humans of coffee
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Humans of coffee: Panos Chasapis

Who is  Panos  Chasapis?

He is a storyteller. He likes to tell stories (mainly fantastic).

He was born in Greece, lived in Switzerland for several years and today he writes you from Amsterdam where he lives.

He teaches his students to be in good contact with their feelings and to express themselves through painting, singing, playing, talking clearly and without shame.

Sometimes he fantasizes being «super Rufus» who eliminates fascism and drugs from the world by replacing fascists & drug dealers with manilas and coffee trees. Oh, what a beautiful world!

What is your favorite childhood memory?

For no bizarre reason, all my beautiful childhood memories are connected mainly with fragrances and plants. I remember every detail of the following scene.

I am hardly 9 years old.

It is summer, midday, just outside Nafplio (the most beautiful city in Greece!). The sea is dark blue and very rough… the wind blows hard and there is a scent of salt and reeds. My godfather has already made his famous American coffee and we have it along with some orange cake, together. We are on the veranda of his house away from the other adults. It’s the day my father’s summer holiday will officially begin. We expect him to come. He used to work a lot and he rarely spent his holidays with us. I stared at the iron gates looking out for his car to appear. My godfather poured coffee into our white cups and his pipe smoke mixed with the coffee smell. I loved his tobacco smell especially when it was fresh and wet inside his leather brown pouch and the words COLUMBUS  OHIO USA written on it. This pouch triggered my first interest in visiting America. I still remember my father’s grey Mercedes Benz… a model of 68, with brown leather seats and a gear lever on the steering wheel… going up the dusty garden road and stopping under the orange trees. I remember running to hug him. I remember him stretching/opening his arms and calling my name. His embrace always smelt basil. Because he always cut a small sprout of basil  from a pot near him and put it in his shirt pocket. That basil scent that came  from my father’s hug… the smell of the coffee and the smoke from my godfather’s pipe… and the smell of the sea at noon… Is everything that later defined my adult life, I guess… and my relationship with coffee.

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If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?

I would like not to have daydreamed all the time, but to have acted more. I would like to have stopped thinking about dreams and targets and started planning and executing without fear and laziness. Immediately. Do you think it’s not too late for me to change?

What do you feel most proud of?

For many years I didn’t know what “being proud of something” meant. I had given this phrase a very selfish dimension and I avoided it. Today, I enjoy the notion of “self-centered” without any personal complex, I dare say that I am proud  of starting  psychotherapy eleven years ago and giving myself the opportunity of knowing me, understanding me, and probably accepting  me. Yes. I think I can flaunt it. Without this therapy I would never have learnt to love me. Therefore, I am proud of being able to love and hug.

If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?

Very spontaneously: my half marathon sport shoes because I love good food and I have to burn it, the “little life” by Hanya Yanagihara  (a hymn to friendship and love)  and my camera to photograph coffees , flowers… and little birds.

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What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker… Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way ” (lyrics from my favorite “Moon River” Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer) Yes I know… I am so retro…

What is @rufus_airlines?

@rufus_airlines & (blog under construction) is a meeting platform. A place where photographers & poets , florists & musicians, experts of coffee and sweets, writers & instagrammers,  politicians & models we will meet. It is a dream which will take time work and patience to become true . A small globe which will host small birds searching for a shelter of inspiration and creativity.

What is your favorite kind of coffee?

When I’m home I prefer an Americano (new addiction: beans from Nicaragua, region Nueva Segovia) while definitely a cortado or espresso is always the best solution when I meet my friends in town. One day I want to learn to drink my coffee like the Italians: nattily, delightfully and with gratitude.


Image by Maria Kennedy

In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?

In Buvette, in New York, with my latte… and waffle sunny-side egg, bacon & gruyère and an imaginary conversation with my favorite New Yorkers: Woody Allen, Francoise Mouly and Sarah Jessica Parker.

In my favorite Fragments in Paris with a cappuccino , a luscious iced lemon cake & the first insta story of the day.

In the Scandinavian Embassy in Amsterdam, 3 minutes’ walk from my place, with filter coffee and a porridge and all my  instagram birds around .

What does a perfect day look like?

I believe that every day could be perfect… but the following one would be magical: In Serifos island in Greece, one day in September, at 7 in the morning. A double Greek coffee, with milk and honey, on a marble table, at a balcony overlooking the Aegean sea. I am tasting the first sip of the coffee. On the radio, the voice of Meryl Streep announces that President Trump has resigned and has decided to move to Mexico and become a barista. Marine Le Pen leaves Paris and opens a café in her beloved Algeria. President Putin opens a gay bar with drag shows called “the rosy babushka”, in Chechnya, while the Jihadists color their own beards gold and decide to rebuild Aleppo in Syria right from the start, in order to make it the cultural capital of the planet. John Lennon and Chet Baker smiles happily at me from the nearby balcony. It is an incredible, unbelievable day!

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