Archive for the ‘Athens’ Category

Michalis Karagiannis latte art champion

November 18, 2018

Congratulations to Michalis Karagiannis earlier this month in Brazil No 2 World Latte Art Champion.

I had the pleasure and honour of meeting Michalis Karagiannis end of last month in Athens when he walked into Manor House with a little dog.

I asked and he kindly made me a cappuccino.

He apologised for not being able to stay and chat, but had to go home to practice for Brazil.

He did though before leaving show me the art he was going to do, inspirations from ancient Athens.

At the World Latte Art Championship in Brazil he came No 2.

This is the second year running for Michalis Karagiannis to come No 2 in the World Championship. No mean achievement.

The film footage of the event is very poor, cannot see what is happening, nor do they show the final result.

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Aeropress cold dripped coffee at Coviar

November 1, 2018

What I refer to as Japanese iced filter, made using pour over for example V60 or Chemex, half the water as hot water poured from a swan-necked kettle, the other half ice in a carafe which instantly chills the hot coffee as it drips through, in Athens is known as cold dropped coffee. Not to be confused with a cold drip tower, where ice cold water drips through a bed of coffee at one drop a second.

In Coviar,  Christos Loukakis demonstrated a different method using an Aeropress.

The ice cold coffee poured into a glass containing ice, cloudy.

Why an Aeropress, why cloudy?

With the V60 it will not be cloudy, will be brighter. The Aeropress favoured as the cold coffee has more body.

In England, Aeropress rarely seen. Even less so in use. Are though starting to see more filter coffee.

In Athens Aeropress in use all the time, and for tea not coffee.

What is is called cold dripped coffee quite common.

Ελληνικα Καλουδια – Ellinika Kaloudia grocery store

October 31, 2018

Ελληνικα Καλουδια, Ellinika Kaloudia, a lovely little deli behind the Acropolis Museum.

I picked up green olive oil, first of the season from Crete, regarded as the highest quality olive oil. Only one bottle left.  Next of the new season olive oil to arrive will be from  the Peloponnese

Nearby Little Tree, bookshop and coffee shop, books, food, coffee, craft beer.

 

Foyer espresso bar

October 30, 2018

Were it not for my walking into a shop selling dried fruit and nuts I would have walked past Foyer espresso bar without giving a second glance. One of many coffee shops. Had I given more than a second glance, I would have noticed a board offering guest coffee from one of the top roasteries in Europe.

The owner suggested, if I wished for a coffee, pop next door. I said no, I was on my way to Taf.

He agreed, Taf excellent coffee. Then I do not know who was the more surprised, me when he wrote out a list of coffee shops worth visiting, or he when I said I already had and added to his list.

He said he owned the coffee shop next door.

I said I would look in, but that was all I was gong to do as I was on my way to Taf, until I saw what they were serving, Standart on sale (the only place I have seen Standart on sale). The guest coffee they were sourcing from some of the best coffee roasteries in Europe.

I stayed and had a coffee. An excellent cappuccino.

I was then offered a V60 to try. A single origin from Ethiopia. Again excellent.

On leaving, a visit to second floor toilet, I passed through a lounge on the first floor, with boards on the stairs giving more information on the guest coffee.

Not in a pleasant location, on a very busy main road. On the other hand, for the coffee shop a good location for passing trade with university nearby.

On leaving, I popped back into the little shop and thanked the owner for his recommendation and for excellent coffee.

As I was leaving, a customer with Coffee Island takeaway in her hand. A suggestion. If pour down the drain, we will offer you a free coffee. If like, please come back, bring your friends.

Lycabettus Hill

October 30, 2018

Each time I pass by or visit Taresso coffee shop, I think having got this far, I ought to climb Lycabettus Hill. But never go so far as to climb.

Today I decided to climb, even though late in the afternoon.

First, a flight of steps to climb.

Then a dead end. I followed the road around and found myself at St George Lycabettus Hotel. This was where in 2013, Paulo Coelho held a press conference and then at night hosted a party.

Outside the hotel, a path leads up through the lower wooded slops of Lycabettus Hill. A strange wood, pine trees and prickly pear cactus.

Views over Athens unfold as climb up through the wood.

Eventually pass through the wood, now a rocky outcrop to climb with prickly pear cactus.

At the top a church.

I was surprised by the number of people, then realised, there to watch the sun go down.

 

Riot by black bloc

October 30, 2018

Following protest by students, a riot by black bloc.

It materialised out of nowhere and as rapidly dispersed.  Then Athens returned to normality.

First ATM machines were smashed, then traffic lights, rocks and bombs thrown, bins dragged into the middle of the street ad set ablaze.

Why the riot I do not know. There certainly was a lot of anger and seemingly mindless violence. This a country that has been brutally destroyed by EU. When I tell people the garbage that is spouted by supporters of EU in England they start laughing.

Report from Reuters false on several counts

  • not Syntagma
  • no riot police
  • no tear gas
  • no journalists
  • not students

I was in the middle of it. There were no riot police. They held back. It was not students, it was black bloc.

Student protest against education reforms

October 30, 2018

A big rally in Athens against changes to university entrance requirements.

One student said it would make it much harder to get into university.

If look to England, fourth rate universities bums on seats businesses churning out graduates with worthless degrees, then maybe no bad thing.

On the other hand, with youth unemployment at 60%, no future thanks to EU, then maybe not so good.

The protest was aimed at the government not the EU.

Protest was then followed by a riot by black bloc. It was not a riot by the students as incorrectly reported by Reuters.

Diateichisma ancient city wall 4th century BC

October 28, 2018

Diateichisma ancient city wall built end of 4th century BC to defend Athens against the  Macedonians.

 

— to be continued —

Oxi Day

October 28, 2018

Roads closed outside Greek Parliament, flag waving, speeches, Oxi Day, No to Fascism Day, the day in 1940 when Greece said not to Fascism and entered the Second World War.

Greeks are very proud that they said no to Fascism, even though it was at huge cost to the country. Equally they are proud to have said no to  EU, again at huge cost, to then be betrayed by the ruling coalition.

Roads outside Parliament closed, large numbers on the streets celebrating, long queues to get into The Acropolis and Acropolis Museum.

Cappuccino at The Brew Dog

October 27, 2018

After much deliberation, I settled on a cappuccino. It was to have been a V60, but where I wished to sit by the window was taken after I walked in. Also no V60, clever dripper.

A choice of coffee from Guatemala or Brazil, I let the barista choose, he chose Brazil. For filter, from Ethiopia or Kenya.

The bags of coffee beans on the shelves, bottom row for espresso, top row for filter.

Excellent cappuccino.

I sat and watched the drinks being made.

I was curious why was the freddo cappuccino different to that in Cyprus. different glass, only two not three layers. The coffee not frothed, the milk is frothed.

Another dink, espresso poured on ice, milk to be added later to suit,  freddo latte.

I counted twenty one crafts beers. Better chance of getting a craft beer in Greek coffee shop than a failing English pub.

Had  I stayed, as a hot day, though cool once sun drops,  I would have had a Japanese iced filter. Different name, iced dripped coffee or cold dripped coffee, not to be confused with cold drip coffee.

I have previously had excellent cold brew coffee. I thought, brewed in Chemex then stored in the fridge. I was wrong. Immersion, the Chemex simply used as  a carafe before being decanted into bottles. Served from the bottles which are stored in a fridge.