ATHENS – Not even eight years of crushing austerity and an economic crisis that has seen poverty, suicide and unemployment rates spike has separated Greeks from their ancient tradition of a coffee drinking ritual.
The coffee industry is growing fast in Greece, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said with its data revealing Greeks ranked 17th in the world for consumption per capita.
“Within the last five years more than 50 new coffee chains have entered the Greek market, even though not all of them managed to survive,” the Greek Specialty Coffee Association (SCAE Greece) told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
From the dark, thick traditional Greek coffee, to the gritty cold Frappe or filtered coffee, Greeks just love the stuff in almost any form and is considered to be a little luxury that’s affordable even in the worst of times.
The industry revenues so far this year have already hit 966 million euros ($1.126 billion) and the sector is expected to grow annually by 2.6 percent through 2021, the figures showed bolstered by stores specializing in takeaway drinks and a proliferation of new chains mostly doing well and Greeks even taking to Italian style espresso and cappuccino drinks.
There is a rapidly growing number of specialized importers and roasters of fine beans with Greece importing from South American countries including Brazil and Colombia, as well as African countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, the report said.
“Numbers show that people are getting more and more aware of what they drink and look for, they can define the taste characteristics that suit them, and they consider coffee consuming as an experience and not only an everyday essential,” SCAE Greece told Xinhua.