TAF Coffee – Part I

I swerved through highway traffic towards a north suburb of Athens named Agios Stefanios situated 21km in the north east of the Athens on my way to the headquarters of Taf. For those of you who are not familiar with Taf, its managed and owned by Giannis Taloumis, a world renown coffee expert and roaster.

I first met Gianni’s via a friend, a manufacturer of professional coffee machines, and he laid claim to Giannis’s expertise making sure to connect us. We took our first meeting at my kitchen office in Mykonos and my first impression was excellent. He reminded, when he comes to my house, he dreams about the dolphins passing by. I recall we talked more about food and diet given Gianni is not eating meat, fish, although he laughs at the notion of high-end sushi in Japan.

The first meeting went well, he seemed relaxed and took some time from his holiday to show me a few tricks on my GS3, a machine that was a gift.

Two days ago, I was in Athens and after a coffee I decided to take a trip see Taf’s head quarters. The drive is what most people would call a schlep, but is well worth the trip. Given I wasn’t sure what to expect, I arrived to a suburb off the highway, I followed Gianni’s directions which were very precise. You can easily find his building on the street, invisible aromas of roasted beans were billowing from the building’s overhead vents.

IMG_4210

I was really caught off guard at first, in a good way, I had visited Taf in the center of Athens, a laid back type shop, a place you would find in California, except for one thing; there you find serious level barista’s including one of the world champions.

IMG_4226

When I was asked, “would you like to see my lab or the roaster first, drink a coffee”, I opted to see the laboratory, and it was an awesome. I’ve seen numerous labs and roasting operations in the United States but never anything quite like this.

Categories: Life Cycles

Tagged as: ,