Posts Tagged ‘Kolonaki’

Ascent of Lycabettus Hill

November 27, 2020

I see Lycabettus Hill every day from breakfast. If I am in Kolonaki in the vicinity of Lycabettus Hill I will occasionally climb to the top. Quite a climb, but rewarding as views of Athens unfolds below.

Last year I climbed as the sun was setting, to be rewarded with stunning sunsets, but a dangerous climb back down in the dark.

Three weeks ago Thursday, finding myself in Kolonaki, I decide to climb Lycabettus Hill.  The last time I climbed a year ago, the sun was setting, stunning views from the top of sunset, but walk down in the dark.  Easy to walk over the edge of a precipice. 

The day starts off cool, very warm as I climb the hill, up through pine forest, then a cactus forest before last stage bare rock. 

I ask police officer before I ascend, do I have to wear mask? Yes, is his reply. No one does, it would be impossible. 

Near to the top, not noticed before, a terrace with stunning views where can stop and have a drink. 

At the top a gale blowing.

On my way down, I am lost, I do not know where I am.

Eventually I find myself across the road from the National Garden. A long way from where I thought I was. Last year in the dark I was lost, eventually I found a coffee shop and asked to use their wifi. I was way past the Olympic Stadium, way way out of my way

Afternoon Kolonaki and Lycabettus Hill

November 5, 2020

Visit British Embassy in Kolonaki, a part of Kolonaki I have not visited before, back via Kolonaki Square, walk through Kolonaki, then climb Lycabettus Hill.

Around Temple of Zeus, past Hadrian’s Gate, through National Garden to a part of Kolonaki I am not familiar wish.

Past War Museum to British Embassy.

British Embassy an ugly building guarded like a fortress. Can only talk to security officials through a security gate. No one available. Handed a leaflet to report loss of passport.

I choose a route that will take me past Redd.

On my way to Redd pass a coffee shop με. Very busy.

Onward to Redd, who tell me με busy for food not coffee, Redd not busy.

From Redd cold brew coffee brewed from cold drip coffee. I choose Kenyan. Excellent.

Redd have a strange method of choosing coffee. Pick out bookmarks with three different attributes.  Blended in the grinder. Perverse.

Far far better, bookmarks with different single origin, attributes listed, pick one. Would then learn more about coffee.

I cannot drink outside Redd my coffee, walk to Kolonakiou where I sit and relax with my cold brew.

I have walked around the square in the past, never stopped. It is quite a pleasant place to sit and relax.

Onward to Taresso but do not stop. Kelly their head barista has moved on. They are wary and will not tell me where I can find her.

I decide to climb Lycabettus Hill. The last time I climbed a year ago, the sun was setting, stunning views from the top of sunset, but walk down in the dark. Easy to walk over the edge of a precipice.

Today the day starts off cool, very warm as I climb the hill, up through pine forest, then a cactus forest before last stage bare rock.

I ask a police officer before I ascend, do I have to wear mask? Yes, is his reply. No one does, it would be impossible.

Near to the top, not noticed before, a terrace with stunning views where can stop and have a drink.

On my way down, I am lost, I do not know where I am.

Eventually I find myself across the road from the National Garden. A long way from where I thought I was. Last year in the dark I was lost, eventually I found a coffee shop and asked to use their wifi. I was way past the Olympic Stadium, way way out of my way

I decide to make my way to Just Made 33. Only to arrive as closing.

Walking through Ermou, people queuing for sales, stock clearance before lockdown, and traditional this time of year. I spot a sign for a massage, Massage House. Return in 45 minutes. By the time I check out Just Made 33 and Peek a Bloom too late.

I try Peek a Bloom, only to find closed.

Pass by Cultivos the coffee shop serving taf I chanced upon previous day, closed. Street not as busy with traffic, but not pleasant. No way a suitable location for a coffee shop.

I seek out Crop Roastery the little coffee kiosk I found the previous day.

The knowledgeable guy I talked to the day before not there. Nevertheless I have a coffee. It is not good.

Walking through Plaka, deserted.

Cappuccino at Taresso

November 28, 2019

After vile tasting coffee at Nespresso flagship store in Kolonaki, a relief excellent coffee in Taresso.

At Taresso an excellent cappuccino.

Dropped off guest coffee.

I had wished to visit Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies then Mokka, but no time.

As nearby, I decide to visit coffee shop in Graffito. I learnt it closed at least two years ago.

Nespresso flagship store Kolonaki

November 28, 2019

I often pass by the Nespresso flagship store in Kolonaki on my way to taresso.

Window display Nordic range. I looked in.

I want to try the best you have on offer.

Nordic range, is that to express the best coffee from Scandinavia?

Clueless, did not understand my question.

I was offered strong, I assumed meant dark over roasted. What flavour? Er. The coffee so bad has to have added flavour to take away the vile taste?

I was told all the coffee quality.

I settled for a cappuccino, getting nowhere in what to choose.

Baffled how cappuccino made.

A jar with milk brought out, attached to the Nespresso machine.

What comes out all froth. Looks disgusting tastes disgusting. Scalding hot, all foam and froth.

Next I try an espresso. Scalding hot, vile taste.

Seriously how can anyone drink this crap coffee?

I learnt all the Nespresso machines the same, big difference in price, from less than a 100 euros to several hundred euros, but that difference is the external appearance, what gizmos attached, internally all the same machine.

Price of most expensive capsules 5.5 euros for ten capsules. If calculate price for 250 g, very high price paid for cheap low quality coffee.

Why was I even trying undrinkable coffee?

Several days ago previous, I commented at The Underdog on a Nespresso machine on the bar, more than commented, shock horror. On the shelves what looked like egg boxes for quail eggs. These I learnt were Nespresso capsules but not Nespreesso coffee, each box 18 capsules. 20 euros Ethiopian, 30 euros Panama Geisha, roasted by The Underdog, put into capsules in Moscow.

I tried Panama Geisha in a 60 euros Nespresso machine. It was wow, I could not believe how good it was. Not what would expect from a Nespresso machine.

Hence the moral of this story, if have wasted money on an Nespresso machine, buy quality coffee not from Nespresso.

Cost wise, yes the Panama Geisha expensive, special treat.

If the Ethiopian, less than double what would pay for expensive but crap coffee from Nespresso.

There was mention in the Nespresso store that the capsules could be recycled. This I did not follow up. I now had the vile taste of Nespresso to be rid of.

It was to Taresso for a decent cup of coffee.

Redd Coffee revisited

November 26, 2019

Redd Coffee, minimalist coffee shop in Kolonaki.

Baffled why not offer single origin as pour over.

Bags of coffee in boxes, but no information on the coffee.

Select preference of coffee, then from espresso machine a blend of beans based on chosen preference.

Would not though be better, select preference which then leads to selection of single origin? And would then educate on different countries, different processing of the beans, and the best way to bring this out is through pour over not espresso.

I chose a cold brew, very intense.

I suggested have three cups in the fridge for cold brew.

No toilet? There is, hidden, please ask.

Redd Coffee

November 25, 2019

Redd Coffee, a coffee shop in Kolonaki.

An unusual set up, choose your characteristic and coffee brewed from a selection of beans. A tiny coffee shop, I am thus surprised two espresso machines.

I am also surprised with high quality single origin coffee no pour over on offer.

I chose a cold brew made with a cold drip tower. Excellent. Also available by the bottle.

Cold brew excellent, but at first knocks your brains out. The ice slowly slowly melting, less of a kick.

Nice ceramic mugs which very quickly turn ice cold.

I suggest store the mugs for cold brew in the fridge.

Pleasant design, the coffee in boxes for a design pattern on the wall.

But, I would prefer the coffee in bags, on display with details of the coffee on the bags, or at the very least cards cf Mind the Cup, to choose which single origin coffee and serve as pour over.

Helpful and knowledgeable barista.

Minimalist coffee shop. Coffee only, no cakes, no snacks. This is reflected in the minimalist black and white design.

I have mixed feelings on pick cards to choose flavour profile, or at least how they implement, not the choosing.

I would prefer to see, choose the cards for the flavour profile, which then indicates a region, how processed, for single origin beans. This would educate the clientele in the difference between the beans, not all coffee is the same.

No toilets not good.

Note: I learnt on a subsequent visit, there are toilets. Ask.

Coffee at Taresso

November 14, 2019

Two coffees at Taresso in Kolonaki.

After an OK but not great coffee at Third Place I walked through National Garden through Kolonaki to Taresso.

I took along two guest coffees

  • Colombian from Colombian Coffee Roasters in Oxford
  • espresso blend roasted by Bonanaza for Resident in Berlin

But first, before coffee, ice cold water in cut glass and served from cut glass decanter. This is service, the norm in the best coffee shops in Athens.

Excellent Chemex using coffee from Papua New Guinea roasted by Taresso, followed by cappuccino from Resident. Excellent and I probably did not do justice as did not drink when freshly brewed.

Both coffees brewed by Greek champion barista Kelly.

Both were excellent.

The cappuccino was in another league to that which I had had earlier in the day at Third Place, which only serves to make my point they need to source better quality coffee.

Always new equipment in Taresso. Two small grinders I had not seen before, and a kettle.

My visit to Taressso, Wednesday three weeks ago, the coffee from Resident roasted in April, thus at least six moths old, the bag had previously been opened, and yet superior to the coffee at Third Place.

Note: Coffee left to rest one week after roasting, use within next three weeks to enjoy at optimum. Grind beans, carefully weigh, brew within one minute of grinding.

V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Taresso

May 16, 2019

Brew as V60.

Use only half the water, the other haldf as ice in the carafe.

As the hot coffee drips through, instantly chilled by the ice.

— to be continued —

Roasting and cappuccino at Coviar

October 22, 2018

Through the National Garden, passed Taresso and on to Coviar.

A wild tortoise wandering in the National Garden. I found one in Hadrian’s Library yesterday.

It was fortunate I did not linger at Taresso, as caught Christos on his last roast of the day.

Watching, carefully sample the beans, then when satisfied, dropped to be rapidly cooled. If not rapidly cooled the beans will continue to roast as hot.

I was surprised to learn only rest the roasted beans for a day, as perceived wisdom is to leave to rest for a week.

A cappuccino for me.

A demonstration of latte art.

I then headed of to find Mokka. I had tried Saturday only t find closed. I headed off in the wrong direction, to arrive as they were closing.

On the way a bookshop with Hippie in window display, even a poster for Hippie on bookshop door.

I then headed to Taf.

Cappuccino at Taresso artisan coffee roasters

October 27, 2017

I decided as yesterday, to once again try to find Warehouse Specialty Blends, then if open Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies.

Passing by Taresso, as yesterday, an excellent cappuccino. If anything better than yesterday.

I checked Warehouse Specialty Blends to find closed at three. As not far from Lycabettus Hill and a pleasant sunny day, I thought maybe climb to the top, but decided to keep to original plan, try once again to find Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies, even though it was going to be close to closing time.


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