This three ingredient espresso drink is a type of iced coffee from Greece. The refreshing coffee recipe is made with strong espresso, then topped with thick cold foam.
Visit Greece in the summer, and you'll quickly be introduced to one of their beloved coffee drinks, the freddo cappuccino. It's a popular drink you'll see in cafes and in people's homes.
What I love about the Greek cappuccino is the rich and simple flavor. The strong, bitter notes of the espresso shine through in the most beautiful way! Plus, it's the perfect ratio of espresso to milk.
After drinking multiple cappuccinos a day throughout my vacation in Greece, I knew I had to learn how to recreate the recipe at home. I promise you'll love this European-style iced coffee as much as I do!
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
If you're a coffee lover, you're going to enjoy learning a few new techniques from this recipe including:
- What a freddo cappuccino is and how it differs from other Americanized coffee recipes.
- How to make a silky and glossy cold foam that sits on top of the espresso.
What Is A Freddo Cappuccino?
A freddo cappuccino is an espresso-based iced coffee drink. It's a coffee recipe that is said to have been created in the 1990s by the Greeks as a way to drink coffee during the hot summer months.
There are various methods for how to make this drink. Different Greek restaurants like Dimello and other local cafes vary their recipes slightly. However, in general, a freddo cappuccino is defined by:
- A base of freshly brewed espresso.
- Ice that's added to the espresso which allows it to cool off. Sometimes the espresso is blended with two to three ice cubes in a drink mixer to give the espresso a creamy texture.
- Nonfat frothed milk is poured on top of the espresso to create a foamy top layer on the coffee.
Ingredients You Need
This freddo cappuccino recipe requires only a few ingredients.
- Freshly brewed espresso: This recipe calls for 2 shots of espresso which is about 4 ounces (120 ml). You can pull your shots of espresso from a traditional espresso machine or by using a Nespresso machine. If you're using a Nespresso (like me), I prefer the Altissio or Double Dolce pods.
- Nonfat milk: In order to get a glossy, silky smooth foam on top of the espresso, it's important to use nonfat milk. Other types of milk with higher fat percentages won't get you the same frothed consistency that's so iconic in the Greece version this drink.
- Granulated sugar: If you prefer your coffee without sugar, you can skip this ingredient. However, the granulated sugar adds the perfect hint of sweetness. In Greece, the amount of sugar listed in the recipe would be considered a medium level of sugar.
How To Make This Recipe
Let me teach you how to make a freddo cappuccino in five easy steps.
1. Brew the espresso. While the espresso is still hot, add in your desired amount of granulated sugar and stir together. Then, set the espresso aside and allow it to cool off for about 5 minutes.
2. Next, add in a handful of ice to help the espresso cool down even more.
3. Now for the fun part - frothing the milk! Using a handheld frother, froth the nonfat milk for about 60 seconds.
4. The milk will turn into a glossy and smooth foam.
5. Finally, put everything together by carefully spooning the frothed milk on top of the espresso. This creates a beautifully layered coffee drink!
- If you prefer a frothy espresso, blend two to three ice cubes with the espresso in a drink mixer to give the coffee a creamy texture. Then, strain the coffee into a serving glass filled with ice.
- Don't be tempted to use a plant-based or higher-fat milk. The foam will not turn out frothy and glossy with other variations of milk.
- To achieve a beautifully layered coffee, carefully spoon the frothed milk on top of the espresso.
This drink can be sweet or unsweet, depending on how you make it. When ordering a freddo cappuccino in Greece, they will typically ask you if you'd like it unsweetened, medium sugar, or sweet. This recipe is made for those who prefer a medium sweetness.
Nonfat (skim) milk works best for the frothed layer that you see on top of this drink. This type of milk easily turns glossy and foamy when frothed.
While I have seen recipes for freddo cappuccinos that use instant coffee, I'd suggest sticking with freshly brewed espresso for a richer taste.
More Coffee Recipes
Greek Freddo Cappuccino (3 Ingredients)
- 4 ounces (2 shots) freshly brewed espresso
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup nonfat milk
- Pour freshly brewed espresso into a lowball serving glass. Add granulated sugar while the espresso is hot, and stir to combine. Allow the espresso to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, froth nonfat milk with a hand frother for 60 seconds until a glossy, smooth foam has formed.
- Add a handful of ice to the cooled espresso. Carefully spoon the frothed milk on top of the espresso to create a layer of foam on top. Serve immediately.