Posts Tagged ‘Standart’

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.

 

Cappuccino in Makushi

April 11, 2017

A pleasant afternoon, sunny, but cold in the wind,

I walked up Steep Hill, to Makushi.

Well strictly speaking, I did not, I walked up The Strait, went on a detour to The Collection, then carried on up Well Lane, along Danesgate, which brought me half way up Steep Hill, opposite Makushi.

I walked up Steep Hill, as far as Pimento tea rooms, and looked in Imperial Teas located in Norman House, Bookstop Cafe is located in the undercroft below.

Mainly tea, but they also do coffee.  I counted seven shelves, each with five large jars of coffee. More shelves of the same coffee behind the counter.

I did not sample any, but they looked over roasted.  No roast date given, and when I asked, given the usual story, freshly roasted, only yesterday. Unless large turnover then I doubt at their best.

I was reminded of La Cafeína in La Laguna.

On the way up, I popped in Madame Waffle, picked up latest copy of Caffeine, inquired if they had copies left of Standart, yes they did, I said I would pick up later.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been waiting for the latest batch of beans in Makushi, this time from Brazil, today they were in.

When one thinks of Brazil, one thinks of large mechanised plantations, low quality commodity coffee.

But they also grow and produce quality coffee.

Today, florentines. I resisted the temptation, had three put in a box.

The little garden out the back is now open. I am pleased to report, No Smoking.

Back down in the town, Standart issues 6 and 7 picked up from Madame Waffle. I wish I could find issue 5. Strange Standart do not list Madame Waffle as a stockist.

Looked in Ruddock’s, which is closing after 163 years in business, last day Easter Saturday.

Henry’s tea rooms will also have last day on Easter Saturday.

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 30, 2017

A lovely warm spring day.

A walk half way up Steep Hill for an excellent cappuccino in Makushi.

A new coffee grinder. What struck me was whereas most are vertical, this grinder horizontal, as I have seen in Istanbul and in Cyprus, old coffee grinding machines.

Makushi is one of the few places to stock Standart. Strictly speaking not stock, but there to browse.  I had a quick browse of Standart issue 5.

On my way back down Steep Hill, I popped in Madame Waffle top of the High Street. Do not be put off by the exterior which gives the impression of a junk food chain, it is an excellent indie coffee shop.

I picked up a copy of Standart issue 7. Luckily I did. Last copy. Only copy left, display copy.

For anyone who has not seen Standart, it is worth finding or subscribing to.

Cappuccino in Madame Waffle

March 23, 2017

I have passed Madame Waffle many times, and pass is what I do, not somewhere I would set foot in, gives every impression of being a chain fast food joint.

It therefore takes a lot of persuading for me to cross the threshold and enter.

The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop: They serve good coffee, excellent baristas, Square Mile Coffee, Standart.

The last two were the clincher. If they serve Square Mile Coffee, then they must know something about about coffee. Similarly if  Standart in the coffee shop.

I was after Standart issue 5 and 6.

Even so, it was with great reluctance, it was a pleasant day, I wished to walk up The Strait and Steep Hill to Makushi. If nothing else, I may get a decent coffee.

Thus my expectations were low.

Walking through the door, I was pleasantly surprised, an excellent job has been done on the decor, exposed brick walls, wooden tables, a pleasant atmosphere. It looked every bit a quality coffee shop.

Maybe it was  a coffee shop that served waffles.

As I walked in, Square Mile Coffee on sale.

No room, ok, we have a first floor.

I ordered a cappuccino.

I had not seen Standart. I asked.

They said it was on sale. I expected, like Makushi,  to browse.

I did find  Caffeine free to take away. I never knew it was free. But easy to see why. Patronising drivel, hacks paid to fill column inches.

The girl brought me Standart issue 7.

Do you have issue 5 and 6?

Off she went and came back with Standart issue 6. Sorry we do not have issue 5.

My cappuccino arrived. It was excellent. But then I expected no less with Square Mile.

On my way down, I bought Standart issue 6, £9.

This I queried, I can subscribe for four issues for 11 euros.

They were surprised, they order for resale and  pay £9-17 each when they order ten for resale, to sell at a loss.

Something going very wrong. I then looked again, as something did not add up. Oops. To subscribe a single issue, which is then automatically renewed, 11 euros per issue, to subscribe four issues, which is automatically renewed, 40 euros. I thought it did not make sense 11 euros a single issue or four issues.

On leaving, I was asked had I seen the floor below?

No, I did not know there was a floor below.

Below, I found there was an undercroft, indicating the building much older than external looks would suggest, or built on the foundation of a much older building.

I was told there are tunnels connecting all these lower levels.

Whether true or not I do not know. Maybe an urban myth, as not something I have ever heard of.

Occasional live music and other events in the evening.

Ruddock’s is closing after 136 years in business, but leaving Henry’s tea room open. This  I could not understand how this could work.

Today, I noticed a side door, leading direct to the tea rooms without having to pass through Ruddock’s. Something I have never noticed before.

I inquired in Ruddock’s. They said Henry’s too will be closing.

They blamed high car parking charges. This is not the problem The problem is they are selling rubbish.

Flag over The Stonebow flying half mast, a mark of respect for those killed yesterday afternoon during a terrorist attack in London.

Cappuccino in Makushi

March 21, 2017

Last week, a lovely sunny warm spring day. Today, first day of spring, bitter cold wind blowing.

Today a different barista, moonlighting from Coffee Aroma.

Makes the point, little independent coffee shops cooperate.

Makushi is one of the coffee shops that has Standart, an excellent  quarterly journal devoted to coffee culture.

I would have liked to have been able to borrow a copy to read, bring back, but no can do.

Back down in the town, I popped in Coffee Aroma and picked up a copy of Northern Independent Coffee Guide.  Served by the same barista who had served me in Makushi.


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