Every coffee lover should know how to make a freddo espresso at home. This easy Greek recipe for iced coffee is very simple to make but you need to know a few basic tips in order to make it perfect.
Espresso Freddo is one of the most popular cold beverages in Greece and that's why you will find it literally in every coffee shop there is.
It is the perfect drink on a hot summer day, and the type of coffee everyone orders at the beach bars (unless you prefer something alcoholic, in which case you'll probably order this Aperol Spritz).
Espresso Freddo has its origins in Greece but draws inspiration from the Italian espresso.
Before the espresso freddo was born, most Greeks used to drink another type of iced coffee called Frappe.
Frappe coffee is made with instant coffee granules, cold water, ice cubes and (optionally) sugar.
It has a thick layer of foam which is achieved by vigorously shaking all of the ingredients in a shaker, and is served in a tall glass filled with ice.
At the end, you can add milk if you like (if you add the milk at the beginning you'll never get that thick, creamy signature foam).
Dalgona coffee, which gained massive popularity through TikTok, is very similar to Frappe.
When Italian espresso machines became popular in Greece, Frappe started to lose its popularity because the Greeks adapted the espresso concept to create their own version of a chilled coffee beverage.
And it makes sense, because the taste of a freshly brewed espresso is far superior to the taste you get by using instant coffee.
That is how Espresso Freddo was born, from the Italian term "Freddo" which means "cold".
This is a simple and refreshing drink made with just 2 or 3 ingredients:
- A double shot of espresso coffee.
- Ice cubes.
- Sweetener of choice such as sugar or stevia (optional).
1. Brew two shots of espresso using an espresso machine.
If you have a Nespresso machine choose the small cup option that will give you 35-40 ml coffee for each shot. Do not choose the lungo option because it will give you a watery coffee.
2. Pour the coffee into a cocktail shaker or a sealable jar. If using sweetener, add it now and stir to dissolve.
Add 4-5 large ice cubes and froth with a handheld milk frother (you may also know it as electric handheld mixer frappe) until you create a thick foam.
If you don't have a frother, firmly close the shaker and shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
3. Fill a glass with 3-4 ice cubes and pour the coffee over the ice cubes. Serve with a straw.
Why a double shot of espresso?
Espresso freddo should be strong, with a viscous, creamy texture. Using two shots and no additional water (except the ice) will produce the desired consistency.
If using a capsule machine, you'll need two coffee capsules. Don't use the same capsule for the two shots.
Probably because of the history of frappe, there is a misconception that espresso freddo is served in a tall glass with ice.
This can be done only if the glass is very narrow (so that the ice is not too much, otherwise it will make the coffee watery). If you don't have a narrow tall glass choose a short, wide one such as a whiskey tumbler (old fashioned glass)
If you don't have an espresso machine you can also make this iced coffee drink with the traditional moka pot.
The moka pot should be the size of two espresso shots, otherwise you'll have to scale the recipe for the best results.
If using instant espresso powder, add 1 tablespoon of coffee powder to ¼ cup (60ml) of hot water and stir to dissolve.
Then add 5 ice cubes and shake well. You can also add the espresso powder to cold water, but adding it to hot water releases more flavor.
For a variety of espresso drinks, you can also use different flavors of espresso capsules like vanilla, caramel, hazelnut.
With a bit of milk. If you prefer a creamier version, you can also add a splash of milk or cream to your Espresso Freddo before pouring it over the ice.
Whole milk, reduced fat or non-dairy milk such as almond milk are all fine.
Freddo Cappuccino. This is made exactly like freddo espresso but with the addition of foamy milk on top.
You can see how to easily make it in this homemade freddo cappuccino (iced cappuccino coffee) article.
Cinnamon or chocolate powder can be sprinkled on top of the drink. For a cappuccino freddo you will need a larger glass.
For a creamier version, top your iced coffee with a 1-2 scoops of this easy 3-ingredient coffee ice cream and make it a "frappuccino".
Freddo espresso food pairings
You can enjoy this Greek iced coffee throughout the day, with or without food. Though you can pair it with savory snacks like sandwiches, sesame bagel (koulouri), or this easy Greek leftover chicken pie, the most popular choices for food pairings are sweet snacks like cakes and cookies.
Some great suggestions are:
If you use any other type of coffee, like cold brew or lungo (the setting on your coffee machine that extracts more than one shot of espresso) then your coffee will taste watery.
Also, make sure to use a strong coffee with intensity level 8 or higher, suitable for espresso or ristretto.
When ordering freddo espresso in Greece, you will be asked about the desired sweetness level.
The three different levels are:
"Sketo" which means without any sugar.
"Metrio" which means "medium", and has 1 teaspoon sugar per shot of espresso.
"Glyko" which means "sweet" and usually has 2 teaspoons sugar per shot of espresso.
A full-bodied, low acidity coffee with high intensity level (8 or higher) will give you the perfect freddo with robust flavor.
Freddo Espresso is a Greek type of iced coffee, inspired by the older frappe and influenced by the Italian hot espresso. It's one of the most popular cold coffees and it's enjoyed throughout the year, and not only during summer. The Shakerato is probably the italian version of Freddo Espresso!
Freddo espresso recipe (easy Greek iced coffee)
- 1 handheld electric frother or a cocktail shaker
- 2 shots (60 ml) espresso
- 7-8 large ice cubes
- sweetener of choice (optional)
- Make two shots of espresso and pour the coffee into a cocktail shaker or a sealable jar. Add the sweetener (if using) and stir to dissolve.
- Add 4-5 large ice cubes and froth with a handheld milk frother (also know as electric handheld mixer frappe) until you create a thick foam.If you don't have a frother, firmly close the shaker (or jar) and shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds.
- Fill a glass with the remaining ice cubes and pour the coffee over them. Serve with a straw.