Traditional Greek coffee, also known as ellinikós, became a part of the local culture during the Ottoman occupation.
Since there are no sources that agree on the origin of Greek coffee, the most widely accepted myth is that it originated in Yemen, according to tradition. In the 16th century, an Ottoman governor stationed in Yemen sampled it and introduced it to Sultan Suleiman. However, during the reign of Sultan Murad IV, drinking coffee was deemed a capital offense, and his successor was quite strict in this regard. This did not have the desired effect, as people continued to consume coffee. Consequently, it was eventually incorporated into the coffee tradition of the empire.
Arabica coffee beans are ground to an extremely fine powder to produce Greek coffee (much finer than the coffee grinds in many other countries around the world). Intriguingly, this type of coffee gets its name from where it is consumed, such as “Greek,” “Turkish,” and “Arabic.”
Some occupied nations under the Ottomans adopted it with minor modifications. Even after their liberation, the Greeks maintained it as an integral part of their daily lives and spread the practice throughout the West.
Greek coffee is prepared in a small pot called a briki and is thick in consistency. The grounds settle to the bottom of the small cup used to consume the beverage. The sediment that these grounds produce is central to the ancient Greek practice of divination.
Locals affirm that making the ideal cup of Greek coffee is an art form.