Berlin Specialty Coffee Guide
Berlin is blessed with more than 40 specialty coffee shops bringing to the German capital some of the best coffee beans on the market, carefully crafted by knowledgeable coffee people and professionals from all over the world and served in beautifully and individually designed spaces. It is pretty exciting to experience first hand the rapid growth of the third wave movement in Berlin over the last 15 years or so and watching it spread from district to district. And while I love to tell you all about the most incredible spots on the Berlin coffee map (below), I am also attempting a different approach with this project.
Featuring amazing female baristas, roasters and entrepreneurs of Berlin
Being the progressive city that it is, Berlin is also a great place to surface some of the discussions that are ongoing in the specialty coffee industry and are in need of our attention and reflection. One of these is the role of women in the industry and how to create more equal and diverse work environments in all areas - from seed to cup.
I've met and will be meeting some of the outstanding female coffee people that shape and influence the specialty coffee scene in Berlin. We talk about their careers in coffee, their achievements, opportunities for closing the gender gap and personal plans for the future. This project has no finish line, so do come back from time to time, join in on the discussion and let's celebrate diversity!
A guide to Specialty Coffee Shops in Berlin
Bonanza Coffee Roasters
In 2016 Bonanza Coffee Roasters expanded to find a new home for their roastery in a backyard of Kreuzberg. The best part: they opened one of the most gorgeous cafés in Berlin right with it. They've been around for over 10 years and are definitely one of the great pioneers from Berlin's early third wave beginnings.
Chapter One is a neighbourhood coffee shop in the Bergmannkiez of Berlin Kreuzberg. It is run by Nora and her business partner Björn since 2011. Multiple roasters are featured at Chapter One, including JB Kaffee, Flying Roasters, Johan and Nyström, Röststätte, Hoppenworth & Ploch, Ernst Kaffeerösterei and Episode #1, which is a coffee Nora produces together with Andraschko Kaffeerösterei. As the emphasis is on filter, various brew methods are available. You'll find the Syphon, V60, Aeropress, French Press and Chemex.
Mittenwalder Str. 30
Another Kreuzberg backyard jewel is Companion run by Shawn Barber and Chris Onton. The two friends met while working at the Barn when it just started out in 2010 and decided to launch a coffee shop together a few years later. When an opportunity presented itself to open inside Voo fashion concept store, they kick-started Companion within just 3 weeks. Today, you'll find different European roasters featured, such as Assembly, Nomad and Workshop Coffee.
Where once a doorman was providing courtesy and security, nowadays Concierge are handing out espresso and flat whites. In 2013 Benjamin Pates and Namy Nosratifard gave the tiny space in a Kreuzberg backyard a new purpose by transforming it into a boutique espresso bar. In the adjacent Zola, a bigger place serving authentic Napoletan pizza, Concierge have stationed a stunning San Francisco Roaster on which they are working their magic. In terms of location, it doesn't get much better than this! The proximity to the canal is a great draw for promenaders or those you seek a fresh breeze.
The specialty coffee shop Coffee Profilers is a joint venture by Stefanos Domatiotis, Yiannis Taloumis and Nora Šmahelová. The café opened in 2015 and is located in one of the iconic buildings along the boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee. Coffee Profilers are featuring exclusively TAF, a roastery based in Athens, both for espresso and filter options. Brewing options include V60 and Syphon.
Marian Plajdicko, Barista Champion of Slovakia, and Roland Lodr are the happy faces behind this bright coffee shop that is conveniently located a 2 minute walk from the Ostkreuz station. Being a multi-roaster café it is a great place to discover coffee from all over the world roasted by the best roasteries in Europe. I've stumbled upon Casino Mocca and Doubleshot for example, just to name a few. Do try their specialty: cold brew coffee charged with nitrogen!
Neue Bahnhofstraße 32
The cousins James Maguire and Morgan Love brought a piece of Australian breakie and coffee culture to Friedrichshain when they opened Silo in 2013. These days the coffee comes exclusively from Fjord, a roasting project that Silo is running in cooperation with Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers. A great address for brunch with a timeless rustic interior.
Tres Cabezas is a specialty coffee roastery located in Berlin Friedrichshain. What started as an espresso bar in 2002 has developed into a successful coffee business. The owners Robert Stock and Sascha Spittel have since expanded with two more coffee shops in Berlin.
Boxhagener Str. 74
From the exposed brick walls coupled with wooden and metal design, to the high quality coffee and pancakes, there are so many good reasons to fall for this place! It is my number one go to spot for brunch in Berlin, even though I have to wait in line every time I come here. Distrikt opened in December 2014 and is a project by Sophie Hardy and Hannes Haake. Their choice of coffee is Fjord, a local roastery run by Silo and Father Carpenter.
Refinery High End Coffee
In 2015 Tansel and Bora Özbek started the Refinery journey in the heart of Berlin. Refinery is a contemporary space that combines a pure Scandinavian approach to interior design and industrial elements characteristic for Berlin. The coffee shop supports local coffee roasters, such as Bonanza, The Barn and Fjord but also features international coffee heroes like Tim Wendelboe and April Coffee Roasters.
Röststätte is a specialty coffee shop, roastery and retail store in the heart of Berlin. Yvonne und Ivo Welle opened up the coffee shop in 2006 and started roasting in the spirit of the third wave movement a few years later in 2011. Their coffee empire expanded further when a show room and barista academy followed in 2015. Röststätte is a distributor and service partner for espresso machines and mills of the brands Victoria Arduino and Nuova Simonelli.
Black Sheep is a vegan specialty coffee shop run by the two friends Audie and Lucy in Alt-Treptow. They are featuring Berlin based coffee roasters such as Populus. You can choose from 6-7 plant based milk varieties to accompany your coffee and lunch options are delicious and plentiful.