Being wide awake at 2am because of jet lag is my current normal. For now my jet lag means a lot of “I-Love-Lucy-reruns” and that I look forward to starting “breakfast” at 5am. It is still totally pitch-black dark outside at 5am. But as soon as I put the “brike” on (the small pot in which you heat Cyprus coffee) I feel like my day has officially begun. In fact, this is how I feel no matter what time I get up. Cyprus coffee is my little peaceful morning moment in which I love to indulge. I probably picked up this habit from my family, who – even if traveling to foreign countries – will pack a portable electric “brike” just to ensure that their day can be properly started.
Did you know that Cyprus coffee is made from the same coffee beans that filtered coffee is made from? Both types of coffee are made from Arabica coffee beans, but the beans are ground into a fine powder, suitable for making Cyprus coffee.
I find I think the best way to describe how to make a Cyprus coffee is a visual process. Because the trick in making a good cup of Cyprus coffee is knowing when to take it off the stove so that it is properly cooked and has a good amount of foam on it. In fact, a lot of people have their own tips and techniques. I remember someone told me that they ensure that the foam on top rises twice, and another three times. I usually let the foam rise twice before serving it.
There are three ways you can prepare your coffee. You can make it in the very traditional way, which is to take the “brike” and place it in a sort of “hot sand” bath, surrounding the “brike”. This is how Cypriot coffee was made years ago. But nowadays I have only ever had a coffee made like this once – at the Limassol nautical club. You can also heat the “brike” on the stove, which is how the majority of people have made Cyprus coffee for many years until the invention of a sort of “electric brike” which acts as a small kettle ideally designed to make Cyprus coffee. I prefer the 2nd method – on the stove in a traditional “brike”.
So here is a visual guide to make Cypriot coffee. Follow the pictures and instructions below.
1 heaped tsp Cyprus coffee
1 espresso cup full of water
1. Pour 1 espresso sized cup of water into a “brike”. If you do not have a “brike” you can use a small pot.
2. Place on a hot (i.e. the temperature you would use to bring water to a boil) stove. Add a heaped teaspoon of coffee to the water and stir.
3. Begin to bring the coffee to a boil. As it begins to heat, the coffee will begin to produce a foam on top which will suddenly rise. Just before the foam overflows (you will see the foam begin to slowly rise), remove the pot from the stove. Then place it back onto the hot stove and let the foam rise again. Make sure to not let the foam bubble over during these stages, otherwise it will destroy the foam.
4. Pour into your cup, let sit for 2 minutes and enjoy! (If you have taken the coffee off too early, you may have lots of foam, but taste sediment – so just give the coffee a quick stir before drinking, this will make the sediment sink to the bottom.)