It is the national drink of Greece and it apparently goes quite well with a smoke too.
Wikipedia says it was invented 1957 in the break room of Nestle employees during the Greek Trade Fair in lack of hot water. A frappé is nothing more complicated than instant coffee, sugar, and a small quantity of cold water shaken vigorously together to produce a thick foam, then poured over ice in a tall glass, and finally topped off with milk or water. You must specify if you would like it “glyko” = sweet, “metrio” = medium, or “sketo” = no sugar.
It is difficult for me to really describe what a frappe tastes like without describing to you the effects that a frappe will have on you. I admit that I am slightly intolerant to caffeine, but this slight sensitivity should only mildly effect me instead of making me convulse. Okay, one time I took midol and was awake until 4am because I didn’t know it had caffeine in it, so maybe I am unusual. My first and only frappe experience was one in Thessaloniki, I made sure it was morning because I heard they were strong. I was really only able to drink 1/2 or maybe 3/4 of it because when Greeks drink frappes, they make it a social 3 hours, I didn’t have that kind of time. To describe it gently I was so wound up, wired, jittery, and twitchy that I don’t remember the hours passing by. Seriously.
When my friend Natalie came to visit, I warned and encouraged her to order a frappe. “You are in Greece and this is totally the national drink” I told her, “oh, and it might be kinda strong”. About 3-4 hours later Nat turns to Erin and I and says, “we gotta eat something, I feel this frap-crap in my legs, they won’t stop shaking”. I rest my case to say that Natalie and I are more latte kind of girls, we prefer some coffee with our milk!
Anywhere you go or anytime you go I guarantee you that you will see at least a dozen greeks drinking a frappe – in a coffee shop, on the go, in the morning, at midnight, in their car, at work, ANYWHERE. And I would guess that 83% of them will be chain smoking while drinking it.
You can’t come to Greece and not at least try one, lots of people actually love them!