In Gothenburg coffee shops

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I visited Gothenburg in order to attend Nordic World of Coffee, and stay close to my team, as Taf  and barista Konstantinos Iatridis was participating in the World Brewers Cup 2015. Scandinavian coffee scene became wide enough easily, everybody now speaks about an innovative Nordic approach. High consumption, strong local market, pioneer entrepreneurs.

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One of those is “da Matteo”. Along with other coffee people, we gathered around a table to rate Indian coffees, in the “Flavors of Indian”cupping. The truth is that Indian cupping panels are different from the ones I participate normally. It was the second time for me to evaluate Indian coffee and I can say that they have put together significant effort.

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As the purpose of my visit was the championship, I spent more time next to the young participant of the team, Konstantinos, who made it to the second place! Looking close to an event like that, I realized how important team work is. Konstantinos participated in the championships, both national and international for the first time this year, without any experience, but still willing to learn and to work hard. Before that, a chain of choices had to be made. I picked a great coffee for him to use in the championship, selected this specific lot out of 32 other. It is a Panama Geisha from the pioneer Ninety Plus, named Perci Pinnacle and has a natural process. It comes from the microregion Volcan, Sila de la Panto, at an altitude of 1800m. For the coffee’s profile, we worked with Ninety Plus during our visit in Panama, and our roaster, Elias Taloumis roasted the beans in our boutique roastery in Athens.

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Magnolia, dark honey and white, an indulging aroma perfectly matching plum and lychee in the taste, clean and clear aftertaste,  truly unique.  As far as training is concerned, last year’s world champion, Stefanos Domatiotis, taught Konstantinos  the do’s and the don’ts, techniques and secrets from the inside.  A handful of people also worked “behind the scenes”, in his practicing hours, helpers and supporters, Taf friends, our friends.  I am glad that he made it and we made it all together.
I left Gothenburg confident about new coffee scene, young baristi, rising initiatives
and great new things that will come.

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Back in Seattle

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It has been ten years since my last visit in Seattle. The picture on the left was taken in 2005, while the one on the right on February. Back then, the purpose of my journey was to take a close look at the new – in that time- coffee scene of the northwest coast. I was at the beginning, just before I formulate Taf’s program. In 2005, there were Starbucks, among other 3rd wave pioneer roasters such as Zoka, Vita and Vivace. Of course, a lot has changed in the city and its famous coffeeshops. Some still offer good coffee, some better and some worse. phonto (21)

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I entered the first historical Starbucks coffee, established in 1971 and then I came out to see the new, huge Starbucks, operating as a touristic attraction just a few meters in the opposite side of the road.I gave it a-four-minutes look, wandering around. Wastefulness in style, design, and consumption.
Needless to say I did not have coffe. I left quickly.

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I enjoyed coffee in the remarkable and famous Stumptown coffee roasters, they always serve good cup of Joe. I also had a  coffee in the glorious Vita, in Ladro coffee  and also a cup on the modern ELM, one of the latest openings, which created a pleasant memory already. Contemporay, nice and tasteful.
Seattle is undoubtably a coffee destination, however I would reccomend to coffee tourists to filter criteria.

If you find yourself in Milan

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Along with the huge Expo Milan, this year a new big idea was born. Mercato Metropolitano is an outdoor farmers market near the station of Porta Genova, in Via Valenza 2, in Navigli. It will remain there until October coming, and it is a great opportunity for everyone visiting the city to spend their leisure around the market’s stalls.

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It is 15,000 square meters big and the visitor can find local products of small production, of craftsmanship and farming, most of them artisanal and/or organic. Street food delicacies, fruits and vegetables, bread, patisserie, even flowers, beers and wine, and a coffee cluster! An open air cinema, a playground fro kids and also live cooking lessons are some of the activities one can join daily.

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I spent there some time, not only as a visitor but also as a participant /entrepreneur. Taf coffee meets La Marzocco and cafe Taglio, located in Milan, a great collaboration of the three to take over the espresso bar of the mercato. Taf coffee created and roasted a special house blend for the Mercato Metropolitano. The coffee friends passing by, can also taste Rosebud blend, single estate coffees from Taf’s direct relationship program.

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In the in-house micro-roastery, I was the first to roast some amazing Geisha beans from Panama, so they can be served in the brew bar for one week. Following La Marzocco’s initiative, every week a special roaster from around the world will join the mercato and roast its green coffee in order to serve it in the brew or espresso bar. I find it a great idea, good coffee made from professionals need to be shared in the people that loves it more!. See you in Milan!

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Geisha in Panama city

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Two hours and a half. My in-between airports free time in Panama City. After a two-day stay in Miami, that was the time left before I caught my next flight to the city of David. I am going to spend three days in Ninety Plus Gesha Estates.
As you may guess, this is the famous farm producing outstanding coffees.
You can see previous reference in older post here.

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On the one side, the visitor can see Panama’s old city and take a walk in time,
while on the other side huge skyscrapers are built on the beach, reaching the sky.

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At the old part of the town there is a small coffee shop named Bajareque.
The owner, Wilford Lamastus is also the landlord of the award winning Elida farm (Good Foods Award, Best of Panama Coffee, etc) and El Burro Estate. The estates are located in the highest area of the country, near the Baru Volcano.
El Burro is between 1.575 and 2.000m and Elida, the highest coffee farm in Panama,
is located between 1.700 and 2.500 m. above sea level.

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Honey proccess beans was the one I prefered on the dry aroma, while as the making was compleated, the washed one was superior. Floral, juicy, with clean aftertaste. That is a definately must-see place, when visiting Panama. I left a note on a card, greeting and congratulating Wilford and I left to catch my flight to David.

Hopefully, my next post will be from Ninety Plus Gesha Estates.           phonto (10)