Posts Tagged ‘The Underdog’

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.

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Cappuccino in The Underdog

October 30, 2017

I could not walk past The Underdog and not stop and have a coffee, especially as I did not on Sunday. I also thought maybe coffee roasting.

Yes, there was coffee roasting, though the guy roasting said he was learning and not appropriate person to answer questions.

As always excellent cappuccino.

V60 and cappuccino at The Underdog

October 26, 2017

 

Yesterday after a climb to the top of the the Hill of the Muses, then along walk down the Koine Valley, it was to Just Made 33 for something to eat, then try Mr Bean.

Things do not always go to plan.

I could not though pass the end of the road of The Underdog and not pop in.

I was treated to a cappuccino and a V60.

It is very rare to have  a perfect cappuccino.

Today was one of those days.

The V60 poured differently. Instead of a circular motion, poured into the centre, with a very steady fine stream of hot water.

As with the cappuccino, excellent, fruity, almost sweet.

Too late to eat at Just Made 33, hot chestnuts off a stall, then on to Mr Bean.

Cold Brew at The Underdog

October 22, 2017

It was a hot day, on my way to Athens Agora, I decided on a small detour to try a cold brew at The Underdog.

What a  difference a day makes. Yesterday quiet, or at least relatively so.

Today, as I walked up the stairs, hit by a wall of sound.

Yesterday, not very busy, today packed. I was lucky to find a seat.

What The Underdog are serving as cold brew coffee is not.

Cold brew is coffee brewed in cold water, either immersed in cold water for several hours or a cold drip tower, where cold water is dripped on coffee, one drip of water once a second. Either method takes several hours to produce the cold brew. It is then stored in a fridge, served cold with ice.

Japanese iced coffee, is a V60, Chemex or similar, where ice is placed in a carafe, the coffee instantly chilled served with ice.

What The Underdog  are brewing is neither of these methods. Coffee is made in a Chemex, poured into bottles, then stored in a fridge. In essence hot filter coffee cooled.

How was it served?

I was brought a bottle of water. Then a bottle of cold brew with a glass and within the glass an ice cube, a very large ice cube.

Note ice cube singular, one ice cube only. One ice cube that was maybe two cm across.

It had a white frosted surface. I queried this.

Was it stored in a freezer at minus 22 C? They said yes, but not so low a temperature. They said the appearance was due to the special water they used.

I can see that one large ice cube will melt much slower, also if at a low temperature. This has the big advantage of cooling the cold brew, or at least keeping cool, without diluting the cold brew. Quite clever.

The Underdog

October 21, 2017

Wander around Athens, and like Cyprus, you will not find good coffee.

The times they are a changing, excellent coffee as in Cyprus is starting to make an appearance.

I had walked around The Acropolis. Arrived at Thislo, a Metro Station I did not know. I thought maybe one of the coffee shops I was looking for was nearby. I had walked past it. I back tracked.

A fairly nondescript building, no name, nothing to indicate the delights inside.

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

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

I had never heard of Drift before, let alone come across. It is very much like Standart, high quality writing on art and coffee culture, only each issue devoted to a single city. At $22  an issue, roughly twice the cost of Standart, expensive.

Also on display trophies for World Championship in Coffee in Good Spirits. This year they came second, previous two years they won.  Different baristas, but incredible for one coffee shop.

I found myself chatting to the guy who came second.

In June I was chatting to the guy who won, Martin Hudak.

He recommended I visit Taf, and a coffee shop beyond Taf called Mr Bean.

I ordered a cappuccino. Excellent.

As at Taylor Made, no saucer, served with a glass with a  spoon.

This I queried. It was as I guessed, lack of a saucer, somewhere to put the spoon.

The Underdog offer a cold brew which strictly speaking is not a cold brew. Brewed in a Chemex, poured into bottles, stored in a fridge to chill. In essence a variant of Japanese iced coffee, where instantly chilled with ice in the carafe, but not cold brew.

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 nondescript building on the outside.