Nescafe Frappe & Shakers
Greek Frappe History
The hallmark of a Greek frappé is a foam so sensationally frothy that it resembles a cream. Coffee foams such as the crema atop espresso are generally produced by the proteins in the coffee. These proteins act as surfactants (surface active agents) which form a thin elastic membrane on the liquid's surface area and entrap air. The main advantage instant coffee has over brewed fresh coffee for the purposes of foaming is that it can be prepared in a highly concentrated solution. When that solution is shaken there are lots of proteins to line the bubbles that form and help produce a thick, durable foam. In both its powdered and granule form, instant coffee is basically brewed coffee which has been dried to remove most of its water. The amount of water added back to it can be carefully controlled. A small quantity of water can be used to produce the foam. Then more water or milk can added afterwards to dilute some of the foam, filling the cup or glass beneath it with drinkable coffee liquid. A dense extract made with instant coffee and water in a weight-per-volume concentration as high as 6 percent provides an abundance of protein molecules to surround the bubbles as they form.
Where, when, and how this drink assumed the name frappé is uncertain. Soon after its invention, a form of this frothy cold coffee was promoted by Nestlé at the Contemporary Home Exhibition at the Zappeion convention center in Athens. But a Nestlé company promotional brochure from around that period, written in Greek, detailed a slightly different recipe: Put in a mixer 2 cups Nestlé evaporated milk, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons Nescafé, and 1 scoop vanilla ice cream. Mix a few seconds and serve. This formula took after the French classic café frappé, made with ice cream, as much as the Greek one, which acquires its foam and fullness without ice cream. By 1963 ice cream was no longer a part of Nescafé’s frappé equation. A print ad from that year carried a bold illustration of a glass with an exceedingly thick head of light-colored foam over a dark liquid. That this was what Greeks came to know as a milkless “frappé horis gala”, albeit a rather top-heavy one, there can be little doubt. The ad copy linked “Nescafé” and “frappé” and revealed these simple instructions for preparing a frappé coffee: All you have to do is beat Nescafé, sugar, and cold water.