Coffee smelled like music

“I pour my favorite Ethiopian beans into the grinder. The sound is like my daily playlist. And the smell…

The state-of-the-art espresso machine is ready for the first coffee of the day. Actually, the second coffee. 

Already my body is relaxing from my first, warm sips. I pour the frothed milk carefully- and practice my milk swan.

I slide it across the counter to Penny who’s been coming every day for years to the coffee shop where I work.

When I arrived in Timisoara, I had trouble finding some good coffee. One day, a new friend took me to Statia de Cafea.

I was excited, because she told me about the quality of the coffee and the amazing owner. I took a deep breath of the freshly ground and brewed coffee that surrounded me.

It was a small place, with little colorful seats. Nouvelle Vague was playing from a gramophone, and the owner had all the vinyls available to play.

I started chatting with the owner as I was going through my first coffee. We talked about coffee and about Timisoara. 

I told him what had brought me to his city and he shared his dream of opening a specialty coffee shop in his small hometown.

After I explained the popular cold coffee we have in Greece, which I can’t find anywhere else, he was intrigued. He loved the idea so much he invited me behind his bar to show him how to make it.

Even though we were strangers, his welcoming gestures were like those of an older friend. I remember his wide smile and shining eyes as he tried to make his first Greek freddo espresso

His passion was evident. After some time of hot cups in our hands and smiling words in our mouths, Bogdan made his special jasmine-infused brew for me. 

I thumbed through the vinyls and found one of my favorite albums. I put it on the turntable, enjoying even the sound the needle made before the music started. 

I took my first sip from the cup he handed me. I closed my eyes, and let the soft smell of the jasmine flower, and the familiar warmth of the coffee overcome my senses

My body relaxes, and I am transported…”

Author: Aigly Kyriakou

This digital story has been realised within the European project “Stories Behind the Cities”, founded by Creative Europe Programme, European Commission.