Unlike most kinds of coffee served in Europe, Cyprus coffee is brewed in small, long handled pots, wide at the base and tapering at the top called “mbrikia” which were traditionally made of copper. The coffee is made from fresh, finely ground coffee beans, usually Brazilian.
One heaped teaspoon of coffee is added to each demitasse of cold water. The sugar is added while the water is still cold. The amount depends on whether you want your coffee sweet “glykis”, medium “metrios”,or unsweetened “sketos”.
The “mbrikia” are heated on the stove or in small trays filled with heated sand that transfers the heat in a more uniform and smooth manner. When the sugar has dissolved, the coffee is allowed to come to the boil, forming a creamy froth known as “kaimaki” on top. As the froth turns in from the sides, the coffee begins to rise and the pot is removed from the heat.
Cyprus coffee is served in small cups and is customarily accompanied with a glass of cold water.
The coffee is strong and it is sipped slowly. The thick layer at the bottom of the cup should not be drunk, though it does have a use for fortune-tellers who ‘interpret’ the dried patterns left behind. After finishing the coffee, the cup is turned upside down onto a small plate and left there for a few minutes to dry. It is then turned around again and the patterns left behind are claimed to reveal something about the person’s future. At least that’s what those who explain the patterns say.