Taf Coffee In Greece: Among the Best Roasters in the World

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.

For reference:

Swimming in the Mediterranean.
Swimming in the Mediterranean = BLISS.
"Normal" amount of feta served on top of Greek salad in Athens.
“Normal” amount of feta served on top of Greek salad in Athens.
Cats, cats...
Cats, cats…
and more cats
and more cats.
And a dog (chill in in Athens), horse (awaiting passengers on the island Hydra), and turtle (cruising around the Acropolis), for good measure.
And a dog (chillin in Athens), horse (awaiting passengers on the island Hydra), and turtle (cruising around the Acropolis), for good measure.
Lucky me, hanging with these coffee celebs: Chris (far left), Yiannis (next to Chris), and Stefanos (far right).
Lucky me, hanging with these coffee celebs at Taf’s Athens cafe: Chris (far left), Yiannis (next to Chris), and Stefanos (far right).
Espresso freddo. It was over 100 degrees F during the week in August I was there, so these chilled drinks, made with Taf's signature Rosebud espresso, saved my life countless times in a super delicious way.
Espresso freddo. It was over 100 degrees F during the week in August I was there, so these chilled drinks, made with Taf’s signature Rosebud espresso, saved my life countless times in a super delicious way.

Oh, one more awesome thing about Athens? My dear, dear friend Nora  Å mahelová, 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.

Nora (left) and me at the top of the Acropolis.
Nora (left) and me at the top of the Acropolis.

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!

And now, the photos from my Taf roastery tour…

Coming in the entrance of the building, I stop to admire the antique brass espresso machine. That's Stefanos to the right.
Coming in the entrance of the building, I stop to admire the antique brass espresso machine. That’s Stefanos to the right.
Nora (center), Yiannis, and a visiting a friend (a woman who will be opening a cafe in Athens using Taf coffee soon), check out the Guatemalas we will be cupping, in Taf's cupping room.
Nora (center), Yiannis, and a visiting a friend (a woman who will be opening a cafe in Athens using Taf coffee soon), check out the Guatemalas we will be cupping, in Taf’s cupping room.
Taf's spacious training and workshop space.
Taf’s spacious training and workshop space.
A coffee bike! Yiannis brought this bike back from Rwanda, where it is used to transport heavy bags of cherry from the fields to the mill.
A coffee bike! Yiannis brought this bike back from Rwanda, where it is used to transport heavy bags of cherry from the fields to the mill.
Training tools in the conference center at Taf's headquarters.
Training tools in the conference center at Taf’s headquarters.
Equipment display in the training center.
Equipment display in the training center.
Yiannis at the cupping table, with Elias (far right), Stefanos (far left), and friend (the husband of the woman opening the cafe soon, pictured above).
Yiannis at the cupping table, with Elias (far right), Stefanos (far left), and friend (the husband of the woman opening the cafe soon, pictured above).
Yiannis expertly prepares the cupping.
Yiannis expertly prepares the cupping.
Stefanos lovingly preps the coffees.
Stefanos lovingly preps the coffees.
Just before cupping ”a great table.
Just before cupping ”a great table.
After cupping and a long discussion about the coffees, Nora and I were taken on a tour of the roastery and production area on the first floor of the Taf building.
After cupping and a long discussion about the coffees, Nora and I were taken on a tour of the roastery and production area on the first floor of the Taf building.
Stefanos shows the stainless barrels they use at Taf to store roasted coffee. They prefer these to the rubber bins a lot of roasters use.
Stefanos shows the stainless barrels they use at Taf to store roasted coffee. They prefer these to the rubber bins a lot of roasters use.
Elias with the sample roaster he uses daily, and which was in heavy use by him and Stefanos in preparing the World Brewers Cup and Barista Championship coffees for Rimini this year.
Elias with the sample roaster he uses daily, and which was in heavy use by him and Stefanos in preparing the World Brewers Cup and Barista Championship coffees for Rimini this year.
Elias and Yiannis pose in front of Taf's very first roaster.
Elias and Yiannis pose in front of Taf’s very first roaster.
The Taf guys are so proud of the team they've got: they celebrate one another all over the space in photos and notes.
The Taf guys are so proud of the team they’ve got: they celebrate one another all over the space in photos and notes.
GOLD!
GOLD!
We finished the time at Taf's headquarters and roastery with a traditional Ibrik, brewed for us by Elias.
We finished the time at Taf’s headquarters and roastery with a traditional Ibrik, brewed for us by Elias.

 

 

 

About Sarah 918 Articles
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.

2 Comments

  1. I was curious about that sample roaster. What’s the brand and model, if you don’t mind my asking?

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