The traditional kafeneion, or coffeehouse, with its rigid chairs and small marble-topped butcher-block tables seems to have little in common with its modern-day evolution, the kafeteria with plump-cushioned sofas and blaring music, yet beneath the décor, Greece’s deep-rooted café culture remains the same.
The kafeneion was an informal meeting place for the community, especially the men, who exchanged news and discussed politics over a demitasse. Good news and bad news is shared through the coffeehouse. Greek coffee may have since given way to frappe, freddo, or espresso but its purpose is the same—an excuse for meeting and hanging out with friends. Patrons may linger over a cup of coffee for as long as three or four hours, but the time isn’t wasted, especially in small communities, where it is means of socializing.
Poros has a strong café culture. And the football world cup is a great excuse to see the café’s social dimension in action. During football season, the kafeteria becomes a sort of sports bar, with games shown on large screens indoors and outdoors. The passion is contagious as fans cheer and jeer players on the screen. So check the schedule and head to your favorite café; if Greece is playing, you might want to get there early.