Posts Tagged ‘The Underdog’

La Pila de Guatemala

December 17, 2019

La Pila a honey process coffee from Guatemala roasted by The Underdog.

Try different baristas, different coffee shops.

Stokes at The Lawn, as always I let Mike choose brewing method, I chose cappuccino and V60, Mike decided on French press.

My reason for trying a cappuccino, had been roasted to suit espresso,

At first I thought cafetiere, but as cooled easily the V60. The cappuccino not so good.

Beautiful colour the V60. Taste of fruits and wine.

All agreed, Nick, Mike and myself, excellent coffee.

Almost a month on, retry La Pila at Stokes at The Lawn. Usually I let Mike choose, today, as roasted for espresso, I chose, cappuccino and V60. Mike chose a flat white.

The classic cappuccino, rarely achieved, smooth and creamy. Not so, but nevertheless interesting fruity notes making the cappuccino an interesting drink. I was very much reminded of cappuccino at Makushi with their own light roast.

The V60 a disappointment, OK hot but not good as it cooled.

Mike said his flat white excellent.

Next, a few days later, The Specialty Coffee Shop. Again I chose, a cappuccino.

Not the classic smooth creamy, nevertheless interesting with fruity notes.

What was now left of the bag of coffee beans I gave as a gift to Michelangelo.

Special thanks to Mike barista at Stokes at The Lawn and Mohammad barista at The Speciality Coffee Shop.

Rodolfo and Reina are the proud owners of the La Pila farm. Rodolfo has basically been in coffee for his whole life. When he was young, he used to work on farms as a coffee picker to earn money. And when he was 25 years old, he inherited a plot of land from his father, so that he could start his own farm business.

Little by little he managed to make steps ahead, increase the volume of his coffee, and invest in another plot of land. He names his farm ‘La Pila’, which is a tank for water in this context, as he found a small water source on his farm. He made a small cement tank and decided to use this as a reference for his farm. Water is very scarce and precious in this region.

Rodolfo is very eager to improve the practices on his farm, to keep learning and innovating. He’d like to have a soil analysis done at his farm, so to optimize the root and foliar systems of his plants with adequate nutrition. He also plans to keep investing in the processing area. He came up with a genius system to depulp the coffee with a bicycle! Since 2017 we are working with him on honey and natural processing and are thrilled by the results.

La Pila single origin honey process, location Santa Ana la Montaña, Fraijanes, farmer Rodolfo Garcia, var yellow catuai, altitude 1750m, taste notes molasses, maple syrup, blackcurrant, roasted at The Underdog.

Cold brew in The Underdog

December 3, 2019

Cold brew in The Underdog, only not cold brew, a filter coffee put in the fridge.

Why? Better consistency than using a cold drip tower.

The Underdog

November 30, 2019

After visting The Acropolis and Areopagus I walked to The Underdog, had a cappuccino.

I now notice Nespresso capsules with Brazilian coffee, 20 euros for 18 capsules.

Cappuccino at The Underdog

November 24, 2019

A cappuccino at The Underdog.

Busy, but not as busy as in the past on a Sunday.

I wish I had had cold brew or a pour over.

Looking at the Nespresso capsules, 18 capsules, 5.5g of coffee in each, 20 euros Ethiopian, 30 euros Panama Geishe. To buy a bag of either 20 euros for 100g.

Curious how, their coffee is sent to Russia to be put into Nespresso capsules.

A magazine I have not seen before, Coffee & Ti, an Asian clone of Standart.

I am told The Underdog has difficulty in obtaining Standart. Same is true in UK, serious problems with distribution.

Cold brew at The Underdog

November 22, 2019

A cold brew at The Underdog.

A chat with a French couple.

They thought the bags of coffee on sale were expensive. I said no, reasonable price for quality coffee.

The bag they were looking at, 100 g of Panama Geiha 35 euros. I explained a rare variety and yes, expensive

I recommend coffee shops for them, suggested check out Standart guide to Athens coffee culture.

I noted less variety of coffee on sale. Reduced selection because was not selling and left with old coffee on the shelves.

Nespresso machine at The Underdog

November 17, 2019

On a visit to The Underdog I commented on a Nespresso machine, shock horror.

They explained why, quality coffee in Nespresso capsules.

I tried a Panama Geisha made in the Nespresso machine. Wow, it was excellent, totally unexpected.

I had earlier noticed on the shelves what looked like egg boxes for quail eggs. These contain Nespresso capsules. On the shelves Ethiopian, by the Nespresso machine Ethiopian and a Panama Geisha.

On a later visit, I learnt that the coffee is shipped to Russia to be sealed in the Nespresso capsules.

Ethiopian coffee, 20 euros for 18 capsules. Panama Geisha 30 euros for 18 capsules. When I visited a few days later, a Brazilian 20 euros for 18 capsules.

Mixed feelings on this. Quality roasteries producing capsules for a Nepresso machine. Should we be encouraging use of Nespresso machines?

But I have to admit, the espresso from a 60 euro Nespresso machine was excellent.

A few days later I visited flagship Nespresso store in Kolonaki. I asked to try their best coffee. 5.5 euros for ten capsules. It was disgusting and undrinkable. I also learnt all the Nepsresso machines are the same, whether a 60 euro machine or several hundred euros. The only difference, the exterior and maybe the addition of a few gizmos.

Several changes since my last visit to The Underdog in the Spring, Nespresso machine and capsules, intriguing digital scales, delivers dialled in weight at push of a button, new espresso machine.

This is what I like about coffee shops in Athens. Always willing to innovate, always pushing the boundaries to deliver excellent coffee.

Cold brew at The Underdog

November 17, 2019

The Underdog, a nondescript villa, shame about the new sign.

Please Tasos return the board with a dog. The new sign is out of character with the building.

Excellent cold brew.

I commented on a Nespresso machine, shock horror.

I tried a Panama Geisha made in the Nespresso machine. Wow, it was excellent, totally unexpected.

I had earlier noticed on the shelves what looked like egg boxes for quail eggs. These contain Nespresso capsules. On the shelves Ethiopian, by the Nespresso machine Ethiopian and a Panama Geisha.

Mixed feelings on this. Quality roasteries producing capsules for a Nespresso machine. Encouraging use of Nespresso machines.

But I have to admit, the espresso from a 60 euro Nespresso machine was excellent.

Several changes since last visit, Nespresso machine and capsules, intriguing digital scales, delivers dialled in weight at push of a button, new espresso machine.

This is what I like about coffee shops in Athens. Always willing to innovate, always pushing the boundaries to deliver excellent coffee.

It was suggested I try Dope, a coffee shop serving Robusta. Maybe one day. Too late as closed at seven.

Cappuccino at The Underdog

October 28, 2018

As always, excellent cappuccino, interesting conversation, at The Underdog.

— to be continued —

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.

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.