Category Archives: Coffee

Signs that you need coffee, #5

You wake up on a beautiful sunny Swiss Sunday morning.

You go in front of your filter coffee machine which, spoiler, you have programmed to brew a coffee on a fixed time every day except Sunday.

You wait, like, 5 minutes in front of it wondering why there’s no coffee in the pot and pondering conspiracy theories which you will not confirm nor deny to include coffee-snatching aliens from Tau Ceti.

Signs that you need coffee, #4

You go at the office machine and put an espresso cup in place, which can hold about 60 ml max.

You slide in an espresso capsule.

You press the “Large” button which, spoiler, produces around 110 ml coffee.

You stand in front of the machine in amazement while the coffee overflows the cup, wondering what went wrong.

You thank your good fortune that spared you the embarrassment as no colleague was in the company canteen at that time 🙂

How to make an espresso / cappuccino freddo

So you went for vacations in Greece or Cyprus or southern Italy and liked the cold coffee they serve there? Or maybe you have a Greek colleague who’s busting your balls non stop about how great cold coffee is, and just want him to shut up? You’re at the right place!

Now you’re talking’

These recipe is for both espresso freddo and cappuccino freddo which are exactly the same thing; you just add cold foam milk on top of the espresso freddo to make the cappuccino version.

Over the years I’ve tried to simplify the recipe a bit. It’s not barista-level good, but anyone who’s tried it tells me it’s pretty decent.

You can see the video here:

To begin with, here’s the equipment you need:

  • A strong coffee mixer. This is an absolute must, you can’t do without it. Outside of Greece they are called “drink mixers” (you can find them in for example). They look like this:
  • One or more suitable tall glasses. You need them to be around 200-250 ml for espresso freddo and 300-350 ml for cappuccino freddo. The ones from IKEA are fine.
  • Two cocktail shakers, one for the milk and one for the coffee. It’s ok if you don’t have shakers though, you can just use normal glasses. But you can also buy them from

Now let’s see the stuff you need to prepare every time before you make cold coffee.

  • I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn that you need coffee! Basically you need a double espresso, around 100ml. What I usually do is use the Lungo capsules for my Dolce Gusto machine, and set it to 3 lines instead of 4.
  • You also need straws, medium or thin ones. Don’t get the thick ones, they’re good for smoothies but not cold coffee.
  • You need ice cubes. For every coffee, you need 5-6.
  • If you’re going to make cappuccino (not espresso) freddo, you need milk, and you need it cold. Let me say that again, because it’s really really important: COLD. Ideally it should be 2 degrees. That means that you need to put it at the back of the fridge, not at the door where it’s a bit warmer. I usually put it in the refrigerator about 10min before I start. Keep it in the fridge until the moment you actually need it.

    You also need to experiment a bit with the kind of milk you’ll use. I’ve found that the best one -at least from the ones you find in a regular supermarket- is full fat UHT milk, 3.5%. The one you get at the fridge of the supermarket isn’t as good –no idea why. If you find a “barista milk” get it; they have more proteins so they froth better.

  • One of the shakers, the one to use for milk, has to be really, really cold. Put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before making the coffee.

The basic idea is that, in order to make the foam milk, the milk has to be cold and stay cold. That’s why you need its container to also be frozen.

Now that we’ve prepared everything, let’s get to work.

  • The first thing you need to do is prepare the coffee. If you also want sugar, you need to add it immediately afterwards, while the coffee is still hot, and stir it a bit with the mixer; that way it will melt nicely and you won’t get the awful crunchy feeling of unmelted sugar.
  • Now we need to get our coffee ice cold. Put 5 or 6 ice cubes in the shaker or glass. Pour the coffee swiftly over the ice cubes. Stir it a bit with the mixer, but too much, you don’t want it to turn into foam. 5-6 seconds should be enough. Then pour everything (coffee+ice cubes) in the glass. 
  • If you want an espresso freddo, you can add a straw and stop here, you’re done. Otherwise you have one more step to prepare the cold foam milk. 
  • Get the milk and the 2nd shaker (or glass) out of the fridge. Fill the shaker just below half full. Stir it with the mixer for some time (at least 30 sec, can be more) until the surface is smooth and free of bubbles. This part is exactly why the shaker has to be cold. If it’s not, it will warm up the milk and it will be impossible to turn into foam.

Pro (well, sort of) tip: when holding the shaker with the milk and stirring, try to grab it from the top, not the middle or the bottom. That way the heat from your hand will affect the milk as little as possible.

The result should, ideally, look like this:

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για καπουτσινο φρεντο

The water -always with ice cubes!- is mandatory. The beach isn’t, but it’s a very nice addition 😉

How many coffee capsules is it safe to drink per day?

Short answer: 4-5 capsules per day, 3 for Intenso-type pods.

For more details, and an answer taking into account the specific type of capsule, read on.

To answer this -very important 😊- question, I’ll concentrate on Dolce Gusto capsules for the simple reason that that’s what I have at home (well, that, plus a Krups filter coffee machine, plus an Izzy traditional espresso machine, plus my one-time favorite Bialetti brikka). The results for Nespresso et. al. should be similar.

dolce gusto box

Do note that I’m only considering caffeine content; but that’s not always the only factor. E.g. if you drink anything near 400 cups Lungo decaffeinato in a single day, you will have non-caffeine related problems (WC attendance comes readily to mind ! 😊).

So, straight from Nestle’s faq:

How much caffeine is in each of the drinks?

Specialty Coffee :
– Cappuccino : 107 Mg Caffeine
– Cappuccino Skinny : 90 Mg Caffeine
– Latte Macchiato : 85 Mg Caffeine
– Vanilla Latte Macchiato : 83 Mg Caffeine
– Caramel Latte Macchiato : 83 Mg Caffeine
– Latte Macchito Skinny : 83 Mg Caffeine
– Mocha : 45 Mg Caffeine
– Cappuccino Ice : 35 Mg Caffeine

Coffee Drinks :
– Caffe Grande Intenso : 130 Mg Caffeine
– Espresso Intenso : 115 Mg Caffeine
– Grande Mild : 106 Mg Caffeine
– Light Roast : 106 Mg Caffeine
– Medium Roast : 103 Mg Caffeine
– Café au Lait : 92 Mg Caffeine
– Lungo : 89 Mg Caffeine
– Espresso : 80 Mg Caffeine
– Lungo decaffeinato : 1 Mg Caffeine

Non-Coffee Drinks
– Chai Tea Latte : 34 Mg Caffeine
– Nestea Peach Iced Tea : 9 Mg Caffeine

The usual number that’s given as “safe” caffeine per day for adults is 400 Mg (eg. see “Caffeine: How much is too much?” from Mayo Clinic here). So this amounts to:

Mg caffeine per capsuleMax capsules per day
Max. caffeine per day:400
Specialty Coffee :
Cappuccino Skinny904
Latte Macchiato855
Vanilla Latte Macchiato835
Caramel Latte Macchiato835
Latte Macchito Skinny835
Cappuccino Ice3511
Coffee Drinks :
Caffe Grande Intenso1303
Espresso Intenso1153
Grande Mild1064
Light Roast1064
Medium Roast1034
Café au Lait924
Lungo decaffeinato1400
Non-Coffee Drinks
Chai Tea Latte3412
Nestea Peach Iced Tea944

Spreadsheet is here if you want to play with the numbers (you can also comment on it). I’ve rounded to closest integer because nobody makes 3 cups of coffee and then decides to have another 0.8 😊

Enjoy !


Signs that you need a coffee, #1

You go to the office coffee maker.

You press the button to start the machine.

While the coffee is dripping, you open a sugar bag.

…and then you throw the sugar to the trash can, and the bag into the coffee 🙂

If you do that more than once in a sigle morning, just take the day off. You’re not gonna get any work done anyway !


Do-It-Yourself: Cappuccino Freddo — Rev. 2

Almost 6 years ago, I posted a guide on how to eas­ily make “cap­puc­cino freddo” cof­fee at home and accord­ing to my web stats, it’s still a very pop­u­lar post. Since then how­ever, I have sim­pli­fied and improved my tech­nique and I think it’s time to refresh the guide.

Reblog from George Adamopoulos : a great guide on how to make the famous greek-style cold coffee, Capuccino Freddo. It’s a must 🙂

Welcome !

Hi everybody !

I’m Jim Andrakakis. I’m a senior software engineer from Greece; with roots from Crete, raised mostly in Athens and since 2012 living in Switzerland, near Zürich. I’ve been coding since I was ten, and will probably continue until I’ve malloc()’d a block in the Great Heap In The Sky. I’m an incurable coffee addict, a finance and economics hobbyist, a firearm enthusiast, a cryptography aficionado(*) and I’m perpetually tormented by 3 beautiful women 😊

As my friends know, my official first name is not Jim, it’s Dimitrios (usually used as “Dimitris” in Greece). Jim is the equivalent in English. There’s a small backstory to why I introduce myself this way, but it’s not important.

Also: why “dandraka”? Well obviously it’s an abbreviation (first letter of first name + part the surname) but more importantly it’s a small piece of personal history. It was the username I got when I worked, briefly, for the Muon Spectrometer in the ATLAS experiment of CERN.

So that’s my new blog, which I started after Jux announced that they would be shutting down. Real pity; it was a great platform, I loved it.

From now on I’ll be posting here my random thoughts, recipes, code and what-have-you.

But if you stop reading now and go to a beach, nobody will blame you

Enjoy !

(*) please don’t confuse cryptography with “crypto”, i.e. anything to do with bitcoin and crypto-“currencies”. For what it’s worth (which is not much) I believe that the blockchain (the mathematical concept that underpins most cryptocurrencies) has the potential to facilitate some useful applications. But caught in the mania of bitcoin, which is an almost ridiculous concept, it has been blown completely out of proportion. Thus any effort to apply blockchain in a useful way is invariably doomed, due to it being so unbelievably overhyped.