Monday, June 7, 2010

Why coffee is so expensive in Greece,

Everything in Greece seems more expensive than before, but I guess some of that is normal.

It seems preposterous that Greek Feta is cheaper in Germany than in Greece. There are a series of other anomalies like this.

I have to defend the high cost of coffee in Greece never the less.

It may cost 2 or 3 times the price of other European countries, but it makes sense if you understand the Greeks.

In Italy, a cup of coffee is consumed in an instant; a cappuccino takes a little longer.
It is a matter of culture; Greeks have a huge variety to choose from.

The frappe is exclusively a Greek invention, not consumed instantly, even though it is made from instant coffee.

Making Greek coffee on the other hand, is a prized ritual, nor should its consumption be hurried but sipped slowly. We also have espresso, cappuccino, American, and hundreds of variations of these, depending on how sweet you want them.

Starbucks has also invaded Greece, so we have 38 more types of coffees at least.
But why is it so expensive?

I said it was culture. Now let me explain. Nobody that I know in Greece hurries their coffee, it is a social event that may take hours.Nobody drinks coffee alone; no one gulps it and runs.

The most expensive piece of real estate in Athens is Kolonaki Square, filled with coffee shops; the beautiful ports in Greece are lined with coffee shops and if it is attractive real estate, with a beautiful view, you are sure to find a coffee shop.
When you order a coffee in Greece you are renting space for up to two hours, and probably using 2 to 3 chairs per person.
Considering the coffee experience and all that goes with it, view, location, time, friends, etc. coffee turns out to be pretty cheap.

You are partially renting space, usually in a great place, with friends and you are viewing the passing parade of people, many of them very good looking, discussing sports, politics, smoking, twirling your worry beads, receiving and making phone calls.
It seems to me, considering the time Greeks take (as well as all the rest) to drink a cup of coffee, it is money well spent.

Considering the pleasure derived from a simple cup of coffee, it may very well be the best value for money, especially if you learn to enjoy it like a Greek..



  1. I'd like for you to read my coffee cup one afternoon when we are having coffee :)

  2. greg....!!! i have water in my eyes for laugh.
    great and funny.!!

  3. How come the only coffee you ever gave me was clear and tasted like licorice. I know, you were trying to save money.

  4. so true Greg.....but it seems capers are cutting into our coffee time buddy...

  5. Yeah, it seems so, but leaving the phone home (your idea), might just work.