Well, I know. It's the fifth 'Hommie visits:' and it's a coffee shop again; but I just can't help it! I love coffee and I love even more places with character and fine aesthetic. So, my new discovery combines both, in a small coffee bar in Athens, Greece, named QAHWA. Dimitris, the owner, wanted to open a coffee shop where he could offer absolutely qualitative coffee that even its tiniest grain would be tested and weighed; and so he did!
The name QAHWA (pronounced kaffa) is an arabic word referring to coffee. It's a paraphrasing of the original arabic coffee designation, qahwat al-būnn, translated the grain's wine, which is referred to the fact that coffee is used as a substitute of wine, as the Koran prohibits alcohol. The café's logo is a minimal approach of the caffeine's chemical compound and it's designed by DIO.
When I asked who designed this place, the answer was really surprising. The name bafis. was familiar because they also designed Mind the Cup, my last 'Hommie visits:'. That was a funny coincidence! I also had the pleasure of meeting Panagiotis Bafis, the person behind the bafis. firm, and chat with him about decoration and style. Qahwa has three of my favourite materials and textures: raw wood, concrete and copper. Old wooden transport pallets are the main feature here, supporting the importance of recycling materials. Pallets or parts of them were used as shelving units, tables, wall panels and storage doors. Even a whole wall was covered with wooden planks.
The old mosaic-tiled floor was remained and restored as it brings a vintage atmosphere. To easily access the highest level of the coffee shop, the old iron stairs were removed and replaced by a built-in concrete construction that combines new stairs, a sitting area and a planting container. The rest of the floor and the walls were covered with cement in order to highlight the wooden constructions and create a natural industrial look. A selection of unique and innovative fixtures, mason jar lamps, rustic metal pendant lamps, large coffee mugs-shaped lights, hidden LED lighting strips, are hanging around the space illuminating elegantly selected points. The decoration is complemented by cushions made of printed burlap coffee bags and an old hanging telephone device and a radio.
QAHWA is located on a busy pedestrianized street in Egaleo so bafis. had the ability to design the outdoor space with small seating areas and a large table, made of old pallets. I guess this white hammock will be ideal during the hot summer season, relaxing and drinking my favourite iced flat white coffee! And last but not least, there's a seating area for your beloved pets, too. You will notice the funny indicative sign 'dogs' parking'!
I also have an extra bonus for you guys! Have a look at this photo and meet the QAHWA gang: Panagiotis (the interior designer), Dimitris (the owner and barista I.) and Artemis (barista II.)
QAHWA is located at 1 Markou Mpotsari street, Egaleo, Athens, Greece.
// photography by Petros P.