Saturday, 6 December 2014

Greece; TAF, a small temple to worship the best coffee in Athens!

Visting TAF in Athens, Eharcheia downtown district and finding out the secrets of the finest coffee in the city!


by Kon Hans


At a recent article in Buzzfeed.com, a big praise was given to the coffee culture (among other things!) of the Greek capital: Athens has more cafes than Paris and Rome have, and even a greater worship towards the fresh aroma of the coffee and its strong flavor.  After being to TAF at Benaki Street, a small café and a coffee grinder at the same time, and meeting Christos Loukakis, an awarded barista, I could only agree to the above statement after drinking the third espresso!




Q. How long have you been a barista?

A. I have been a barista for about 14 years. It has been a conscientious choice; I have even abandoned my studies to follow my vocation, as I believed it to be back then.  Afterwards, I have realized that it was the right choice for me, and TAF has played a significant role in this.

Q. What is being a barista for you, what is your inspiration?

A. Coffee for me has always been a constant game of changes, of flavors, of aromas, of the constitution itself of the coffee, and its essence.  It is like chemistry; in fact it IS chemistry, a coffee-chemistry which I adore and which I always try to bring one step beyond.  My passion is the mixing of new flavors and varieties and bringing to life a coffee with a perfect body and aroma.  It is definitely an art for me. Here we have many varieties and each month we try to bring a new one.

Q. How TAF exactly works? From what I understand there is also a brand named TAF.

A. Exactly. TAF is at the same time a coffee shop and a place where even the most hardcore coffee connoisseur can find the good quality he is searching for.  I mean, we trade with over 30 farms from all over the world, from Latin America to Africa and India, though our main providers are from Brazil and Africa. We have a system of trade, named “direct trade”, where we try to build a direct relationship with the producers evading the middleman and thus keeping the prices low and awarding the producers for their work, seems only fair to me.  We have two main varieties, and you can check them out if you want (Of course I want!), the Rose Bud with notes of honey and the Estate Blend, more strong and with dark chocolate undertones.  After that, you name it, we have Ethiopian, Brazilian and Guatemala coffee varieties, all of the best quality. 

Q. Thank you, I will surely try!


A. You are more than welcome!


* TAF is on 6-7 Benaki Street, Athens, Eharcheia


(photos by Mina Selimou © )


The formidable coffee-grinder
TAF - inside

Christos on the making!
Filter magic!


Filter magic 2

Award



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