Cyprus has more coffee chains than can shake a stick at. Chains you may have heard of, chains you will never have heard of and wish you had never heard of, Costa (now owned by Coca-Cola), Caffe Nero, tax-dodging Starbucks, Coffee Island and Coffee Berry, the Greek versions of Starbucks, Second Cup, the Canadian version of Starbucks. All serving undrinkable coffee.
Robustos aka Cava Robustos, a coffee shop cum wine bar cum deli located in the old Post Office. A fairly nondescript nevertheless attractive frontage with plants lining the front, at least that is the initial appearance, but not once step over the threshold where find inside an Aladdin's Cave of delights for anyone who appreciates the better things in life.
On my first visit, I had time to kill in Paralimni. I was told of a coffee shop that roasted its own beans. Not correct, but they did have excellent coffee.
I spoke with a helpful girl. Yes they had quality coffee. They did not roast as I thought or had been led to believe, but did have Cup 10 imported from Athens, not only espresso blend but also several different single origins, also different brew methods, V60, Chemex, Japanese syphon, cold brew tower. I also noticed tucked away, member of Speciality Coffee Association.
I was introduced to the owner George.
He told me he had helped found Speciality Coffee Association Cyprus and was their coordinator.
He kindly offered to brew me a coffee sourced from Puerto Rico using a V60.
As a hot day, I asked Japanese iced filter, which he kindly obliged when I explained how. We brewed half the usual volume of water, half as ice into which the coffee drips to be instantly chilled. The ratio could have been 2/1 rather than 1/1, something to experiment with.
Robustos is more than a coffee shop. A wide selection of wine, whisky, even cigars. A board has chalked up a selection of cheese.
Whilst chatting with George, I noticed a steady stream of customers popping in to buy a bottle of wine or two.
On a subsequent visit, I dropped off guest coffee, much to the delight of George.
I found George and his assistant not only able to make a decent cup of coffee, that in itself a rarity in Cyprus, but also enthusiastic and knowledgeable about coffee.
Robustos makes a very pleasant change to the tacky bars in Protaras with their moronic music blasting out attracting the dregs of the tourist trade or the corporate chains serving undrinkable coffee or the the indie coffee shops serving equally undrinkable corporate brand catering supply coffee.
Since my recent visits in May and June, George has helped open a speciality coffee shop in the centre of nearby Protaras.
Slowly slowly, speciality coffee is spreading, even in Cyprus.