Coffee in Greece

You may not know this, but Greece is a place where you can find decent coffee. Greeks are very,very friendly. They love to sit with friends, drink coffee and talk for hours and hours without looking at their phones or apps (which is so weird nowadays ‘cos conversation without looking at your phone seems impossible)

When I’m in Greece, the first thing I do is buy these

 Yes I know these aren’t the BEST coffee products in the world, but they’re my haven and they bring memories back… You just make an ice frappé and enjoy it by the sea before going for a swim. Pure, simple pleasure.
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Jealous much? Don’t be. The sea was crawling with jellyfish that summer so I had to stay on the beach and read my books day after day.

Anyways, few months ago, my darling sister and I tried the mexican coffee in Mikel in Thessaloniki. If you ever find yourself in Greece, go there! The man behind this business is a true success story. He launched his first Mikel café at the age of 29 upgrading himself from an employee in a café to an owner of a nationwide coffee company. Well done ombre! 

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The ingredients for the mexican coffee we had are:
-chocolate syrup
-cinnamon
-shot of espresso
-milk
-cream
-more cinnamon on top

And the result is : 10/10 (the first time I had it) and 4/10 (the second time, different barista).

Lesson learned: NEVER forget to specify that you don’t want extra sugar in the coffee!
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Banana and Coffee Smoothie / Ice cream

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Ice version:

Refrigerated Milk (5 tbsp)
Coffee (one espresso shot / regular black coffee -2 ml / granulated coffee dissolved in H2O)
1 frozen banana (sliced)
Honey (1 tbsp)
Optional: cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg
-> MIX in blender {at least 400W} / food processor 

*tips: First add the milk then the banana and then the rest of the ingredients. Be careful not to put too much milk or coffee ‘cos you want your smoothie / ice cream to be rich and strong. If your blender blocks and doesn’t mix well, add more milk (just a bit). Mix with a spoon if necessary to help your blender.
For the honey part, put your tablespoon under hot water first and then add the honey. That way half of it doesn’t stay on your spoon and you won’t have to make a mess of yourself.

Drink immediately or put it in your freezer for 2 hours  / overnight for ice cream.  Enjoy 😉 

 

 

Three coffee websites you should know about

Want to know more about coffee culture and news? Here’s three sites I regularly read in order to stay up-to-date:

1. Sprudge 
It connects with reporters all around the world and has some amazing reviews about local coffee shops in big cities. I absolutely love their work!


2. Coffee Review 

You can read about espresso reviews, find some well written tasting articles or get some information about everyday news on coffee.


3. International Coffee organization 

The ICO is an intergovernmental institution established in 1963 with the help of United-Nations. It enhances collaboration between nations that consume, produce and distribute coffee and has its own blog.


If you know some other interesting and legitimate websites, feel free to share them 😉

How much will coffee cost you in Paris

  Paris… We all love it. 
In case you’ve ever wondered what’s the coffee price in Paris, here’s a chart published by Le Figaro that will give you the idea.

Location, location location! The places on the top are mostly saloons or “brasseries” (=bar/restaurant/brewery) that are very popular, thus the price is so high.
For instance, this is how “Le train bleu” looks like. Stunning, right?

My advice is to find the restaurant with the most perfect view of the city and the best quality coffee and just enjoy the one-time moment. You’ll worry about the price later 😉

First official coffee tasting post

Haven’t posted anything for a while and there’s a valid reason behind my absence : law ! As a law student I don’t have many privileges and my free time is limited. However, what I do have is a good excuse for things I’m too lazy to do 😉

Nevertheless, during my “vacation” I gathered some material for this blog and thought about where I want to take it. As you may or may not know, I live in France where coffee culture is just starting to develop. Bordeaux is known worldwide for the wine but we don’t have Starbucks. Instead, there are some amazing coffee shops which I am planning to visit and write about here. I also noticed some new coffees in my nearby supermarket and decided to do some coffee tasting on my own. Here are the results:

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General impression :

It changed the way I see coffee. My tasting skills aren’t so sophisticated but I do know that I felt a red peppery note. The taste lingered in my mouth for hours and it was sweet and peppery and spicy.

About the coffee:

It’s a 100% Arabica, labeled with the Max Havelaar and Bio logo. This means that the company, Meo, is a member of a fair trade organization that helps producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions.
10728600_10154746705055015_763032375_n (2)Specifics:

I must admit, I was pretty surprised when I felt peppers in my coffee. Though the picture is black and white, coffee isn’t.

Ratings * :

Aroma (the way coffee smelled): 4

Sweetness: 5 (it was so lovely)

Taste (acidity/sourness): 3 (the sweetness was stronger than the acidity)

Body: 4 (it was well balanced, not too creamy not too thin)

Bitterness: 5 (it had a rough finish)

Aftertaste: 3 (sweetness, spicy/peppery feeling on my tongue stayed for hours → not a pepper fan, but it was a new taste and I always appreciate new things)

*I’m not a professional, these notes are based on how the coffee tasted to me.

Where did coffee come from?

Have you ever asked yourself who invented coffee? The stories about how we all got to drink this delicious drink are fascinating!  One legends says that an Ethiopian herdsman noticed that his goats had more energy after eating some sort of berries. He gave these berries to the monks who threw them into the fire and of course, the beans started roasting and the monks obviously fell in love with the smell. Then, they put the beans in water (perhaps to cool them off) and noticed the change of color. Naturally they drank it and liked it and voila!

The other legend mentions a certain Sheik Aboul Hasan whose disciple, Omar, was exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab. He found some bitter berries and tried roasting the beans to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the bean, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint. (source: Wikipedia)


Coffee was first enjoyed in Africa and Arabia. Mocha (a port city in Yemen) was the major marketplace for coffee from the 15th century until the early 18th century. In this age, coffee was primarily enjoyed by the Muslim world (‘cos they couldn’t drink alcohol). Muslim ambassadors came to Europe with coffee beans as gifts to kings and queens, thus coffee spread throughout Europe. From there the colonizers (french, dutch… ) brought it to The New World (Martinique, Latin America, etc).
map-made-from-coffe-beansMaybe coffee was discovered not so long ago but it didn’t take long for it to spread throughout the world. Today we all drown in coffee and can’t imagine our lives without it. 18424-I-Love-Coffee

Relaxing movie for a fine Friday afternoon + a hot cocoa = floating on a cloud

I love watching novel adapted movies, especially the romance / historic ones. There’s something special inside each story and you always get to see how people in the past lived. I especially enjoyed watching “I capture the castle” and Henry Cavil being part of the cast had much to do with it 😉


The story is about a writer who lives in a castle with his family. After being unable to write anything for 12 years they become quite poor and his daughter, Rose, soon realizes that the only way to put meal on the table is if she marries their rich landowner, Simon, who has just arrived from America. Now it gets messy.

Rose wants to marry Simon because he’s rich. However, she likes his brother Neil (their thing was mutual). Rose’s sister Cassandra falls in love with Simon, who loves Rose but flirts with Cassandra as well. Stephen (portrayed by Henry Cavil <3) is their handyman. He loves Cassandra but she doesn’t love him back, although they french kissed once. But who wouldn’t with a guy who has a smile like that?

Rose gets engaged with Simon but ends up running away with his’ brother (classic!). Simon then proposes to Cassandra but she says it will never be good enough. And she’s right. NEVER SETTLE GIRLS, YOU DESERVE THE WHOLE DEAL! 

In order to get her father to write again Cassandra locks him in a cell. He has a meltdown but then starts writing a book called “The cat on the mat”. His’ story was very mysterious and reminded me of how we all get stuck in life sometimes. Everybody needs a little push from time to time in order to have a breakthrough and flourish. I just hope nobody will ever need to lock me down in order to get a positive outcome.

In the end Cassandra writes in her journal that she learned what it is to love and that she will love again. Even in movies, life does move on.

Recovering from internet failure with World Barista Championship videos

Being unable to get an internet connection and update my blog was quite disturbing. It’s been three hours since they fixed the problem and now, I can continue living a normal life… (I’m well aware of how lame that sounds! :D)

The first thing I did was checking out what’s new on the youtube. Amazingly enough, an awesome clip was recommended to me from the WBC channel and I started digging for some other stuff and decided to share with the following video.

I liked this competitor best because he explained so well how the farmer, Mr Arnulfo Leguizamo produced his own coffee. The signature drink from this guy seems yummy, especially because I have a thing for cold coffee 😉

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Mr Leguizamo explains the whole production process in this interesting article. He’s had years of experience, a ton of work and nice weather conditions before making the perfect coffee. I’ll definitely drop by his farm if I ever go to Colombia 🙂

I’m so ashamed that I haven’t thought of exploring the coffee industry sooner. There are so many information out there! I’ve learned so much since I’ve started this blog about coffee variations, production and importation of coffee.

Maybe I won’t be a Coffee Master any time soon but I will make up for all the things I’ve missed out on!

The delicious art of coffee cupping

Coffee cupping is the equivalent of wine tasting. However, there’s this whole process attached to it and if you put me in a Cupping Party I’ll be as excited as a kid in Disney World.
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The coffee we all drink and enjoy has already been tasted by professionals while it was being prepared in the factory. When the coffee beans roast, the workers take some out for testing. They take them to the lab where coffee tasters make sure that the beans aren’t rotten, and that the aroma/acidity/body/flavor of the coffee is as it should be.

6715941947_479f278a5f_zThey don’t actually DRINK it, they sniff and slurp (YES, they must slurp loudly), taste the flavor and spill out the coffee. But it’s actually NOT THAT SIMPLE. Here’s a guide from HAS BEAN COFFEE that explains the process.

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I’m new to this as much as most of you are. I found a cupping chart and a flavor wheel that might be helpful. I just need to start practicing this delicious art more frequently in order to get better at it. And I found a new excuse for slurping and drinking coffee! 😛