Posts Tagged ‘Athens’

Standart guide to Athens coffee culture a travesty

August 20, 2018

Standart is not easy to find, and even those who stock it have difficulty in obtaining.

I was therefore pleased to find the latest edition in Pelicano on a recent trip to Brighton. They have only recently started to stock. They also stock Drift.

I started with the review of coffee culture in Athens. I was going to offer to write this, and regret I did not, as the reveiew of Athens coffee culture is a travesty, and does a disservice to Athens. But then what to expect from two days in Athens? It is as much what is missing as what is written.

I often spend a few days in Athens,  last year exploring the coffee culture.

As I was reading, I had just heard at lunchtime stomach churning claim by EU describing their intervention in Greece as a success a cause for Greeks to celebrate. Nothing could be further from the truth, Greece was destroyed to serve as  a warning to other vassal states, the money pumped into Greece, was to bail out German banks, it flowed in and back out.

Taf is not for coffee tasting, it is a coffee shop people enjoying the coffee. There is not an extensive choice of coffee, though yes a fair choice.

Mr Bean, I was recommended by Taf, it is across the road.

Other than in passing, Tailor Made not featured. Excellent coffee, good place for people watching, amazing cold brew tower.

The Underdog when I visited last year, four world champion baristas, and I am pleased to learn have won again. I though saw more awards on display at TAF.

Kaya I was not impressed by, the coffee undrinkable. Passing trade, not people relaxing to enjoy a  coffee.

Even less by Warehouse where coffee not good and service terrible. Not a good place for sitting outside, not unless enjoy breathing in traffic fumes. More a trendy bar serving coffee than a coffee shop. I did not try the wine.

No mention of Just Made 33, excellent coffee, excellent food, excellent cakes. Conveniently located. just off Ermou, a  few minutes walk from Syntagma.

No mention of Little Tree Books and Coffee, a bookshop cum coffee shop, only a few minutes walk behind the Acropolis Museum.

No mention of Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies, excellent coffee and food.

Taresso is also worthy of a visit.

Cannot visit Athens  without visiting The Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Agora, Temple of Zeus, National Gardens,  and of course wander through Plaka.

To eat, Plaka Restaurant in the heart of Plaka, and for a view to die for rooftop restaurant at Athens Gate.

Two ice cream parlours worth a visit, Davinci in Monastiraki and Coco’s in Plaka, of the two I refer  Coco’s.

No, it is not a hike to the Hill of the Muses, well worth the climb with stunning views over Athens.

A stroll past The Acropolis and along Dionysiou Areopagitou then a choice, Hill of the Muses, straight on, visit a church then a long valley which is pleasant to walk  along one side and return along the other side, or follow around The Acropolis and right along Apostolou Pavlou which at weekends lined with stalls and musicians. It also leads a back way into Agora of Athens.

More of course than a day, or even two days,

I look forward to Drift bringing out an Athens edition.

 

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The Underdog team

February 10, 2018

New season starts at The Underdog. 

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

Wonderful atmosphere, fantastic coffee, people who know their coffee.

Saturday and Sunday, a pedestrian street running past The Acropolis is turned into a  street market, The Underdog is just off this street.

Now four world champion baristas. Manos Mamatis, Coffee in Good Spirits World Championship No 2 2017.

  • 2008 Tasos Delichristos
  • 2015 George Koustoumparais
  • 2016 Michalis Dimitratopolos
  • 2017 Manos Mamatis second place

Not bad for one coffee shop.

I had the honour and privilege of being served by Manos Mamatis. I learnt a lot from our conversations.

Like Taylor Made, ultra trendy. I later learnt same designer.

Avoid Sunday if wish to relax, very busy and the noise on entering deafening.

Multi level, a roastery below, serving area, various brew methods, railway sleepers as table. Standart and Drift available to browse, though not on sale.

The Underdog supply coffee to other coffee shops, but as with Square Mile in London,  exact high standards if you wish to use their coffee.

At the weekend from Acropoli Metro Station, stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou, it runs between the Museum and The Acropolis. Do not visit The Acropolis at weekends, too crowded. Then turn around to the right along Apostolou Pavlou. At weekends lined with stalls and musicians. It also leads a back way into Agora of Athens. Past a few cafes and bars, then more stalls. Eventually a Metro station reached. Backtrack to the bars and restaurants, and take a turning to the right for The Underdog. Easily missed as a fairly nondescript building on the outside.

Little Tree; a film of their own

December 14, 2017

9BlueRoses

It was by chance that I’ve found Little Tree last January.  After a walk around the Acropolis, we were looking for a comfortable place to seat. As soon as we got in, I was struck by the fact that this place was not only warm but also calm. Of course you could hear the music playing at the background but people seemed to be so relaxed reading their books or having a chat without having to make so much noise. I thought that maybe we shouldn’t be making noise after all, as this seemed to be- and should remain-a little quiet sacred place: something like a study room in a library.

In the following months, I learnt more about it and I fell under its charm: not only because of its unique setting -under a little tree, behind the acropolis museum-, but also because of its special offerings sweets and…

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Warehouse Speciality Blends

November 2, 2017

Quite a trek to find, and no it was not worth the effort.

More a trendy bar serving coffee than a coffee shop.

Service apalling.

A very long wait to be served. Had I not shouted at the waitress, I would still be waiting.

I would have walked out, the only reason I did not was, it would have been an entirely wasted trek to find.

And was the coffee worth the wait when It finally came? Sadly not.

Something like a third to half foam. On the top cold.

I was asked by the barista how was it? I replied not good.

They used to use Sapid coffee, now from their own roastery Wisecup.

Encounter with a duck 

November 2, 2017

Two years ago I met a duck in the National Garden.

I met him again yesterday.  A  chance encounter

He goes there to seek food in the mud.

In the summer day trips to the seaside where he goes swimming and eats limpets prised from the rocks.

Cappuccino by candlelight at Just Made 33

October 31, 2017

Coffee has not only to be good, it has to be consistently good.

Just Made 33 achieves that consistency. Whenever I have had a coffee, no matter who has served me, it has been excellent.

Aristokratikon

October 31, 2017

Mouth watering chocolate at mouth watering prices.

Kaya

October 31, 2017

If I had not seen this coffee shop mentioned in a magazine that also mentioned coffee shops worth visiting,  I would not have wasted time seeking it out.

Badly designed, lacking in any ambiance, character or atmosphere,  coffee supplied by different roasteries Taf, Red and Area 51.

The barista did not  level the coffee or apply sufficient pressure when tamping down.

The coffee undrinkable.

Cappuccino at Taf

October 30, 2017

Coffee has not only to be good, it has to be consistently good.

Usually excellent cappuccino at Taf, today not so good.

Not obvious to the casual observer, there is grinding poverty on the streets of Athens, thanks to the destruction of Greece by the EU.

On the streets not only beggars, men selling small packets of tissues, akin to selling boxes of matches on the streets of London after WWI.

Sat in Taf, I noticed  a man go past the tables outside pocketing the packets of sugar. On his second pass, hand out for money.

Cappuccino at Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies

October 30, 2017

 

Had I not been twice previous to Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies  I would not have found, even though I was in the vicinity.

There is a church. I should have looked inside as the door was open. It was closed later.

Coffee has not only to be good, it has to be consistently good.

My last visit my cappuccino made by Tania. Today made by a guy and it was not so good.

I had something to eat, not great.

My yogurt topped with nuts and cranberies and honey poured on top was excellent.