March 21, 2016

Coffee tourism: seven Athens’ specialty cafés worth visiting

Athens is the city of freddo cappuccinos. No matter if it’s summer or winter, you’ll see people slurping away on this foamy cold brew everywhere. But that’s not the only type of coffee that’s abundant in the city, either.  Athens’ specialty coffee scene keeps growing.

So if you’re a specialty coffee lover who happens to be travelling to or living in Greece, we’ve created a must-visit list of seven cafés. Pack this with your sunglasses and camera for a heavenly holiday.

SEE ALSO: 5 Specialty Coffee Shops to Visit in Barcelona

Athens’ specialty coffee scene

Athens produces an amazing amount of talented baristas and specialty cafés, and it’s impossible to objectively pick out the “best” from those. Instead, we’ve picked some of our favourites from within the city, ones where we’re confident you’ll have a good experience.

We’ve also prioritised coffee shops that either have or have had coffee Champions working in them, in addition to friendly waiters and baristas who can speak English. We know that it’s not just the coffee beans that make a coffee house great (although they’re pretty important!)

So let’s jump in and explore some of Athen’s wonderful cafés…

1. Tailor Made

One of Athens’ first specialty coffee shops, Tailor Made is situated in the central area of Monastiraki. Today, this area is full of fancy bars and restaurants, but it used to be where you went for fabrics and tailors. This history is reflected in Tailor Made’s name, along with the concept of making a coffee that’s perfect for the consumer.

barista pouring a coffee

Let Tailor Made tailor a drink for you.

WherePlateia Agias Eirinis 2
StylePart-roastery, part-café, and part-cocktail and DJ bar, with a large terrace for people drinking in
Espresso MachineSimonelli T3
GrinderSimonelli Mythos, Mahlkönig Kold
Coffee OfferingsFresh roasted coffee from Brazil, Kenya, EthiopiaCosta RicaPanama, and Honduras, either as espresso and filters or combined with alcohol, along with cold drip brew made in beautiful giant drippers
Must-Try DrinkTheir flat white freddo (low fat milk with a foamy double ristretto top) is a speciality that you won’t find in other places
Food & Other DrinksSnacks and light meals, home-made desserts, teas and infusions, and fresh juice
Retail OfferingsAll their coffees are also available for purchase, along with brewing equipment, cups, infusions, and cascara.
espresso machine at tailor made

A beautiful coffee house in a beautiful city.

2. Taf

You’ll find Taf hidden away on a small, central street outside of the tourist zone. Visitors have the opportunity to escape from the noise and heat of the day by, instead, diving into the world of professionally brewed coffee. This Athens specialty coffee shop first opened in  2009. Since then, it’s strived to provide a wide range of coffee options – so get ready to try something new.

barista at taf

Try a coffee even cleaner than the décor at Taf.

WhereEmmanouil Mpenaki 7
StyleA well-lit but fairly small space with two floors and several tables outside
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco Strada MP
GrinderAnfim
Coffee OfferingsServing espresso and filters from self-roasted Ninety Plus coffees, with a new single origin available every week
Must-Try DrinkEthiopian Nekisse brewed in their V60
Food & Other DrinksSandwiches, bruschetta, pizza, alcohol, soft drinks, and fresh juice, with a brunch menu available from 10:00-6:00 pm.
Retail Offerings30 different single origins and blends
interior at taf and coffee from taf

At Taf, every day is a chance to try something new…

3. Warehouse Speciality Blends

This coffee house is what happens when a love of wine and coffee meet. A well-kept secret, to find it you have to either be lost or following directions. Yet Warehouse Specialty Blends, open since 2014, is well worth the search. Come here in the morning for a coffee and croissant, or in the evening for a delicious dinner paired with one of 200 excellent wines from their own cellar.

barista at work and coffee bags

Warehouse Specialty Coffee is perfect in the morning…

WhereMavromichali & Valtetsiou 21
StyleA grunge mix of wood and metal spread over two floors with a spacious terrace
Espresso MachineVictoria Arduino Black Eagle VA388 2 Group
GrinderNuova Simonelli Mythos
Coffee OfferingsSingle origins from Sapid Coffee Roasting Co
Must-Try DrinkEspresso – it’s black, clean, and very tasty
Food & Other DrinksFull menu ranging from light dishes to dinner and sweet desserts
Retail Offerings250g bags of coffee from Sapid coffee roasters, brewing equipment including V60s and ibriks
interior of a coffee shop

… and equally perfect in the evening!

4. Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies

A newly opened coffee shop in the heart of the city, Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies is a good choice for a break from the city crowds. You’ll find outstanding coffee and healthy homemade snacks here.

barsta at work and coffee bag

Excellent coffee and coffee equipment galore.

WhereDragatsaniou 8
StyleSpacious and self-service
Espresso MachineLa Marzocco PP Linea
GrinderDitting is offered as retail, but order a coffee here and they’ll use Anfim
Coffee OfferingsTaf coffee – cold brews are Rosebud or Pianeta blends, hot Hariti or Pianeta, and drips Hariti or El Pilon Costa Rica
Must-Try DrinkCappuccino poured by their Latte Art Champion
Food & Other DrinksGreek yoghurts with chia, nut, and raisins; homemade salads; muesli with dry fruits; and many, many other healthy snacks
Retail OfferingsTaf cups and Taf coffees, from 1 kilo blends to 250g single origins
lemon infused water and serving coffee

A refreshing spot away from the heat of the day. 

5. Just Made 33

If you’re a fan of ibrik coffee, Just Made 33 is definitely for you. It serves 1st place winning coffee by the 2016 World Cezve/Ibrik Champion, Kostas Komninakis – come over to taste the glory! Yet even if you’re not in the mood for an ibrik, there’s still plenty of other good options here.

syphon, chemex, bag of coffee, and turkish coffee

No shortage of brewing devices at Just Made 33.

WhereEvaggelistrias 33
StyleSpacious coffee house with a big terrace
Espresso MachineDalla Corte 3 group DC Pro
GrinderQuamar 1DIP DKS-65
Coffee OfferingsEspresso blends and single origins by Sapid Coffee Roasting Co
Must-Try DrinkIbrik coffee with Geisha Sweet Princess from Panama
Food & Other DrinksSalads, melted sandwiches, burgers, pasta, sides and soups, home-made pastries, infusions, teas, and lemonade
Retail Offerings250g bags of coffee
coffee shop interior and cakes

Pair your coffee with some first-rate food at Just Made 33.

6. Underdog

You finally made it to the Acropolis – now after that epic sightseeing, it’s time for a coffee! And maybe something a little stronger… The beautifully designed Underdog is both a bar and a café in one.

barista behind the coffee machine

Décor almost as great as the coffee.

WhereIraklidon 8
StyleStylish and spacious multi-level coffee-bar with an inner opened terrace
Espresso MachineSlayer V3
GrinderAnfim Titanium
Coffee Offerings2 single origin espressos and 1-4 filters, all seasonal
Must-Try DrinkTheir unique Espresso ‘n’ Tonic
Food & Other DrinksLight snacks, artesanal beers from around the world, lunch menu, brunch on weekends, teas, infusions, juice, and an alcohol bar
Retail OfferingsCoffee equipment and 250g bags of home roast
coffee shop interior and details

When it comes to their coffee, Underdog’s no underdog.

7. Mind The Cup

This (not so) little beauty is one of the first specialty coffee shops in the west of Athens. We recommend taking the opportunity to walk around the neighbourhood before dropping into Mind The Cup for a drink in the shade.

barista at work and coffee bags

Service with a smile at Mind The Cup.

WhereAimiliou Veaki 29
StyleSpacious café-roastery
Espresso MachineVictoria Arduino Black Eagle Gravimetric
GrinderVictoria Arduino Mythos for espressos, Malkönig EK43 for filters
Coffee OfferingsSeasonal speciality coffees roasted in-house; espressos mostly from Central America, filters typically Ethiopian and Colombian single origins
Must-Try DrinkA flat white made by the Hellenic Latte Art Champion
Food & Other DrinksSnacks, fresh juice, and alcohol
Retail OfferingsAll their coffees are available for purchase
smeg fridge and tea cups

Order coffee, tea, or something else altogether at Mind The Cup.

Before you visit any Athens’ specialty coffee shops…

So there you have it – seven excellent Athens specialty coffee houses. Yet they’re certainly not the only cafés worth visiting in this city. It might seem like there’s almost too much to do in the birthplace of democracy, with all the historical sites, markets, and shopping. But if you have a spare bit of time and have already been to these seven, why not explore the other coffee houses? And let us know what you find!

Edited by T. Newton.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance. Perfect Daily Grind believes in furthering debate over topical issues within the industry, and so seeks to represent the views of all sides.

Perfect Daily Grind.