Time is limited. That fact becomes rarely as painfully clear as when testing coffee places in Berlin. Visiting Berlin for just two days only leaves time for a few coffee shops and naturally, the caffeine intake-level is limited as well.
So this time, we literally tried something new – visiting only coffee places we have never been before. In some parts, that is sad, because the “old” places do not only serve great coffee. Sometimes, we know the owners and the baristas and that meant this time missing visiting these friends. But to quote Schwarzenegger: I’ll be back!
The listed cafés are not all new per se, some just new to us for many possible reasons (i.e. not listed in the great “Third Wave Wichteln Coffee Map” – a great source for coffee places all over the world). So here is our report from two days in Berlin:
The name sounds promising, that’s for sure. Located near the station “Ostkreuz”, Happy Baristas are close to other places in Friedrichshain like Silo coffee (where one of the founders worked before). Happy Baristas opened their doors in October, so it is not a super new coffee shop, but still.
We came in and were instantly in love. The combination of the clean and stylish interior, nice machines and the friendly greeting of the baristas made us feel very welcome. We ordered an espresso macchiato and a cappuccino, both of Kenyan Espresso beans roasted by The Barn, a famous Berlin roastery. The coffees were both delicious. The last time, I enjoyed a cup of coffee that much, was at Prufrock café in London. High praise!
Still, not only the good coffee made us happy. Roland, a barista and coffee expert from Capetown and one of the owners, visited us at our table and explained that Happy Baristas offers beans from different roasters from all over Europe, such as doubleshot from Prague or Good Life Coffee from Finland. And one more specialty: the Nitro Cold Brew at Happy Baristas is delicious. It’s as smooth as a hug. And just like hugs, Cold Brew is nice at any weather!
Happy Baristas – Happy Customers!
Location: Neue Bahnhofstr. 32, https://www.facebook.com/HappyBaristas/
Obviously, coffeestar does not belong in a section about “new” coffee places, because it exists over 14 years now. Two locations in Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding invite Berlin coffee lovers to try coffees from all over the world.
The coffeestar branch we visited is located at Wörther Straße in Prenzlauer Berg and easily reached by public transportation (Marienfelder Straße).
Karlheinz, the coffeestar roaster, organized the SCAE-trip to Ethiopia in January. We were really excited to visit him at coffeestar, since the last time we saw him was in Addis Abeba. So our welcome was really warm and we were offered a great range of coffees to try which we really enjoyed.
Coffeestar roasts its own coffee on a special small batch roasting machine. The roast is a tad darker than “thirdwave” lightroasts, but you can taste the craftsmanship, the experience and the careful selection of coffees. Karlheinz choses the coffees himself, most of them directly in the country of origin. If not only for a delicious cup of cappuccino you should visit this café for a good coffee story from almost every coffee producing country of the world!
Our next coffee stop was Wim Kaffee, a tiny coffee shop in Prenzlauer Berg. We tried a cappuccino with espresso from Five Elephants (Colombia La Estrella) and two pour over coffees, one Kenyan and one Costa Rican from jb kaffee (Johannes Bayer, München), both prepared with an AeroPress. Delicious!
The coffeeshop is very small but still has space for all the essentials, “less is more” as it says on the menue. And last but not least, the coffee-related artwork was impressive. See for yourselves.
Location: Rhinower Str. 1 Wim Facebook
Kaffeemuseum (KIZ Kaffee Informationszentrum und Museum Berlin)
In the late afternoon, we were invited to a cupping at the Kaffeemuseum Berlin. Stefan, roaster at Kiez Rösterei, had prepared all the coffees he offers at his roastery and coffeeshop. We met him and his wife Tahereh at our coffeetrip to Ethiopia. So we were really happy to see them again and taste some delicious coffees with them.
First, Stefan gave a presentation about his recent coffee trips, one to Ecuador and the last one (we shared) to Ethiopia. The pictures he showed were really impressive and so were the coffee samples he offered. To just name one highlight: we had the opportunity to taste two coffees (same variety and same farm in Ecuador) with the only difference that both coffee trees grow on different soils.
And of course, there were some Ethiopian coffees we tried a few weeks ago in Addis Abeba at Moplaco. Just great!
The Kaffeemuseum itself offers insight into a wide range of historic and new coffee equipment, i.e. some percolators, (hand-)roasters, old and new grinders – great place for coffee enthusiasts!
Location: Nostitzstr. 5 http://k-iz.de/
Opening hours: by appointment only (contact at Kiez Rösterei)
Our first coffee the next day, we enjoyed at Kiez Rösterei. The coffee shop is located in the center of the Bergmannkiez. All offered coffees are roasted by owner Stefan himself. About 30 percent of the coffees are imported directly. Stefan and his wife Tahereh regularly travel around the world to source delicious coffee. They not only know where the good beans grow, they worry about the social impact as well. Therefore, they support projects like a school partnership with Nepal that helps local schools and coffee farmers.
At Kiez Rösterei, we had great cappuccinos and some American cookies that were absolutely addictive. Kiez Rösterei offers – in addition to coffee, sweets and coffee beans – various espresso machines and pour-over equipment. So if you want to brew your own coffee, just visit Stefan and Tahereh and you are all set up!
Location: Gneisenaustr. 68, http://kiezroesterei.de/
Talking about new coffee places, we could not have been more recent than at Populus. We arrived at the bright and friendly place only two hours (!) after they officially opened their doors.
The owners Sari and Henrik moved to Berlin from Helsinki two months ago and opened their coffee shop at Maybachufer. The café ‘s interior is designed beautifully. Light colors at the walls match the coffee cups (or vice versa, in any case: beautiful)! Populus offers espresso based drinks as well as pour-over-coffee. They serve coffees from different Scandinavian roasters (we actually met Lauri from Good Life coffee) and are planning on self-roasting as well.
We had the pleasure to join a cupping, hosted by Bjoernar, who brought 10 different coffees from Gesha village, Ethiopia. What a treat!
For a real Scandinavian coffee pleasure in Berlin, Populus is the place to go!
Location: Maybachufer 20 https://www.facebook.com/populuscoffee
Of course, this list will never be complete, it’s just an insight in a two-day coffeetrip to Berlin. There were many (more or less) new coffee places that were recommended, we just didn’t manage to visit this time. To name a few of them:
Ben Rahim, Coffee Profilers, Companion Coffee, Concierge Coffee, Oslo Kaffeebar
For everybody who is looking for further Berlin coffee guides: I warmly recommend this one: http://www.stilinberlin.de/2014/06/berlins-best-coffee-guide.html
It presents all the classics!
(with love, hugs and kisses to my “old” and all-time favorites in Berlin)
Bonanza, café ck, chapter one, Distrikt Coffee, Double eye, Father carpenter, Five Elephant, Nano, No fire no glory, Silo, The Barn, Tres Cabezas & 19grams