Archive for the ‘Athens’ Category

Gordon Gino and Fred road trip to Greece

October 3, 2021

Gordon Ramsey and a couple of mates decide to sample the food of Greece, visiting a couple of Greek islands then onto Athens.

I thought it would be gimmicky, and yes it was, but somehow they got away with it.

I did not see when broadcast last Monday night, or the repeat a couple of nights later, but watched on-line tonight.

A two part series, the second Monday night.

I agree with Gordon Ramsey, Greek food better than Italian.

To my Greek friends, watch with VPN set to UK.

Synchronicity: Earlier today, a friend has left Athens for Santorini to run a coffee shop on the island and invited me to visit her.

Parody of the American tourist in Athens?

April 14, 2021

Is this meant to be a parody of American tourists in Athens? If yes, then at best mildly amusing.

Or is it meant to be taken seriously? If yes, then dire as displays an appalling lack of understanding of coffee culture in Athens.

Mokka is an excellent coffee shop, outside Athens Central Market. A wide variety of coffee on offer. One of the few coffee shops brewing Greek coffee on a bed of hot sand.

Mokka also has an adjacent shop selling coffee.

Across the road, the fruit and veg market worth exploring.

More usual to find Greek coffee over a flame, as will find at Just Made 33 (just off Ermou).

A few years ago then barista at Just Made 33 won the world championship for Ibrik coffee. The coffee used on sale at Just Made 33.

Coffee Island is the Greek Starbucks, to be avoided if care about coffee.

Spoilt for choice with excellent coffee shops in New York. Why therefore would anyone wish for Coffee Island in New York when already have Starbucks serving bad coffee? [see Drift Manhattan edition]

Frappé is not a Greek drink. It is an example of cultural colonisation by a global corporation. An unpleasant cold frothy coffee made with Nescafe.

And no, do not walk down the street drinking out of plastic, even worse bragging about it.

Coffee sit and relax outside a coffee shop with coffee served in glass or ceramic and watch the world go by.

Top Coffee Shops in Athens

April 11, 2021

I would hasten to add these four not my choice, nevertheless I agree, at least the three I know, o.kokkos I do not know and will have to try on my next visit to Athens post coronavirus pandemic.

Good to see my friends in two of the locations.

I was in Athens November of last year during lockdown, very little was open, restaurants were closed, a few coffee shops were open for takeaway and saw a slow but steady trickle of customers.

o.kokkos

A coffee shop I have not visited, have not heard of. I will have to check it out.

dyo goulies & dyo boukies

Excellent coffee shop, though not easy to find, and impossible to find when closed and the shutters down.

Tania the coffee, Nikos the food, though if Tania not there, Nikos more than capable with the coffee.

Used to serve Taf coffee. Now changed to a better roastery, Roller Roasters.

Peak a Bloom

Hidden down an alley very difficult to find if do not know where it is.

Was not open during lockdown.

Peak a Bloom have sister coffee shop, Mind the Cup, a Metro ride away from the centre.

Opposite Mind the Cup, Manor House also worth a visit.

The Underdog

The Underdog an excellent coffee shop, one of my favourite coffee shops in Athens.

Gem Series Dripper

December 12, 2020

An alternative to V60 pour over designed by Stefanos Domatiotis.

Very negative comments attacking Gem, by people who probably have never seen let alone used and completely fail to understand why it has been developed.

I came across Gem series  a year ago in Taf, then again in November in Cultivos. But not once seen in use.

Stefanos Domatiotis developed a different method of pour over using a V60. Clean the filter, allow to bloom, then pour in a circular manner, leaving a bed of coffee as flat as a billiard table. The method developed by Stefanos Domatiotis the steps are the same apart from the last step,  hold the spout in the centre, a very fine stream of hot water.

When I first encountered this method, I queried the extraction, is not the whole purpose of the circular motion to ensure even extraction?

I was told no, by directing the water into the centre, even better extraction, the water flows down, then circulates up the side.

I tried and was not left with the classic flat bed. But, one difference I did not know, the grind is different either courser or finer, I cannot remember which.

What Stefanos Domatiotis has done in developing the Stefanos Domatiotis Gem series is to deskill the operation, less likely to produce a bad brew than if using a V60 with poor circular motion. By deskilling, we improve consistency and simplify the process of making great pour over coffee.

Wherever I was traveling… I couldn’t resist observing all sorts of people — coffee competitors, coffee professionals, baristas or consumers — making and drinking a brew. Pour-over has become increasingly popular, not only among coffee gurus, but also among consumers. People have fallen in love with brew and in all dimensions. The result hasn’t always been that good. Despite the fact that people were using great coffee beans, top class water, had amazing skills, enthusiasm and even some great devices that exist out there, the result was still a bit inconsistent. I was also seeing consumers who love brewing feel a bit intimidated from the result as they couldn’t have control over it.

And yes. could make a lid for a V60 with a hole in the middle. But would lack the vertical and horizonal ribs of Gem which help control the flow of water.

The 12 horizontal ribs are placed in the middle of the dripper to slow the water flow so it can contact the coffee for longer and carry away all its characteristics in a smooth way,. At the bottom part, you can find the vertical ribs. The deeper vertical ribs go down to the hole as now we need the water with the coffee to exit faster, preventing over-extraction that will end up in bitter flavours.

My criticism of European Coffee Trip they have not sufficiently explained the why of the design, had they done so maybe the critics would have understood better.

My other criticism, they should have brewed a V60 for comparison.

In Greek, but worth watching, the demonstration by Stefanos Domatiotis.

The white ceramic Gem series dripper has an optional extra of a matching diamond shaped glass carafe.

Takeaway coffee The Rabbit Punch

December 4, 2020

Three weeks ago Thursday, Athens lockdown day six, an afternoon walk to The Rabbit Punch.

An afternoon a walk to The Rabbit Punch, sister coffee shop of The Underdog.

Each time never again. This the third time. Is it worth the climb?

Google maps says 25 minutes. I take the side streets, don’t get lost, I manage a little over 30 minutes.

I sit outside with a takeaway coffee.

The Rabbit Punch is opposite a square with a church. It would be a pleasant location, except a busy junction and usually heavily polluted with traffic. At least not as polluted during lockdown with little traffic.

4 Seasons

December 4, 2020

4 Seasons greenwash writ large.

Three weeks ago Thursday, Athens lockdown day six, I passed by a small supermarket, 4 Seasons,  greenwash writ large. Proclaims environmentally friendly, the shelves tell a different story.

Everywhere in Athens, nuts and dried fruit, loose, high quality, pick what one  wants. Not in 4 Seasons. Everything packaged in plastic.  Height of plastic obscenity, coconut with shell hacked off, shrink-wrapped in plastic.

Products from Big Business, Whole Earth is not quality. Peanut butter bulked out with with palm oil. Why Whole Earth when there is local quality peanut butter?

For quality Greek food, the little deli tucked behind The Acropolis Museum, not far from Little Tree.

For cheese, a little cheesemonger around the corner from the nut and dried fruit stalls Athens Central Market. 

For quality loose nuts and dried fruits, spoilt for choice in Athens, but cannot go far wrong with the fruit and nut stalls outside Athens Central Market or the shop next to Foyer Espresso Bar (same owner).

And for freshly roasted coffee beans spoilt for choice with indy coffee shops, where a skilled baristas will advise. 

Do shoppers enter this little supermarket mesmerised by the greenwash bullshit on display then wander around with their eyes closed and not see the reality on the shelves?

Nuts and dried fruits Athens Central Market

December 3, 2020

The place for nuts and dried fruits in Athens the stalls outside Athens Central Market.

Spoilt for choice, not only between the different stalls, but also between different grades or different origin.

Nuts, dried fruits, chocolate coasted, yoghurt coated.

Quality is vastly superior to anything found in England.

 

Behind the stalls the Fish Market and Meat Market. Across the road fruit and vegetable stalls

Nearby Mokka for excellent coffee.

Walk along Koile Valley

December 3, 2020

One of my favourite walks in Athens is along the Koile Valley.

From the pine woodlands at the foot of Hill of the Muses, past Church of Agios Demetrios Loubardiaris a valley opens up.

I follow a barely discernible path along he side of the valley, though more people must now walk this path as easier to follow.

I walked along the Koile Valley three weeks ago Wednesday, Athens in lockdown. A cold day, cold north east wind blowing, but sheltered from the wind in the valley.

I walked a little way into the pine woodland on the lower slopes of Hill of the Muses. Too windy to climb to the top.

One of my favourite walks in Athens, follow the footpath that runs along the side of the Koine Valley, then back the other side. Once an ancient route from Athens to the sea.

Along the valley can be observed the foundations cut into the rock of ancient dwellings, along the bottom of the valley cut into the rock an ancient water channel.

Athens can be teeming with people, always peace and quiet along the Kolne Valley, not a soul to be seen. Not today, more people than I am seeing in usually busy parts of Athens. I can only assume, in lockdown, taking a walk for exercise.

Usually I encounter wild tortoises but sadly not today.

Sticky Rice n friends revisited

December 2, 2020

Three weeks ago Tuesday lunch from Sticky Rice n friends .

I had visited Sticky Rice n friends a couple of days before and had lunch, enjoyed, decided to try again. Athens was in lockdown, very little open.

Lunch from Sticky Rice n friends, Filipino street food.

Grumpy Greek not around. Young Filipino guy who I had not noticed before very helpful, together with Filipino chef discussed what to have. Deep fried chicken in batter with stir fried rice and vegetables.

I walked to a little square outside Thissio Metro Station. Very warm in the sun.

My lunch tasty and generous portion size. Stir frying the rice with the vegetables made a big difference to the taste.

I had made myself lunch, cheese and bread. I gave to a guy on a park bench, maybe homeless. He thanked me.

Backtracked to The Underdog for a takeaway coffee.

Later, I looked in Sticky Rice n friends, thanked for my excellent lunch.

Μ Ν ΣΑΚ ΚΟΥ ΛΑΚ

December 1, 2020

Walking from Kolonaki Plaza to Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies via a route I have not walked before I pass by an interesting coffee shop, Μ Ν ΣΑΚ ΚΟΥ ΛΑΚ, state of the art equipment, coffee shop for the bookshop of a publisher.

Horrendous location, busy polluted main road, or would be but for lockdown.

The coffee served Redd. I do not stop a coffee as earlier I had had a cold brew from Redd.


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