Espresso and cappuccino freddo

Espresso and cappuccino freddo

espresso cappuccino freddo glass

‘Hello, I’m Ania and I’m an espresso freddo addict!’ Espresso freddo is a way of life here, in Greece, and no summer would be complete without it. As opposed to other cold coffees out there, this one is really pure and simple – quality coffee, ice, maybe sugar, maybe a dash of milk, that’s it. No whipped cream, no ice-cream scoops floating in it, no artificially flavoured coffee syrups. What you see is what you get and that’s good as, apart from them tasting delicious, freddos are also beautiful to look at. Especially against the back drop of white-washed buildings with blue doors and the stunning blue sea!

Greeks have a secret code when it comes to ordering their espresso (or cappuccino) freddo. You have a choice of γλυκο / gliko (sweet), μέτριο / metrio (medium-sweet) or σκέτο / sketo (unsweetened). The trouble is this is a very subjective scale. In some places metrio is way too sweet while in others just right. We used to always order metrio, but as most places were a bit too generous with sugar, we’ve decided to bite the bullet and start ordering sketo. It was pretty shocking to begin with – the first sip felt like it could wake up a corpse – but now I wouldn’t have my espresso freddo any other way.

Every cafe in town has a special machine for making this magical beverage and you can obviously buy one like that, but you really don’t have to. Last week, when a heatwave hit us all of the sudden, I decided to see if I could make this beloved drink of mine in a blender.

I tried my very average, old blender and a power blender that I recently bought second-hand and neither of them broke a sweat. The only difference being that the power blender crushed my ice a little more finely – something that our local freddo expert and cafe owner, Stella, thinks isn’t at all necessary. In fact, she prefers hers with a few uncrushed ice cubes. I was so happy with my discovery that I decided to share it with all of you coffee fiends out there so that you don’t suffer painful coffee withdrawals on sweltering hot summer days 😉 .

When I order this drink out, I always go for an espresso freddo as most local cafes don’t do plant milk, but when at home a dash of fridge-cold, homemade almond milk is an amazing addition. It takes the edge off the unsweetened coffee and makes the drink deliciously smooth. Sometimes I also like to flavour my coffee with a bit of cardamom. It’s not something they do here, but I like the combination and if you are a fan of these fragrant pods, I recommend trying it. If you hate cardamom (as I know it’s a bit of a room splitter) but would like to give this drink a bit of a twist, try a vanilla pod (or extract) instead.

espresso cappuccino freddo almond milk

cappuccino freddo

makes
2
PREP
10 min
COOKING
0 min
makes
2
PREPARATION
10 min
COOKING
0 min
INGREDIENTS
  • strong black coffee for 2 (for example 2 x double espresso), cooled
  • 20 ice cubes
  • approx. 120 ml / ½ cup almond milk, I use homemade
  • maple syrup, to taste (optional)
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods or a piece of vanilla pod* (optional)
METHOD
  1. Make a strong coffee – freezing tends to dull flavours so I suggest making it 50-100% stronger than you would normally. Duncan likes to make a single origin coffee in his beloved aeropress and I make a double espresso for me. Allow your coffee to cool down.
  2. Divide half of the coffee between two glasses and pour the other half in the blender (both a power blender and a cheap blender will work here, the difference is that ice may not get crushed as much in a low-power blender). Add a touch of maple syrup (or sugar) if you like your coffee sweetened.
  3. Add ice cubes and blend on high for a few seconds, until most of the ice is crushed and the coffee turns a little frothy.
  4. Top your coffee with the ice-coffee mixture and (optionally) top up with cold almond milk to take the edge off.

NOTES

*If you would like to add cardamom flavour to your coffee, crush 2-3 green cardamom pods with a side of a knife or a rolling pin and place in 120 ml / ½ cup almond milk for at least 12 hrs for the favour to develop. If you want to flavour your coffee with vanilla instead, put a scraped-down vanilla pod and scraped seeds into your almond milk and let it infuse in the same manner.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
26
1%
sugars
4 g
5%
fats
1 g
1%
saturates
0 g
0%
proteins
1 g
1%
carbs
4 g
2%
*per coffee
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5.0
3 reviews, 25 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Reka Lestyan:
Hi Ania! Well written blog. :-) It makes the reader immediately want a Freddo Cappuccino. :-) Could you please tell me where you got those beautiful pictures of Freddo Cappucciono included in your text? We would love to use it as well.
Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Reka,
    Thanks, I took all them myself, as well as all the other photos on this blog and there are not available for sale, I'm afraid. Cheers, Ania
      Reka:
      Dear Ania,
      Thank you for your kind reply. I would like to ask you to find a solution for us to use one of your pictures on a box of milk product, which we produce for making the Freddo Cappuccino. It would be a real pleasure to be able to use your picture and we definitely would pay for the picture.
      Thank you in advance.
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Reka,
        I don't normally do that, but please write to me with specific details of how and where this image would be used etc. on lazycatkitchen@gmail.com and I will get back to you. Cheers, Ania
Chiara:
I know it sounds weird, but may I know the weight of the 20 ice cubes? Sometimes they have completely different sizes so your 20 ice cubes could equal my 10 or even 30 :D
Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Chiara,
    I'm sorry, but I have no idea. I lived in a different country back then and don't even have the trays I used to make ice. It's not a cake so you really don't need to be this precise. Try 20 and adjust to your taste if you feel that's needed. Ania
Brian:
Thanks for the information and little slice of life into your country. I recently visited Greece and got through the hot afternoons with an espresso or cappuccino freddo. Now I have my family enjoying them at home. In your research with local vendors, what is the milk they are using to get that stiff, frothy foam? I confirmed with one barista that it is skim milk, but he said, “It’s not just any skim milk.” Unfortunately, he moved on from there back to his busy line of coffee drinkers waiting for their orders. Is there a special Greek skim milk? I’m hoping, like you, that I can use the blenders/mixers/frothers I already have to at least get close to what I enjoyed so much in Greece (Mytilene).
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Brian,
    I am glad you enjoyed my post. As for the milk question, I cannot help you I am afraid as I am vegan so I never had much interest in that part of the process. Cheers! Ania
Iain:
Curious as to whether this would work just as well with cold brew ??
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm certain it will, the blender is simply just my home-spun way to achieve nice froth without the need for the specialised machine that they use in Greece. I often use completely cold coffee for this myself. Hope that helps! Ania
Susan:
Fantastic riff on my usual cold brew! I'm loving it. I did use cold brew for the expresso, however, out of sheer laziness...it was in the fridge. Must try with cardamom pods some time! I used a little simple syrup to not add any additional flavor, but so refreshing this am! Thank you. We are deciding where to travel next in Europe and Greece is very tempting, any suggestions would be appreciated!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad it was a hit, Susan! Cold brew is perfect for this, I agree. x Ania
julie comtois:
I miss Greece so much i will definitely try your recipe and am a fan of cardamoms. I will try infusing the pods in the hot coffee while it sits.
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's great to hear, Julie! Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do. We live on this stuff on hot days! Ania
Ivona:
How much coffee tho? Can't wait to try it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    It depends how strong you like your coffee, really. I use a double espresso shot in mine and Duncan makes a double-strength (two coffee scoops) coffee in his aeropress for this. Just double the strength of whatever you drink normally as serving it cold dulls the flavours a little. Hope that helps! Ania
Melina:
I order mine with 'oligh" ολίγη -it's supposed to be half the sugar of metrio...! Still hit or miss, but it hits the spot most of the time!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's a great tip, Melina - none of the locals mentioned this option - wonder if it's regional ;) I will keep it in mind although we are used to sketo by now and I'd rather keep my 'sugar allowance' for a slice of cake ;) Ania
Kaysta:
THIS is the very very best! With little or no sugar, it is still elegant and just the right thing. NOW I really have to make time to enjoy it in the manner it was designed: sitting down and savoring the moment.
THANK YOU!!!! :- )
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Kaysta! I'm happy to see someone getting as excited about a good coffee as I do ;) Yes, sitting down to it (or even better lying down in a hammock) is the best way to enjoy this - hope you'll find time! Ania
Bethany:
Oh! Looks like the perfect drink to cool down with!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Bethany! Hope you'll give it a go :) Ania
Sally:
I've already voted for you both, definitely deserve a trophy 😉
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so for supporting us, Sally! That's lovely to hear. :) Ania
Jessrichter:
Sounds so nice and you was so descriptive of Greece I could really picture it :)
Ice coffee is my fav drink in summer. Could you tell your measurements on making the actual black coffee or expresso part. I always seem to either do too weak or too strong when I make it myself haha
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jess,
    Thanks, I hope you'll try it. As for your question, it really depends on a lot of things: brewing method, your coffee grind and roast, your personal preference so the best way is to find perfect ratios is to experiment 'on yourself', so to speak. I use a double amount of espresso coffee (I have a coffee scoop that came with my espresso machine) and fill the cup with about 1 cup (240 ml) of coffee. Hope that helps, Ania
Judy:
Once again, Ania, you've taken the ordinary up a notch. Iced coffee is my drink of choice in the summer months, but I drink it plain or with a dash of coconut milk if I need a little more "body" to the drink. But I don't need to drink it plain anymore. Your simple recipe doesn't take a lot of time and it allows me to imagine I'm sitting seaside at an outdoor cafe in Greece. :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Judy! And I hope it will 'transport' you to Greece ;) Ania
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