Each village in Cyprus has a ‘kafenio’ or espresso home. It’s an integral a part of the neighborhood simply as a lot as a church or taverna and is considered a social assembly place. Individuals on low cost holidays ought to endeavour to go to a minimum of one kafenio to expertise a style of the ‘actual’ Cyprus which has been in existence for hundreds of years. The kafenio is normally situated within the central sq. of the village and a few see it as being central to village life. A few of the bigger villages have multiple kafenio however they’re at all times situated within the village centre.
Individuals come to kafenios for quite a lot of completely different causes. They arrive to satisfy their mates, get pleasure from a sport of tavli (backgammon), gossip, eat and naturally, drink espresso. The espresso is available in 3 classes; ‘metrio’ is medium with one teaspoon of sugar, ‘glyko’ is good with two spoonfuls of sugar and ‘sketo’ is unsweetened. In addition to espresso, the kafenio additionally sells cold and warm drinks and alcohol. Historically they used to promote natural drinks that had been produced domestically and in a few of them you possibly can nonetheless purchase anise, mint or spadgia (a Cypriot herb) tea. Different drinks accessible are the ever-present frappe which the Cypriots appear inordinately keen on. It’s a frothy iced espresso manufactured from on the spot, iced espresso, various quantities of sugar and milk all shaken collectively. These days, kafenios have moved with the occasions and now promote ‘fashionable’ coffees corresponding to latte and cappuccino.
Espresso in Cyprus continues to be brewed in small, lengthy dealt with pots, large on the base and tapering on the high, referred to as ‘Mbrikia’. Historically, they had been at all times manufactured from copper. Guests on Cyprus holidays are likely to deliver these again as a well-liked memento. To make the correct Cyprus espresso, one heaped teaspoon of espresso is added to every demitasse of chilly water. Sugar is added while the water continues to be chilly. The quantity is determined by your particular person choice. The mbrikias are then heated on a range or in small trays stuffed with heated sand to get a extra even warmth distribution. When the sugar is dissolved, the espresso is delivered to the boil, forming a creamy froth, identified to the Cypriots as ‘kaimaki’ on high. Because the froth begins to rise the espresso is taken off the boil. Cyprus espresso tends to be fairly robust and is served in small cups and typically served with a glass of water. The dregs are by no means drunk and when the cup is empty, it’s inverted onto a small plate or saucer.
The kafenios in Cyprus are as various because the drinks they promote. The fashionable espresso home like ‘Da Capo’ in Nicosia is common with vacationers on late holidays and younger locals who meet up with their mates right here and sit exterior and other people watch. ‘Oktana’ within the outdated metropolis of Nicosia is a well-liked kafenio and might get fairly crowded. Individuals come right here for the espresso which is superb and to play backgammon. They’re additionally well-known for his or her mouth-watering crepes. There’s an attractive courtyard out the again and within the basement, you possibly can calm down within the cosy Uqbar and smoke a hookah. One other good kafenio in Cyprus is the ‘Kala Kathoumena’ espresso home in Nicosia. An amazing favorite with the artwork set, individuals come right here to satisfy their mates. It’s the place to be seen in and attracts loads of Cypriot celebrities.