Mind the Cup

Catch Metro at Acropoli. No need to change. Second but last stop on the line.

Metro Station at Acropoli not manned, takes longer to wait to buy a ticket at automated machine than journey time.

I want Petroupoli, about nine stops away, second but last before the end of the line. Station massive.

I emerge into a square. A square with a dozen exits.

Which way?

I find my way in a street where not only should be Mind the Cup, also Manor House.

I can find neither. I have walked past. I retrace my steps. I find partially obscured by canopy, a sign … Cup.

I walk in, pleased to find Mind the Cup, but it does not feel right, staff not friendly, not very pleasant ambience, and where is the coffee roasting machine.

I discover after I have ordered a cappuccino, I am in Up Cup, wrong coffee shop.

I leave and once again search for Mind the Cup.

I eventually find, sign obscured by the canopy. The canopy with name of crap industrial beer does not help.

Whilst looking at the coffee, I am asked do I need help? I find myself talking to the head coffee roaster, the only female coffee roaster in Athens.

We chat between her serving customers, she makes me a cappuccino, then when she finishes her shift, she comes and joins me and we have a long chat.

She gives me a set of cards with information on all the coffee she roasts. What I do not realise until later, is they are postcards. A clever idea.

She used to be waitress, then barista, now she roasts the coffee.

Talking to her I am impressed.

She was at Budapest world championships last year, invited guest of Simoneli, invited to roast coffee.

She describes how she met a coffee farmer whose coffee she roasts. How the man shed tears of joy, his coffee was being sold, name of the farm on the bag.

Direct trade, accountability and transparency and trust from farm to roaster to the cup.

Standart maybe Caffeine too, has had articles about sexism and discrimination in coffee shops. I personally have not noticed, I know several female baristas, they are respected for their skill and knowledge. I ask her about this. Yes, she says, 2018 and there is still sexism and discrimination. She told me how once a man came in, asked for a coffee, said he wanted one of the guys to make him a coffee, not her. The guy looked at him, and told him she could make a far better coffee than he could. Sad, when as she says, 2018 and we still have this attitude.

Mind the Cup is several year old. It has expanded to a mezzanine floor. On the mezzanine floor is where the coffee roasting takes place. Next door has been acquired. I suggested knock a hole in the wall, connect through to a bar as Tailor Made. Not sure if possible as stairs lead to an apartment above.

I learn they have a sister coffee shop, Peek a Bloom near Syntagama.

When I arrived it was quiet, late afternoon. It slowly fills. Nearly everyone greets her. When I leave it is heaving, but she tells me this is not busy.

Open until two in the morning.

I said I will return to buy coffee.

I then found Manor House, but no time to stay for a coffee, a brief chat, nothing more. I was invited back to meet a world champion for latte art.

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