Athens + Coffee = <3 (A Day at the Athens Coffee Festival)

A couple of weeks ago, the Athens Coffee Festival came to town. What is the Athens Coffee Festival you might ask? According to their website, it is “a large celebration of coffee and its culture, addressed both to industry professionals and the general public”. According to me, it was the best homework break I have ever taken and the ideal place for me to test out my body’s limits for intake of caffeine.

I was hitting a wall for doing homework when I read a message from my apartment mate Nikki telling me about the coffee festival she had found out about going on in Gazi. I looked at my pile of homework on my desk, looked at the message, thought “Man, I love Athens,” and decided that I was going to go with her and a group of other CYA students.

And what a great decision that was. After getting there and paying the 4 euro entrance fee, we realized that we could get all the free coffee that we wanted—and it wasn’t just any old coffee either. There was a plethora of different types: cold brews, mango blitz cold brews, salted caramel lattes, tiramisu lattes, cappuccinos, nitrogen mojito coffees (!!!), bloody mary coffees (???), and even different flavored drinking chocolates.


It still astounds me that I can go take a “quick” homework break and go to a coffee festival that is happening in my backyard. Athens is truly a place of so many activities and events…

It was simultaneously amazing and overwhelming. My little brain could not comprehend that for just 4 euros I could get all of these. This, I think, would never happen in the United States. For example, after paying the entrance fee for the Garlic Festival in Gilroy (I know, substantially weirder than a coffee festival), if you wanted to try anything, you had to shell out more money on top of the entrance fee to pay for it. Or the free samples were puny.

Here in Athens, everything was free (except for the food) and it was a regular sized coffee and not a little shot glass type thing! Naturally, I got very excited about the prospect of free drinks and may have gone overboard by getting 10 coffees (not my finest idea, but at least when I got back to my apartment, I was heavily caffeinated and ready to do work and, that way, each drink only amounted to about 40 lepta).

If everyone was as pumped as I was about this festival, it showed, because the atmosphere was electric and very lively, even though it was a Monday night. All in all, it was a wonderful night and a great way to break up homework monotony and I would 100% recommend if you ever get the chance.

It still astounds me that I can go take a “quick” homework break and go to a coffee festival that is happening in my backyard. Athens is truly a place of so many activities and events—if it’s not a coffee festival, it’s a Van Gogh exhibit, or a wine festival.

I am forever grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad here; I can’t believe that my time here is ending in 2 months, but I know that in those 2 months I’ll have many more experiences like this, and that, at least, provides some silver lining to the fact that I’ll actually have to leave Athens at some point (or I could just stay, but I don’t think the visa people would like that and I’ll eventually just be forcibly removed).

Arianna Chen

Arianna Chen

Arianna is studying Politics at Pomona College

CYA Fall '17
Arianna Chen

Latest posts by Arianna Chen (see all)