Each village in Cyprus has a ‘kafenio’ or espresso home. It’s an integral a part of the group simply as a lot as a church or taverna and is thought to be a social assembly place. Individuals on low-cost holidays ought to endeavour to go to at the least one kafenio to expertise a style of the ‘actual’ Cyprus which has been in existence for hundreds of years. The kafenio is often positioned within the central sq. of the village and a few see it as being central to village life. Among the bigger villages have multiple kafenio however they’re at all times positioned within the village centre.
Individuals come to kafenios for quite a lot of totally different causes. They arrive to fulfill their pals, take pleasure in 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 hot drinks and alcohol. Historically they used to promote natural drinks that have been produced regionally 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 fabricated from immediate, iced espresso, various quantities of sugar and milk all shaken collectively. These days, kafenios have moved with the instances and now promote ‘trendy’ coffees equivalent to latte and cappuccino.
Espresso in Cyprus remains to be brewed in small, lengthy dealt with pots, huge on the base and tapering on the high, known as ‘Mbrikia’. Historically, they have been at all times fabricated from copper. Guests on Cyprus holidays are inclined to convey these again as a preferred 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 remains to be chilly. The quantity is determined by your particular person desire. 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, recognized 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 sturdy and is served in small cups and usually 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 diverse because the drinks they promote. The stylish espresso home like ‘Da Capo’ in Nicosia is widespread with vacationers on late holidays and younger locals who meet up with their pals right here and sit exterior and other people watch. ‘Oktana’ within the previous metropolis of Nicosia is a well-liked kafenio and may 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 chill out within the cosy Uqbar and smoke a hookah. One other good kafenio in Cyprus is the ‘Kala Kathoumena’ espresso home in Nicosia. An excellent favorite with the artwork set, individuals come right here to fulfill their pals. It’s the place to be seen in and attracts plenty of Cypriot celebrities.