There’s coffee and there’s coffee. For Xenia Raptopoulou, coffee is her mantra, her raison d’etre, her obsession, so it was only a matter of time before she opened a coffee shop in her home town of Woodstock.
Situated in part of the former furniture shop there, the originally named Woodstock Coffee Shop is an homage to the art of the barista, in a town already crammed with pubs and tea shops, where coffee is in short supply.
Fortuitously right next to the bus stop, for anyone wanting a good take away cuppa into Oxford, the welcoming homely interior beckons you in.
Wooden tables and chairs, cakes on the counter, strange sponges dusted with icing sugar, Xenia’s Greek heritage is evident everywhere.
But while Greek coffee is so strong and thick you could shake it upside down or eat it with a spoon, her English adaptions are spectacular, word spreading fast about the amazing coffee being serves.
As with all obsessives, you can’t rush a genius, but Xenia’s coffee is worth waiting for; rich without being bitter, strong without being bitty, smooth without being weak, pulling in the crowds and providing the perfect resting place for anyone fancying a good chinwag, tourists trailing around Woodstock or locals in the know.
Coffee aside, the sweet and savoury offerings on the menu are simpler; focaccia, some great looking cakes, biscuits, brownies and a smattering of Greek delicacies, as well as the more traditional baklava.
A deliciously moist piece of carrot cake, a latte to write home about (£2.60), a slab of focaccia with mozzarella and tomatoes (£1.40) and a lovely heart-warming hot chocolate (£2.80) helped while away the morning.
Great for coffee lovers, time wasters and everyone in between.
For more details on Xenia's story see next week's Guide food pages.
Woodstock Coffee Shop
20 Oxford Street
Woodstock OX20 1TS