NEWS

Instant coffee the most popular among Greeks

The Greek method of preparing cold instant coffee known as «frappe» is the most popular choice for coffee drinkers. Greek coffee is still popular, though not so much with the younger generation. Few people in Greece can resist the appeal of the beverage that became known in Europe in the 17th century. Only one in 10 say they never drink coffee, according to a recent survey conducted by ICAP in late 2004. ICAP questioned 662 men and women aged 15-64. Four out of 10 (41 percent) said they mainly drink instant coffee, while 35 percent prefer Greek coffee. Women prefer Greek coffee while men prefer instant. Only 10 percent of the 15-24 age group prefer Greek coffee, compared with 71 percent of those aged 55 to 66. People who do not work prefer Greek coffee, while workers go for instant coffee. Other types of coffee are far less popular. Only 7 percent of the sample drink cappuccino or espresso and another 7 percent filter coffee. A significant factor in the lower consumption of cappuccino and espresso is that both require special appliances which most people do not have at home, where most coffee is drunk. Of the sample, 50 percent said they drink coffee at home more than once a day. Certain types of coffee – such as Greek and filter coffee – are popular because of their flavor but also because they are considered to be lighter and therefore healthier choices. Varieties The quality of coffee and the amount of caffeine it contains does not depend on the way it is made but on the variety of beans from which it comes. Two of the best known and most frequently drunk varieties are arabica and robusta. The former is higher in quality and contains less caffeine, while the latter contains more caffeine and is considered to be of lower quality. Arabica, which accounts for more than 70 percent of the coffee on the market, flourishes on steep slopes. It needs shade and heavy rain to produce its rich flavor and aroma. By contrast, robusta prefers a hot climate and is more resistant to disease, but it has less flavor and so is cheaper. Each tree produces around 2,000 beans a year, which is enough to make around one kilo of raw coffee. The quality and price of coffee depends on how it is harvested and processed. Brazil produces the greatest amounts of coffee, followed by Vietnam and Colombia.