Our Everyday Greek: Survival Guide for Greece Travelers: How to Order Your Coffee

(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

For many, a good cup of coffee is necessary to begin their day. How would you order the coffee you prefer? Greek coffee is served hot and it is boiled with the added sugar. Therefore, when you order it, you need to say whether you want it sweet, medium or plain. Γλυκός means sweet, with two teaspoons of sugar (με δύο κουταλιές ζάχαρη), medium with one (με μία κουταλιά ζάχαρη) and plain or bitter without sugar (χωρίς ζάχαρη). During summertime, Greeks still drink the hot Greek coffee, but they also love φραπές (=frappe coffee). Coffee, milk, and sugar are stirred together in a shaker and ice cubes are added. The type of coffee the Americans and the Europeans prefer is called French coffee in Greece.

CHOOSE THE TYPE OF COFFEE YOU WANT
Θέλωένανκαφέ.
THEloENankaFE.
I want (I would like) a coffee.

Θέλωένανκαφέελληνικό.
THEloEnankaFEeliniKO.
I want (I would like) a Greek coffee.

Θέλωέναφραπέ.
THEloEnafreappe.
I want (I would like) a freappe.

Θέλωέναεσπρέσο.
THeloEnaespREso.
I want (I would like) an espresso coffee.

Θέλωένανκαφέγαλλικό.
THEloEnankaFEyaliKO.
I want (I would like) a French coffee.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR GREEK COFFEE?
Θέλω έναν καφέ ελληνικό μέτριο. Με μία κουταλιά ζάχαρη.
THEloenankaFEeliniKOMEtrio. ME MEEakootaliAZAhari.
I want (I would like) a Greek coffee, medium. With one teaspoon of sugar.

Θέλω έναν καφέ ελληνικό γλυκό. Με δύο κουταλιές ζάχαρη.
THEloenankaFEeliniKOyliKO. ME DEEokootaliESZAhari.
I want (I would like) a Greek coffee, sweet. With two teaspoons of sugar.

Θέλω έναν καφέ ελληνικό χωρίς ζάχαρη.
THElo enan kaFE eliniKO hoREES ZAhari.
I want (I would like) a Greek coffee without sugar.

HOW TO ORDER A COLD FRAPPE COFFEE
Θέλω ένα φραπέ μέτριο με γάλα.
THEloEnafreappeMEtrio ME YAla.
I want (I would like) a frappe coffee with milk.

Θέλω ένα φραπέ γλυκό χωρίς γάλα.
THEloEnafreappeyliKOhoREESYAla.
I want (I would like) a frappe coffee, sweet without milk.

ORDER COFFEE FOR YOUR FRIENDS
Δύοκαφέδεςπαρακαλώ.
DEEokaFEdesparakaLO.
Two coffees, please.
Έναν ελληνικό μέτριο και ένα φραπέ γλυκό με γάλα.
EnaneliniKOMetrio KΕEnafreappeyliKO ME YAla.
A Greek coffee medium and a frappe sweet with milk.

GREEK YOU ALREADY KNOW
Καφές. The international word for coffee.
Γλυκός is a compound of English words like glycose, glycol.
Μέτριος means medium from the Greek word μέτρο>meter (measure).
Ζάχαρη comes from the same root like the English word sugar.
Γάλα is found in English words like galactic, galaxy.

BASIC GRAMMAR
Feminine gender nouns form the plural in –ες. Η κουταλι-ά/ οι κουταλι-ές. Masculine nouns ending in –ες form the plural in –έδες.Οκαφές/ οικαφέδες. Οφραπές/ οιφραπέδες.

BASIC VOCABULARY
Greek word Pronunciation Meaning
Θέλω THElo I want, I would like
Ο καφ-ές o kaFES coffee
Οικαφέδες EE kaFEdes coffees
O φραπ-ές o freappeS frappe coffee
Ο ελληνικ-ός ο elliniKOS Greek
Ο γαλλικ-ός oyaliKOS French
Ο ζεστ-ός ο zeSTOS hot
Ο γλυκ-ός ο yliKOS sweet
Ομέτρι-ος o MEtrios medium
Η κουταλι-ά EE kootaliA teaspoon
Οικουταλιές EE kootaliES teaspoons
ΈναEna one (masculine, neuter gender)
Μία MEEa one (feminine gender)
Δύο DEEo two
Ηζάχαρ-η EE ZAhari sugar
Τογάλ-α TO YAla milk
Χωρίς hoREES without
Με ME with
Και KE and

PRONUNCIATION KEY
i (idiom), ee (needle), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.