I read somewhere that there is a law in Greece that cafes must serve Greek coffee. Can someone verify that there is such a law, or regulation?

  • Where did you read this? If you could define "somewhere", you'd probably get better answers.
    – Stephie
    Dec 18 '17 at 10:13

I am from Greece and I am still here...So I have a first-hand knowledge!

Not all cafes serve Greek coffee and not all coffee shops (the ones they sell coffee beans) sell beans for Greek coffee! But most of them do otherwise the lose 90% of their clientele, in my opinion!

Starbucks they don’t have Greek coffee on their menu and NOBODY would ask for Greek coffee at Starbucks!

How to make Greek coffee now. I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TleH2q86O0M that exactly how we do it. In a coffee pot you put a cup of water (like the ones you use for espresso shots), a teaspoon of roasted and then finely ground coffee beans and if you want it mild you also put a teaspoon of sugar or for sweet two teaspoons. Then you boil it and stir it and before it come to the boiling point, you remove it from the heat, put in the cut and let the grounds to settle. Also you can choose for two different blends the most common one “blond beans” and “dark beans” or you can mix it.

But Greek coffee is the same as Turkish coffee.

Two more things:

  1. After you finish your coffee, if you want to see your future turn your cup upside-down. And have someone “read” it for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vk1cCpN-8I

  2. The only kind of coffee that we have here and I have never seen anywhere else is Frappe. And it’s the only one that I don’t drink! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbmWtPtZIZA

  • "Greek coffee is the same as Turkish coffee." __ thst's what I thought after reading the how to make: thanks a lot for the confirmation! Dec 28 '17 at 0:28

I found this detailed article by an expert titled "how to make and drink Greek coffee" that seems to rather confirm your understanding of the matter:

I remember when I was the Food and Beverage Director for Starbucks in Greece and we were launching the first store in Greece back in 2002, we had to serve Greek coffee in the store. Apparently there is a law in Greece that requires all coffee shops to serve Greek coffee (...) Α specific combination of beans is used to make this Greek blend, with specific bean varieties, roasted at specific temperatures and used in specific ratios.

Source: How to Make and Drink Greek Coffee

Author: Elena Paravantes

I would interpret her statement to mean that Greek law requires all coffee shops to serve Greek coffee, but in addition thay can make and serve any other type of coffee.


This is apparently a genuine legal requirement in Greece.

Greek commercial law can be challenging to understand. Greece has a well entrenched bureaucracy and many people have opined that legislation in Greece has been appended on an ad hoc basis for a long time resulting in some inconsistent, difficult to understand and sometimes contradictory legal framework.

By many accounts this is sometimes the only practical way to navigate the convoluted & contradictory regulations. Interestingly the custom of fakellaki was formally legitimized in Greece as recently as 2013. The controversial legislation said that falellaki is not necessarily unlawful because they are just a Greek way of saying thanks for favors.

There is a long-standing Greek custom called φακελάκι (fakellaki) which is the custom of giving money in a discreet envelope to bureaucrats to expedite permits and other services.

I too have read the article by the Starbucks Food & Beverage Manager in Athens describing how Starbucks was obligated to offer Greek style coffee. I asked some friends in Athens if they knew anything about this and they told me that the traditional kafenio (cafe) is permitted to operate later hours than many other types of businesses.

It sounds like one could theoretically eschew the requirement to offer Greek style coffee if you operated a cafe with reduced opening hours. But that would likely be an uncompetitive & fiscally unprofitable way to run a cafe.

  • Starbucks issue is interesting. Starbucks is not obligated to offer Turkish coffee in Turkey. Still, they offer Turkish coffee in each branch in Turkey. Sometimes market enforces you, then you don't require any legislation.
    – MTSan
    Jan 28 '18 at 6:36

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