Friday, 24 March 2017

Well used

Our collection of well used Greek cooking and drinking utensils

The briki

A briki is a small long handled pot used for boiling greek coffee.  As someone mentioned recently, every Greek house has a briki.  In fact every Greek house has many brikis.

Every Greek house also has one of these small gas burners which are used almost exclusively for making Greek coffee.  A  hot plate on a stove takes too long to heat the water and the coffee ends up being stewed. 

The little copper pot on the right is the favourite.  It is a 'traditional' pot and is big enough for one coffee. 
The pot in the front is blackened inside and out.   This is the one I use to 'burn' the oil for tossing into the macaroni. 

The small pots behind are big enough for two cups and the larger one on top of the gas burner is for multi-cups, boiling water for my nescafe when the power goes off or even boiling a couple of eggs.

How do you make Greek coffee?  Measure out enough water to half fill your small cup (espresso size), add a heaped teaspoon of Greek coffee and a quarter teaspoon of sugar.  

Put one hand round the end of the long handle and hold tightly. 

Stir well and leave it till the froth just starts to rise up.

Keep your eyes on the pot the whole time. If it rises up and over the coffee is spoilt and you have to start all over again, and clean up the mess.

  Pour it into your cup and drink only the top half.  The rest is a thick sludge of dark coffee grounds.

The lettuces in the orange bowl in the background were given us by Vaso.  I keep them in the bowl in a little bit of water.  They will keep fresh like that for over a week.

Traditional copper wine jugs. 

The one on the left is  well used. This is the half litre jug.  On it is the saying
"whoever drinks wine has a golden heart"
which sounds much better in greek as it rhymes.

The small pot in the front is the quarter litre.  Never used, except as a handy holder for teaspoons and small forks.

At the back are the one litre jugs.  The blue one is a souvenir from the island of Paros.  The other copper pot is old and faded, almost a family heirloom.

The little clay jug is aesthetically pleasing but not practical.  It is too small, would have to be repeatedly refilled and probably end up in pieces on the floor.  I was the one who bought it of course but rarely get to use it. 

For larger get togethers
(Smokey Thursday, Clean Monday, Epiphany, the Prodigal Son, Christmas, New Year, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, 25th March, 28th October, 15th August, May Day, Carnival amongst others)
 and family affairs
(Sundays, arrivals, departures, congratulations, name days and birthdays)
 we have also two  2-litre glass jugs.


  1. I love the Briki coffee pot. We have a lot of brass and copper in our house. How much would you pay for a Briki? When I visited Vienna I read about the battle of Vienna. The Ottoman army left coffee and cymbals behind when they fled. I wonder if Turks had an influence on introducing coffee to Greece.

    1. Aha Dave, very clever. When I arrived in Greece in the 70 s it was called Turkish coffee but because of troubles between the two countries it has now become Greek coffee. That sort of coffee is common all-over the east I think and has just been adopted by the Greeks.
      A copper briki won't be much more than about 10 euros I think. We've had ours for years. unfortunately a copper one is difficult to find around here. If I find one somewhere in my travels I'll have a look and let you know. Would you like one?

  2. Oh well there's a bit of Greek education for me. I would not have guessed at any of these utensils. The brikis look more like something I would find in my brother's workshop for heating glue!

    1. An middle eastern utensil I think. But not for glue!!!!

  3. I only have the one. A little copper one my mother in law gave me when I was first married.
    We don't drink a lot of Greek coffee. Mostly now we have the instant or like me it's all about the pods
    I love wine. I must have a very golden heart by now

    1. You and me too!! Nescafe and wine and definitely a heart of gold ftoo ftoo ftoo

  4. We had a lovely Greek friend at college who used to bring her Briki and stove with her each day. The coffee was incredibly strong and was always filled with 'bits'; not to my taste.

    1. Gritty coffee and not much of it in the cup. You have to have been born into to it appreciate it!