Taf Coffee, the famed Greek specialty-coffee company, honors its Costa Rican producer partners
Taf Coffee has a reputation for quality and for supporting the coffee community. From its headquarters in Athens where it has a roastery and always-bustling café downtown, Taf has made a concerted effort to improve coffee quality not just in Greece, but around the world. Yiannis Taloumis, Taf’s owner, has made frequent trips to origin to meet in person with producers and to help them with resources and education. It’s part of what lead the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe to honor him with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its World of Coffee Event in Rimini, Italy in 2014.
Of course, the baristas at Taf have also been amazing and supported by Yiannis for years. They include 2014 World Brewers Cup Champion Stefanos Domatitis (who has also won the Greek Barista Championship multiple times), Chris Loukakis (2011 World Latte Art Champion, who has also been the national barista champion of Greece) are just two of the coffee luminaries that have worked the bar at Taf.
When Yiannis traveled to Costa Rica this year to visit with his producing partners, he planned something special. “Great collaboration with Costa Rican producers led us to organize a special award day, a feast for us, and our colleagues in Costa Rica, who worked hard with vision, passion, and ethos,” he said.
Of the producers he said, “These nine people over the years have trusted in our hands their best beans. They are the one that take special care of the raw material. They plant the trees and work to watch them grow.”
After the feast, the producers watched a slideshow produced by Taf to show the Costa Rican coffee growers how their coffee is transported to Greece, roasted, distributed, and crafted with tremendous care in the café. They were then presented with an award, a carving of an owl (the traditional Greek symbol of wisdom), which is engraved with a quote from Socrates, “Wisdom begins in wonder.”