide. European Coffee Trip. https://europeancoffeetrip.com/freddo-espresso-freddo-cappuccino/
- 3. Top five most popular Greek coffees and how you can make them at home. Greek Herald. (2020, October 1). https://greekherald.com.au/lifestyle/top-five-most-popular-greek-coffees-and-how-you-can-make-them-at-home/