It never hurts when a roaster you’ve always wanted to visit happens to be located in a city and country on your bucket list: Taf Coffee in Athens, Greece, is one of those places ”a two-fer, if you will. I was beyond delighted when I had a chance to visit this past August.
Things we did every day:
¢ Swam in the Mediterranean
¢ Ate copious amounts of Greek cheese
¢ Saw cats everywhere
¢ Hung out with 2014 World Brewers Cup Champ Stefanos Domatiotis; 2014 World Barista Championship 3rd-place finisher Chris Loukakis; and the SCAE’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, Yiannis Taloumis, who owns Taf Coffee.
¢ Drank espresso freddo. A lot of them.
Oh, one more awesome thing about Athens? My dear, dear friend Nora Å mahelovÃ¡, who owns Chapter One Coffee in Berlin, was with me the whole time! Nora serves Taf at her cafe, and is longtime friends with the Taf guys, too, so she was as excited as I was to be there.
What I really want to tell you about here, though, is Taf’s roasting operation, cupping lab, and training room, located outside the city in a beautiful building with views over the city. Yiannis treated me and Nora to a stunning cupping of new Guatemalan coffees in Taf’s large and comfortable cupping lab. We were joined by Taf’s master roaster, Elias Taloumis ”that’s right, Yiannis’ brother. Elias was a lot of fun: he made us Ibrik coffee, he told us about the process of determining just the right roast for Stefanos’ World Brewers Cup-winning coffee, and Chris’ WBC coffee, which won him 3rd place at the prestigious international coffee contest.
After the cupping, Elias and Yiannis, as well as Stefanos took us through all the areas of the roasters, including the empty space Taf had just procured for expansion: wholesale is growing really fast for them in Athens, and Taf is becoming more and more in demand throughout Europe.
Why am I sharing all of this with you now? Because tomorrow’s Humpday Giveaway prize is a Taf tshirt! Actually, we’re giving away 2 of them! So be sure to come back tomorrow between 7 a.m. Sept. 24 and 6:59 a.m. Sept. 25 (that’s PDT, folks), and enter for your chance to win!
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.
We’re not sure. We’ll check with Yannis.
I was curious about that sample roaster. What’s the brand and model, if you don’t mind my asking?