The Nomad's Cafe and Travel Guide to Basel

Basel has it all! From cosy coffee shops and splendid river views to a cosmopolitan design hotel straight out of a magazine you’ll quickly be wowed by its charm. The pocket-sized multifaceted urban goodies that await you in this Swiss city of culture make it the perfect weekend getaway. Here are a few gems not to be missed on your Basel adventures.

Basel coffee and travel guide
Basel coffee and travel guide


Cafe frühling

cafe Frühling basel

If eternal spring is what you are longing for then look no further! Considering the colorful flavors in each and every cup of specialty coffee served in this lovable cafe, you have found it in Basel! The neighbourhood coffee shop 'frühling', which translates to spring, has been one of the pioneers of the Swiss specialty coffee movement. Aroma filled beans have been brewed here for over 6 years already! Apart from guarding the quality of the coffee like a knight guarding his castle, the owners place great value on sustainability and offer organic, regional and seasonal products.

Basel Frühling cafe coffee

At ‘frühling, specialty attention is paid to filter coffee. Three single origins roasted by the in-house roastery 'spring roasters' are available for V60, including coffee from a farm in Nicaragua, which is run by the owner Felix and his brother Benjamin. In the shop next to the cafe you’ll find all the equipment needed to take your hobby-brewing to the next level.

Address:
Klybeckstrasse 69, 4057 Basel, Switzerland

Café Vonlanthen

cafe vonlanthen Basel
cafe vonlanthen Basel

Café Vonlanthen delights Basel with delicious specialty coffee and charming views of the Rhine. Owner Sylvia Vonlanthen is a graduate of the Kaffeemacher Academy and developed her house blend with beans from Brazil, India and Ethiopia in cooperation with the Kaffeemacher roastery in the nearby Münchstein. Even though the coffee is more of a crowd pleaser, it has a special note in the cup.

The café feels like an extension of your own living room and radiates a cozy atmosphere. Don’t miss out on the panoramic terrace and river views on a sunny day! Home made brunches and lunches will round up your visit here.

Address:
Totentanz 13, 4051 Basel, Switzerland

Design & Lifestyle Hotel Nomad

nomad design and lifestyle hotel Basel

When you find the home you wish you had on your travels! Stumbling upon the urbane Nomad in Basel has truly been a pleasant surprise. The Lifestyle & Design hotel stays true to its name and provides everything the modern nomad needs to feel comfortable. The welcoming ambiance is just one of its many perks. If you’re a design enthusiast like me you’ll appreciate the concrete walls paired with warm, folky elements and oak furniture. The building is set in the banking district and has a distinct and noteworthy architecture. From the lobby to the rooms, at every corner there is something that meets the eye, making your stay a continuous exploration.

nomad design and lifestyle hotel Basel
Basel lifestyle and design hotel Basel

In the Nomad Eatery & Bar you will find worldly dishes inspired by travels that the crew have been on. They bring back memories of flavours or ingredients and integrate them in the menu. I’ve tried the breakfast buffet, which is a real treat.

Address:
Brunngässlein 8, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Homepage

Bangkok cafe and neighbourhood guide

Best cafes in Bangkok

best coffee Bangkok

Bangkok and I go waaaay back. In 2011 I moved to this city that never sleeps as an exchange student and it’s been close to heart ever since. When I started working in specialty coffee Bangkok became an even more exciting destination. The local cafe scene is thriving and while new and innovative cafe concepts keep popping up, I also see the already existing ones constantly moving or improving. If you’re visiting Bangkok for the first time, you’ll find vibrant neighbourhoods well beyond Khao San Road. My favourite districts for visiting cafés are Ari, Phaya Thai, Sukhumvit, Silom and Sathorn. There are also a couple of wonderful cafes in Chinatown close to Hua Lamphong station. In this article I want to take you on a little journey to Bangkok’s most exciting neighbourhoods and their specialty coffee shops.

As a little side note, importing coffee from other parts of the world is quite expensive in Thailand due to heavy tariffs. Most cafes you’ll visit feature coffee beans from Northern Thailand, either as single origin or as part of a blend. To add a bit more complexity to the cup many roasters blend Thai coffee with beans from Ethiopia, Brazil or Colombia.

My favourite cafes for specialty coffee in Bangkok, sorted by neighbourhood

Best cafes in Sukhumvit

What Sukhumvit lacks in tourist attractions it makes up for with a maze of alleys packed with cosy restaurants and cafes, rooftop bars and great shopping. One could easily spend a month getting lost in the Soi’s, stumbling from one place to the next, only to find some of the best coffee and dining the city has to offer. Sadly, the legendary street food vendors of Soi 38 have been forced to relocate in order to make room for yet another condominium complex. There is not a lot of street food left in Sukhumvit, but Terminal 21 and EmQuartier have pretty good food courts. The specialty coffee shops not to be missed are:

invisible coffee room sukhumvit  bangkok

Invisible Coffee Room
You’ll find the owner Thanapong hand grinding your single origin beans for filter coffee. For espresso they blend four different origins to produce a balanced cup. Beautiful space and a relaxed atmosphere guaranteed!

Invisible Coffee Room on Facebook
25/8 Soi Sukhumvit 16, Bangkok

hello strangers cafe bangkok

Hello Strangers Cafe
Creative space serving beans roasted by Ristr8to from Chiang Mai. Great for working on your laptop.

Hello Strangers Cafe on Facebook
61/ 45/39 Sukhumvit 26 Alley, Bangkok

Ceresia coffee roaster Bangkok

Ceresia Coffee Roasters
Ceresia have a great selection of single origin coffees from across the coffee belt. Watch the roasting action on site through the giant glass window.

Ceresia Coffee Roasters on Facebook
593/29-41 Sukhumvit Road Soi 33/1

sometimes I feel sukhumvit bangkok coffee shop

Sometimes I feel
The best address for signature drinks in Sukhumvit! The owner Jay, his wife and best friend have opened up the cafe in autumn 2018 and design drinks inspired by flavours to be found in coffee beans. Their mission is to extract these flavours by adding a little extra. The coffee shop features multiple roasters and a variety of single origins that rotate every two to three weeks.

Sometimes I feel on Facebook
5/1 Sukhumvit 31, Bangkok

roast coffee em quartier bangkok

Roast at EMQuartier and The COMMONS
This haven for brunchers, lunchers and diners has two locations in Sukhumvit, one in the shopping mall EmQuartier and one at the concept mall The Commons.

Roast at EMQuartier on Facebook
1 Helix Building B 693 695 Sukhumvit Road

cafe leitz pacamara helix quartier bangkok

CAFE LEITZ by Pacamara
Pacamara has, as many other established specialty coffee shops in Bangkok, discovered the advantages of being located in a shopping mall and consequently opened the luxurious CAFE LEITZ in the Helix Quarter across from Phrom Pong BTS station. The menu was particularly designed for this branch and holds fusion dishes for breakfast lunch and desert. The exquisite selection of single origins for filter includes acclaimed international beans such as Ethiopia Guji and Thai beans from the coffee regions Doi Chang and PangKhon. For espresso the choice is to be made between a house blend, classic blend and a rotating single origin.

CAFE LEITZ by Pacamara on Facebook
M floor, Helix Quartier, 12 Sukhumvit Rd

casa lapin specialty coffee bangkok

Casa Lapin x26
Casa Lapin is a roastery and specialty coffee chain with several cafés around Bangkok. The one nestled away in Soi 26 is adjacent the pretty hostel and co-working space One Day.

Casa Lapin x26 on Facebook
51 Sukhumvit 26 Alley , Bangkok

Brave Roasters : Space Oddity
Located in the lifestyle mall Seenspace in Thong Lor, this branch of Brave Roasters is famous for its signature drinks, such as the smoking iced Fume de Latte and Mocha. There are also different kinds of craft beer available to taste-try.

Pacamara Coffee Roaster x Specialty Coffee Lab

hands and heart specialty coffee bangkok

Hands and Heart Cafe
Minimal design, hand grinding and drip coffee only. This Instagram darling is a popular choice for cafe hoppers and stands out with its all white interior.

Hands and Heart Cafe on Facebook
33 Sukhumvit 38 Alley, Bangkok

Phil Coffee Company

Phil Coffee Company

Phil Coffee Company
Pioneer artisan coffee roastery and Malay family affair operational since 2011 that currently offers single origins from Chiang Rai, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya. The cafe and roastery became the 1st runner-up at the Thai Coffee Roasting Championship 2018.

Phil Coffee Company
on Facebook
21 Sukhumvit 61 Alley, Bangkok

ink & lion coffee bangkok

Ink & Lion
Cosy micro-roastery café in Ekkamai that has been around since 2013. It is known for its dedicated baristas, great pour overs and coconut cake. There are artworks of local creatives on display.

Ink & Lion on Facebook
Soi Sukhumvit 63, Bangkok

One ounce for onion coffee bangkok

Onion
Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood alley, Onion is sharing the space with a multi-label store in Ekkamai. It’s a super cosy cafe with great food, coffee and local vibes.

Onion on Facebook
19/12 Sukhumvit 63 Alley, Bangkok

roots specialty coffee Bangkok

Roots is arguably one of Bangkok’s finest coffee roasters. It is located in the concept mall The COMMONS. While there is certainly no lack of shopping malls in Bangkok, The COMMONS stands out for its community approach and the plentiful outdoor seating where you can hang out even if you don’t shop anything. I had the opportunity to go on an origin trip to Northern Thailand with the head roaster of Roots, which you can read about here, and saw first hand that Roots has a long term mission to raise the quality of coffee in Thailand. Roots have opened up a second location in Sathorn.

Roots @Thonglor on Facebook
theCOMMONS, Thonglor 17, Bangkok


Recommendations for accommodation in Sukhumvit

Hotel Clover Asoke - Fantastic hotel full of artworks. The rooftop pool is a great draw! —> Booking.com
Aster 9 House - Bed and breakfast with tasteful and detailed design that won’t break the bank. —> Booking.com
Barn & Bed Hostel - Absolutely incredible ‘barn style’ hostel, sparkling clean and right next to the BTS. —> Booking.com


Best cafes in Silom

The financial district of Bangkok might seem like a jungle made of office buildings at first, but if you venture far enough, you’ll stumble upon art galleries, Hindu temples and great coffee shops. Strolling down Pan Road and visiting the Kathmandu Photogallery is a must when in the area. Around the impressive Sri Mariamman Temple you’ll feel teleported straight to India, only to be reminded by local street food vendors that you’re actually in Bangkok. Silom is a neighbourhood that can be described as beautifully diverse. As the sun sets it starts bustling with market and food stalls appearing in an instant, and during the day the following coffee shops are a great draw.

f.i.x.jpg

F.I.X.
A must for those who appreciate minimalist design. This coffee shop in deep greys and sleek blacks has two grinders, one house blend made of Brazil, Colombia and Thailand and a guest blend with specialty coffee from local roaster friends.

F.I.X on Facebook
Saladaeng 1, Bangkok

coffeelism stand Bangkok

Coffeelism Stand
Hip little coffee stand preparing nice brews for affordable prices. Caught the baristas practicing latte art when I passed by. They’re very passionate about coffee and are using a specialty grade blend.

Coffeelism Stand on Facebook
Sathorn Soi 8, Bangkok

Best cafes in Sathorn

Sathorn can be described as the laid back older sibling of Silom, slightly more grown up but equally diverse and interesting to discover. While it is a center for business and high-rise buildings, there are just as many residential areas in this neighbourhood that are often overlooked by visitors. Get lost in the alleys, immerse yourself in the local way of life and refresh at these specialty coffee shops.

roots sathorn specialty coffee bangkok

Roots at Sathorn
The Sathorn branch is Roots’s second location in Bangkok but their first dedicated café.

Roots on Facebook
33,31 Bhiraj Tower at Sathon, Bangkok

all good in the hood specialty coffee bangkok

All Good in the Hood
Adjacent of All That Bangkok Hostel, this neighbourhood coffee shop is a great place to venture to. It is right in the middle of a residential area and local life will pass by while you sip on nitro cold brew.

All Good in the Hood on Facebook
14 Soi Sathon 11, Bangkok

rocket+sathorn+specialty+coffee+shop+bangkok

Rocket Coffeebar S.12
All day breakfast and single origin coffee from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Thailand. The Western style brunch menu is great, but be prepared for Western prices as well. This is one of two branches in Bangkok.

Rocket Coffeebar S.12 on Facebook
149 Soi Sueksa Witthaya 2, Bangkok


Recommendations for accommodation in Silom and Sathorn

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse - If you want to bathe in luxury and in a rooftop pool with incredible views of the city then this is your place! —> Booking.com
Kessara Hotel - I was really impressed with the grounded elegance of this country home style hotel in the heart of Silom. —> Booking.com
Warm Window Silom - Beautifully decorated hostel that is refreshingly spacious and spotless clean. —> Booking.com


Best cafes in Chinatown

Bangkok’s Chinatown is a maze of alleys, temples and market stalls. Yaowarat Road is at the centre of this historic neighbourhood and a great starting point for venturing deeper into the craziness. Between temples and traditional shop houses you’ll find some neat coffee shops. At dawn Chinatown transforms into the land of plenty with some of the best street food stalls that Bangkok has to offer.

best coffee chinatown Bangkok

Oneday wallflowers cafe old town
If you ask me what my favourite coffee shop in all of Bangkok is, I wouldn’t hesitate a second. Onedaywallflowers has it all - great coffee, heavenly cakes and a unique interior. As it is connected to the downstairs bouquet shop, you’ll be sipping your cuppa surrounded by beds of flowers.

Oneday wallflowers on Facebook
31 - 33 Khwaeng Pom Prap, Bangkok


Recommendations for accommodation in Chinatown

The Unforgotten B&B - Charming bed and breakfast with traditional, wooden interior that carries a hint of nostalgia. —> Booking.com
Norn Yaowarat Hotel - Great choice for travellers who seek comfort but are on a budget. The hotel has dorms as well as private rooms. —> Booking.com
Hostel Urby - Urban style hostel with the perfect location by the river! I loved the terrace and unique style here. —> Booking.com


Best cafes in Chit Lom

Chit Lom and Phloen Chit have probably the highest density of shopping malls and luxury hotels per square meter. It’s not surprising that the two specialty coffee shops in this neighbourhood are also located in shopping centers. The area is filled with expats in business attire as it houses a number of embassies. The are a few local markets, food stalls and restaurants around, but most of the establishments are high-end.

coffeology specialty coffee bangkok

Coffeeology
Coffee shop located in the Central Embassy mall with a one-of-a-kind counter. The owner has a coffee plantation in Chiang Dao and serves his coffee at Coffeeology. The farm is illustrated on the walls and with lots of imagination you can transport yourself there. Come here for a true seed to cup experience.

Coffeeology on Facebook
Central Embassy 

Best cafes in Siam

Did I say Chit Lom has the highest density of shopping malls? Siam is definitely competing for that title, but shopping here is slightly more affordable, apart from the luxurious Siam Paragon. There is always something going on at Siam. From the BTS station you’ll see crowds of people pressed against a stage on most days, even though you’ll probably never figure out why they are there. Siam is also where to find the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center (BACC), which has different exhibitions going on that you can visit for free. Two great specialty cafes are to be found here, one in Siam Discovery Shopping Mall and one in the BACC.

brave roasters siam discovery bangkok

I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters
A branch of Brave Roasters located on the third floor of the shopping mall Siam Discovery. Come here to escape from the hustle and bustle of Siam square and fuel up with some great coffee. Don’t hesitate to whip out your laptop to get some work done in this quiet cafe.

I+D Style Cafe x Brave Roasters on Facebook
Siam Discovery

gallery drip coffee Bangkok BACC

Gallery Drip Coffee
This little pour over only cafe is located on the ground level of the BACC (Bangkok Arts and Culture Center). It’s a must for drip coffee lovers as the owners a really passionate and knowledgable about their craft. Different single origins to choose from, both from Thailand and abroad. The honeycomb interior ceiling gives it a nice, cosy touch.

Gallery Drip Coffee on Facebook
located inside BACC

Best cafes in Phaya Thai

In recent years the neighbourhood around Phaya Thai and Ratchathewi BTS station has seen more and more designer hostels popping up in small alleys amidst local houses, markets and restaurants. Close to Phaya Thai is where I used to live when I studied in Bangkok and I always stay here when I return, partly for nostalgic reasons, but also because some great cafes and restaurants are to be found in the area. Nowadays, these following specialty coffee shops make the Phaya Thai neighbourhood even more attractive.

athip barista champion factory bangkok thailand

Factory Coffee
Third time’s definitely a charm with this one! After moving for the second time in the Phaya Thai district Factory has found a space that does its grandezza justice. The specialty coffee shop run by Thai Barista Champion Athip Archalerttrakool brews local beans and boasts a delicious signature drink menu.

Factory Coffee on Facebook
35/18 Phayathai Rd, Bangkok

Lazy Mary Coffee Bangkok

Lazy Mary Coffee
Lazy Mary a chill cafe located in a small alley hiding from the busy main road, yet easily reachable by foot from the BTS. As it is quiet, it’s a good spot to get work done and spoil yourself with some specialty coffee and homemade baked goods while your hitting the keyboard.

Lazy Mary Coffee on Facebook
386/57, Soi Phaya Nak

Best cafes in Ari

Siam has long lost its hipster crowd due to the commercialisation of the area. Where did they go you ask? To Ari, an area that has developed at a slower pace than other parts of Bangkok. From local street food to chic restaurants, Ari offers something for every budget. Last but not least, these cafes serving specialty coffee make Ari the place to be!

coffee no 9 ari bangkok

Coffee No. 9
Coffee No. 9 is a popular takeaway cafe in the Ari neighbourhood. Their nitro cold brew is very refreshing on those hot Bangkok summer days.

Coffee No. 9 on Facebook
1199 Soi Ari 1, Bangkok

laliart cafe

FabCafe (former Laliart Cafe)

FabCafe is a concept cafe serving excellent brunch and lunch options. It’s a quiet and airy space perfect for working. Infact, there is a designated space for guests to use laptops. The coffee is equipment is top notch, but the result in your cup really depends on who’s serving it.

FabCafe Bangkok on Facebook
77/1 Phahonyothin Rd, Bangkok

Porcupine Cafe Ari Bangkok

Porcupine Cafe
Porcupine is best described as a homey little hideout that is definitely in chill mode. Great place to relax with a solid cup of coffee.

Porcupine Café on Facebook
48 Phahon Yothin 7 Alley, Bangkok

Tel Aviv Specialty Coffee and Travel Guide

Welcome to Tel Aviv, the Middle Eastern capital of cool, where everyone seems to be getting around on two electric wheels, own a dog or both! The city that greets its visitors with delicious hummus, sleepless nights and thought-provoking street art won my heart over in no time. Although it has the reputation to be a party town, and very rightfully so, there is much more to Tel Aviv than a lively bar scene. I’ve discovered some of the city’s best coffee, breakfast, and accommodation in the maze of local hipster hangout spots and put together this coffee and travel guide for you. Enjoy!

Here’s where to sleep, sip and refuel in Tel Aviv!

Table of content

Best Specialty Coffee Shops in Tel Aviv

Apart from being a culinary hotspot and beach destination, Tel Aviv is also densely populated with coffee shops. When I ask Israelis how they like their coffee, I almost always get the same reply: dark and strong. If that is not your cup of coffee, then head to the specialty coffee shops I am introducing in this article! Although they also tend to have at least one option adapted to the general taste preferences, they offer fruity alternatives that spin the wheel of flavours.

Cafelix

Cafelix in Florentin

Cafelix in Florentin

Most coffee shops in Tel Aviv have plenty of outdoor seating and working on your laptop is widely accepted. Cafelix is no exception and with three branches across town you’ll very likely come across one near you at any point of time, whether you’re in Jaffa, Florentin or around Dizengoff Square. Jaffa is where the first coffee shop and roastery was opened back in 2011 by the owners Phillip and Yael, a German-Israeli couple. Today, the roaster moved around the corner from the original place into a newly opened roasting facility and training space.

cafelix specialty coffee shop tel aviv
cafelix specialty coffee tel aviv

Cafelix has direct trade agreements with farmers across the coffee belt and there are two different origins in the grinders to choose from for espresso based drinks. Even though filter coffee is only ordered occasionally, a V60 and french press are sitting on the shelf just in case.

Cafelix in Jaffa

Cafelix in Jaffa

Cafelix near Dizengoff Square

Cafelix near Dizengoff Square

Address:
Roasting Facility, Coffee Shop and Espresso Bar in Jaffa
15 Sgula Street, Tel Aviv

Coffee Shop and Espresso Bar near Dizengoff
12 Shlomo Hamelech Street, Tel Aviv

Coffee Shop and Espresso Bar in Florentin
6 Merkhavya Street, Tel Aviv

Nahat - Microroastery & Cafe

nahat cafe and roastery tel aviv
nahat cafe and roastery tel aviv

With two house blends and seven single origin coffees Nahat has some of the biggest selection of coffee beans I’ve seen in Tel Aviv. Since 2015 the cafe and roastery sits right on Dizengoff Square in the heart of the city. The owners Dan Urieli and Assaf Bitton are coffee experts with more than 15 years of experience. Judging from the juicy cup of coffee from Burundi I got to enjoy here, all these years of hard work paid off!

nahat specialty coffee roastery tel aviv

Taking a seat on Nahat’s terrace is not only recommended because of the extensive coffee menu. With views of Dizengoff square's ‘Fire and Water Fountain’ and the original Bauhaus-style building ‘Cinema Hotel’, an afternoon here seems to pass in an instance. Oh and don’t miss out on the freshly baked croissants and cookies!

Address:
Dizengoff Square 1, Tel Aviv

WayCup Coffee Tel Aviv & Mikveh

WayCup specialty coffee tel aviv

WayCup Coffee have two locations in Tel Aviv and my favourite is without a doubt the one on Mikveh Street. In terms of aesthetics it’s distinguishing itself from other coffee shops in Tel Aviv thanks to a mix of bare concrete walls and wooden features here and there, making it cosy and contemporary at the same time. The laptop stands and plants hanging from the ceiling add to the feeling that you’ve entered an urban jungle playground. All coffee is roasted in-house at the location in Yohanan HaSandlar Street and is admittedly on the darker side, despite being specialty graded. You’ll meet some of the most friendly coffee people behind the bar though and if you’re looking for something different they’ll go out of their way to brew you a coffee that‘ll make you come back. Like Yuval for example, who shared that even though espresso based drinks are the main reason people go to WayCup, the number of filter orders is growing. To accommodate those, a V60 is their filter method of choice.

waycup specialty coffee tel aviv
waycup specialty coffee tel aviv

Address:
Yohanan HaSandlar St 23, Tel Aviv

Mikveh Israel St 17, Tel Aviv

Coffee Shop 51

coffee shop 51 tel aviv

Having mentioned that filter coffee is not all too popular in Israel yet, perhaps you’re wondering what might be the best place in Tel Aviv for filter coffee!? Well, the answer to that is Coffee Shop 51. No other cafe in Israel serves as many hand brewed coffees. Passionate coffee expert and owner of Coffee Shop 51 Dotan estimates they brew around 50 filters a week. Being from Berlin that doesn’t sound like much, but filter coffee hasn’t experienced the same break through in Israel as in other parts of the world. The cafe and roastery can also be considered a third wave pioneer. It started out in 2015 when the third wave coffee scene just started to blossom.

Dotan preparing coffee using the Aeropress

Dotan preparing coffee using the Aeropress

Arabica coffee tree growing in the garden

Arabica coffee tree growing in the garden

Cappuccino coupled with a delicious Halva pie

Cappuccino coupled with a delicious Halva pie

Coffee Shop 51 is a great place to train your palate if you opt for a filter coffee. There are currently 10 single origins to choose from, all roasted on site using a 2kg micro-roaster. “There are no rules about roasting coffee in Israel." Dotan tells me. This explains why all coffee shops I visited roast their own beans rather than featuring guest roasters. Dotan, who started to work as a barista right after completing the army service, received most of his coffee education abroad. He’s in the process of making direct contacts to farmers and started producing third wave water, which is a novelty in Israel.

coffee shop 51 tel aviv

Address:
Ahad Ha'Am St 51, Tel Aviv

Edmond Coffee

edmond coffee tel aviv

Chances are, you’ll walk by the entrance of Edmond Coffee a few times before stepping through the dark hallway leading to this hidden courtyard cafe. Once you do, unique tiles, vintage furniture and lush greenery awaits you on the other side. While the coffee didn’t knock me off my socks, the avocado toast sure did the trick. As all the other specialty coffee shops Edmond Coffee roasts their own beans. They do have some of the darkest roasted specialty coffee I’ve found in Tel Aviv, but by the second time I visited, the barista immediately recommended a single origin from Guatemala that would be closer to my personal preferences. The menu holds a few gems to be tried if you’d rather skip the coffee, like homemade kombucha and iced almond matcha latte. Cold brew, V60 and Chemex are available if a caffeine fix is what you’re after.

edmond coffee tel aviv
edmond coffee tel aviv

Address:
97, Allenby St, Tel Aviv

Papua Cafe Tlv

papua specialty cafe tel aviv

Head to Papua Cafe Tlv for a specialty coffee break close to the beach! The little wooden cabin-like coffee shop is definitely the perfect place for sunny days as it is open air, but plastic covers make sure that you can spend a rainy few minutes here as well. Two options for espresso are available and the coffee is roasted by friends of the owners specifically for Papua Cafe Tlv.

Papua cafe Tlv

Address:
Ge'ula St 26, Tel Aviv

Best sleep in Tel Aviv - Florentin House

Lucky me! Private rooms come with an espresso maker :-)

Lucky me! Private rooms come with an espresso maker :-)

There’s so much to discover in Tel Aviv that I’d definitely recommend to spend at least a couple of nights here. On my search for unique options for accommodation I came across Florentin House, a boutique hotel/hostel located in the coolest part of town. As they say: “New York has Williamsburg, London has Shoreditch, Tel Aviv has Florentin!” Whether you’re looking for a private room to call your own for a few nights or you’re eager to meet other travellers in a shared dorm, Florentin House has comfortable options for either. The rooftop kitchen & saloon is a great spot to unwind after a busy day exploring coffee shops, designer stores and small galleries nearby. Being on the road a lot I appreciated the incredibly welcoming atmosphere and felt right at home thanks to comfy beddings, urban aesthetics and the authentic spirit of Florentin House. Check the latest rates and offers for Florentin House here.

florentin house tel aviv
florentin house tel aviv

Address:
6 Florentin Street, Tel Avi
Homepage

Booking.com

Breakfast for Urbanites at Urban Shaman TLV

urban shaman tel aviv
urban shaman TLV

One of the awesome staff at Florentin House (Hi Kim! :-)) recommended visiting Urban Shaman for breakfast. As in locals I trust it made my list of places to go to while in Tel Aviv. After scouting through their creative menu I opted for the pancakes and they were divine to say the least. Apart from cold brew you’ll find that coffee has been replaced with cold-pressed juices and Maca lattes. But that doesn’t come as a surprise when learning that it’s a place for healing and healthy living. Come here and you’ll might just find your inner Shaman.

Address:
210, Dizengoff St, Tel Aviv

One of Tel Aviv’s green lungs and perfect place for relaxation - Makers Green Coffee and Plants

makers green coffee and plants tel aviv

The cafe and concept store Makers Green Coffee and Plants is just over 3 weeks old and already made it onto the pages of Israel’s Time Out online magazine. While the coffee is not specialty graded, they do serve a balanced cup with chocolately finish. The coffee is an Italian espresso blend roasted by DITTA from Salerno. Come here to sit on the comfortable sofa amidst plants and flower pots for a guaranteed feel-good atmosphere. A must-try is the locally made kombucha from nearby “Golden Sun Café”.

Makers Green Coffee and Plants

Address:
Maze St 4, Tel Aviv

Bern cafe guide: Where to go for specialty coffee in Switzerland's capital

In Bern the pace of life is synched with the crystal-clear turquoise waters that flow through it. River Aare is gently hugging the historic center of the Swiss capital and invites the adventurous to jump in and be carried away by the currents. Never skipping a coffee break is as much part of daily life as reading a newspaper in a cafe or enjoying lunching out with colleagues. Whether you’re after a city stroll, bathing session or both, here is where to refuel with a quality cup of coffee before or after going into explorer mode.

RÖSTEREI

rösterei specialty coffee bern

The Bern based family company ‘Blaser Café AG’ has been roasting coffee commercially for several generations. In 2014 they jumped on the third wave of coffee with the opening of the specialty café RÖSTEREI. It is located right next to the company factory outside of the city center. The surrounding area is rather industrial but it’s worth it to venture out here for a quality cup of coffee.

rösterei specialty coffee bern
rösterei specialty coffee bern

RÖSTEREI is showcasing Blaser Café’s specialty coffee line ‘Terroir’ and several coffee machines for home brewing, including Moccamaster and La Marzocco. The roasting of the Terroir coffees is done at RÖSTEREI rather than in the adjacent factory building. Up to six single origins and plenty of filter methods will leave you spoiled for choice. Apart from Chemex, Kalita, V60 and the Syphon, RÖSTEREI also specializes in brewing an authentic Turkish Coffee. If you’re working in the area or just want a hearty snack, there are a few lunch options available too.

Address:
Güterstrasse 6, 3008 Bern

RÖSTEREI @ REINHARD Bakery

rösterei specialty coffee bern

If you prefer to stick to the center, RÖSTEREI is sharing a space with Reinhard bakery to offer their coffee closer to the heart of the city, near the train station and other points of interest. You’ll find the design here to be very similiar to their main cafe. Apart from coffee and baked goods there’s a small retail section offering your favourite coffee makers as well as roasted beans.

rösterei specialty coffee bern

Address:
Bubenbergplatz 10, 3011 Bern

Colonial Bar

colonial bar specialty coffee bern

As the name suggests, coffee isn’t all you’ll find at this corner cafe and bar. Functioning as a subsidiary of the Berner institution Adrianos Bar & Café, Colonial is actually located right across from its mothership. Adrianos has been around for more than 20 years, and, although slowly adjusting to occurring coffee trends, is still leaning towards the Italian way of making coffee in their cafe. Colonial on the other hand serves estate coffee only and has been doing so for 2 years. Espresso based drinks, cold brew, craft bear and aperitifs make up the bulk of the menu. All coffee is sourced directly and roasted by Adrianos and single origins include Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Sumatra. You’ll see locals popping in to take a seat at the counter by the window, croissant in one hand and newspaper in the other. On warm and sunny days the terrace is the perfect place to stick around for a while.

colonial bar specialty coffee bern
colonial bar specialty coffee bern

Address:
Kornhausplatz 11, 3011 Bern

Check out my other travel and coffee guides in Switzerland!

My favourite Lisbon cafes - Coffee, sleep, repeat

Updated May 2019

Ten years ago I visited Lisbon for the very first time. Back then, there was no sign of specialty coffee shops or hipster cafes, but the same vintage trams were roaming the evermore picturesque alleys of the old town.

lisbon historic center and tram

In recent years though, Lisbon has become a hub for creatives and young entrepreneurs from all over Europe. This has also manifested itself in the increasing number of coffee professionals that have introduced an approach to roasting and brewing coffee that is a lot different from the traditional ways. Coffee is deeply rooted in the everyday life of the average Portuguese, stemming from colonial times when coffee was heavily imported from Brazil. Most people drink commercial coffee by one of the industrial coffee companies, like Sical or Buondi, who produce dark roasted blends of Arabica and Robusta. To counter the bitterness, spoons full of sugar are added to either a bica (long espresso) or galão (long espresso with milk).

While the specialty coffee scene is still relatively small compared to other European capitals, it is doing a great job at challenging the status quo and diversifying the local cafe landscape in Lisbon. My prediction is that the third wave movement will soon have Lisbon in its grip! I met some amazing coffee people here and will tell you all about the who is who in the coffee world in this article.

And.

Part of my stay I spent in Casa C'Alma, a bed & breakfast that looked like it came straight out of a magazine. I absolutely have to share this discovery with you!

Booking.com

Best Lisbon cafes - Let's start with a cup of coffee, or two.

Copenhagen Coffee Lab

copenhagen coffee lab lisbon

Copenhagen Coffee Lab was founded in 2013 by Jacob Karlsen and Allan Nielsen in, you guessed it, Copenhagen. Two years later they ventured into warmer climates, and brought the Nordic approach to roasting and brewing coffee to Príncipe Real, a neighbourhood in Lisbon that is home to concept stores, innovative restaurants and cafés. The beans are shipped from Denmark and the menu holds regular third wave coffee drinks, such as espresso, flat whites or drip coffee.

copenhagen coffee lab lisbon

The atmosphere is easygoing and relaxing. Nothing must, everything can! Whether you want to work away solo on your laptop or meet friends for breakfast, there is space, there is a great approach to customer service and delicious coffee of course. Two single origins rotate for espresso and various pour-over methods are available. My personal highlight were the delicious Danish cinnamon buns, for when I overdosed on pastel de nata. Since January 2018 CCL have ventured into other Lisbon neighbourhoods, with four new cafes in Alfama, Alcântara, Cais do Sodré and Santa Clara.

Address:
R. Nova da Piedade 10
Lisbon, Portugal

Hello, Kristof

hello kristof coffee lisbon
hello kristof coffee lisbon

Imagine you'd find all your favourite magazines in one cafe, together with great coffee, friendly people and in the most beautiful environment. Sounds too good to be true? Then Hello, Kristof will show you otherwise. This little gem is the work of Ricardo, a graphic designer who knows about the needs of them freelancers and digital nomads. No wonder I felt right at home here.

hello kristof, coffee lisbon
hello kristof coffee lisbon

Hello, Kristof works exclusively with the local specialty roastery and SCAE training center Academia do Café, which was founded by Sandra Azevedo already back in 2011. Whether you feel social and want to enjoy your coffee at the communal table or choose one of the more private tables by the wall, you'll for sure find your comfort zone in this cosy cafe.

Address:
R. do Poço dos Negros 103
Lisbon, Portugal

Cafe de Finca Lisboa

_MG_3258.jpg

If the Alcântara neighbourhood of Lisbon isn’t on your radar yet, the delicious flat whites at Cafe De Finca will change this! Cafe de Finca is originally a roastery located in Castelldefels, Spain, that has been roasting specialty coffee from as early as 2009. Before hopping over the border to open a coffee shop in Lisbon May 2018, their beans were served at ‘Montana’ nearby Cais do Sodré. Sadly, the concept art gallery has recently closed down the coffee corner, so fans have to travel a little bit further to get their caffeine kick.

cafe de finca specialty coffee Lisbon

At Cafe de Finca you’ll find a selection of single origin beans for espresso and filter. The brew menu holds everything your coffee lover heart desires, from batch brew, V60, AeroPress and Chemex to welcoming baristas. Check out the second floor for a quiet place to read or get some work done.

Address:
R. Luís de Camões 112 A
1300-361 Lisbon, Portugal

WISH Concept Store & Slow Coffee House

wish specialty coffee Lisbon

Wish Concept Store & Slow Coffee House is a cafe located at LX Factory, an urban playground for artists, foodies and, you guessed it, coffee lovers! It is definitely worth it to spend an afternoon exploring this creative island that used to be a manufacturing complex. The Wish coffee shop is right in the heart of it, with an adjacent concept store, and surrounded by grape tendrils.

wish coffee lx factory

WISH had undergone a make over when I visited again in 2019 and the new design makes it an excellent place to work from. I was more than happy to find the local roastery Olisipo to occupy a grinder here and also excited to stumble upon prominence from the Netherlands. KEEN made an appearance and my taste buds applauded.

Address at LX Factory:
Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103
Lisbon, Portugal

The Mill

the mill specialty coffee
the mill specialty coffee lisbon

I long thought that coffee is going to be the new wine, so it made total sense to me when I heard about The Mill specialising in both. Café during the day and vinho during the night is their mantra. Every time I stopped by the place was absolutely packed! Their delicious avocado toasts might have something to do with that. No exaggeration, the breakfast is the best in town! Or should I say breakie? The owners are an Australian-Portuguese duo that brings together the best of both worlds. The Mill also roasts their own coffee and offers two single origins for espresso. While serving specialty, the roast is more adapted to the liking of the locals, hence leaning to the darker side.

Address:
R. do Poço dos Negros 1
Lisbon, Portugal

Buna specialty coffee shop

buna cafe lisbon
buna cafe lisbon

If you are a fan of Nitro cold brew, I suggest you put this little cafe on your map! Buna doesn’t shy away from an avant-garde approach to brewing coffee and was the first cafe in Portugal to include the refreshing nitro charged coffee in their menu. Olga and Ana opened Buna in March 2019, making it the latest edition to Lisbon’s specialty cafe scene. With a solid partner in crime - the roastery Nomad from Barcelona - Buna serves coffee that they are really passionate about. The house bean is a crowd pleasing Brazil but other single origins with flavours ranging from fruity to floral rotate frequently. If after your first visit you’re hooked on this cafe and want to come back for more, then get on their loyalty programme to get caffeinated on a regular basis.

Address:
Avenida Ressano Garcia 43A
Lisbon

Olisipo Coffee Roasters

Antony Watson

Antony Watson

Last but not least, I mentioned before that I met quite a few inspiring coffee people in Lisbon. Among them was Antony Watson, who has launched a specialty coffee roastery called Olisipo together with his partner Sofia Gonçalve . A few years ago Antony traveled all the way to Ethiopia by bike to explore various local coffee cultures. This journey not only inspired him to write the book 'Bean on a Bike', but also to join the team of Vagabond Coffee Roasters in London upon his return, before making Lisbon his new home. Read more about Olisipo's unique approach and community engagement in this article I wrote for Sprudge.

olisipo coffee roasters Lisbon

Just a little disclaimer, the roastery opens as a cafe only on weekends!

Address:
R. do Cruzeiro 84
1300-167 Lisbon, Portugal

Sleeping tight in Lisbon

Casa C'Alma

You've already read about a number of good reasons for booking a flight to Lisbon right now! Now here's another one. Staying at Casa C'Alma was like living in the home I always wish I had. This 5-room bed & breakfast is located in one of Lisbon's most desirable neighbourhoods, Príncipe Real, a stone's throw away from Copenhagen Coffee Lab and close to alternative designer and concept stores. I loved its distinct, minimalist interior design, that never compromised on comfort. The owner Rafael prepared delicious breakfast in the morning and made sure, I knew about great places to eat and hang. If you want to feel at home on your travels and be located close to some of the best coffee shops in town, then this is your place! Check here for latest offers and availability!

Address:
Praça das Flores 48
Lisbon , Portugal

Cafes in Athens: A guide to new and established specialty coffee places

Updated July 2018

athens specialty coffee guide

Specialty coffee has become quite the buzzword in Greece's coffee crazy capital. I've got to witness the growth of the coffee scene first hand, while cafe hopping in Athens the summer of 2016, 2017 and 2018. I am excited to present you the results of these caffeinated adventures: a specialty coffee guide featuring the real deal - new and established specialty coffee shops in Athens!



Newest addition to Athen's specialty coffee map

Coviar Micro Roastery

Chris Loukakis

Chris Loukakis

I remember stepping into Coviar for the first time and thinking I must have the wrong address. What appeared in front of me looked more like the elegant lobby of a five star hotel than a cafe. Upon nervously looking around for something that seemed familiar I spotted the bar with syphons all lined up and finally the friendly face of Chris Loukakis, one of the co-owners. Turns out, I was in the right place! To find such sophistication while cafe hopping was a tad unexpected, and I felt slightly under-dressed for such a fine venue.

coviar micro roastery athens

Upon learning more about this newly opened establishment from Chris I realized, Coviar is meant to provide an extraordinary coffee experience for everyone. Professionalism is high on the agenda, which is no surprise, given the fact that Chris has 13 years of experience in the coffee industry. Coviar is a combination of a coffee lab, roastery, café and bar. For the moment, a Colombia and a Brazil are on the menu, both beautifully balanced coffees that arouse curiosity of what's to come.

coviar micro roastery athens
coviar micro roastery athens

Address:
Delfon 5-7
Athens 106 80

Excellent specialty coffee shops in Athens (that have been around for a while)

Handpickers Coffee Roasters

handpickers specialty coffee roasters athens

In August 2016 I met Alexandros at Nomad, where he was working as a roaster at the time. One year later I had the pleasure to see him again at his newly opened specialty coffee shop and roastery in Tavros district. Handpickers is a passion project he runs together with his partner Natalie and friend Dimitris. Both Alexandros and Dimitris have won several national coffee competitions and bring many years of experience to the table. I could really feel that they put their hearts into this place and have seldom experienced such hospitality!

handpickers specialty coffee roasters athens
handpickers specialty coffee roaster athens

The idea for the name of the cafe came about when Alexandros visited Kenya in November 2016 together with Nordic Approach. It reflects the deep appreciation he has for the hard work that coffee growers and pickers carry out at origins. A beautiful painting on the outside wall of a women picking coffee confirms this! The inside space holds a couple of stools by the bar, and while you'll be in extremely nice company, lot's of folks drop in to take away. Now let's talk coffee! The signature espresso is a blend with 60% Brazil and 40% Colombia but there was also an option for a single origin Costa Rica natural. For filter Handpickers are sticking to a fully washed Kenya Nyeri with a natural sweetness and citric acidity, which is what I opted for. Even though Tavros is probably not on your list of places to visit in Athens, you could easily stop by on your way from or to Pireaus port by simply getting of the metro for a quick refuel at the Handpickers cafe.

handpickers specialty coffee roaster athens

Address:
Anaxagora 45
177 78 Athens Tavros

Peek a Bloom

peek a bloom specialty coffee

The second venture by the masterminds behind Mind the Cup in Peristeri is a treat for all senses. Conveniently located close to Syntagma square in the center of Athens this cafe starts you off with breakfast in the morning and gets you through the night by serving fancy cocktails while looking plain gorgeous.

peek a bloom specialty coffee
peek a bloom specialty coffee

The person smiling at you on the picture above is Nikos, barista and roaster at Peek a Bloom, who had already been with the Mind the Cup family before building up this new cafe. That very day we met I was lucky to be surrounded by 3 latte art champions! Nikos had won the 2015 Latte Art Championships in Greece, Arnon Thitiprasert, who is the World Latte Art Champion 2017, was visiting from Thailand and Michalis Karagiannis was runner up at the same competition. When the latter two were deep in latte art discussions I picked Nikos brain about the coffee menu.

peek a bloom specialty coffee athens

Peek a Bloom are sourcing coffee beans from Nordic Approach and roast in a separate space behind the counter. Thanks to the large windows you'll get to see all the action though! On the cafe counter a Black Eagle by Victoria Arduino is spreading its copper wings while the white and blue tilings remind us that we're actually in Greece (Yay!). For filter coffee you can expect a nice selection including Chemex, Aeropress and even a Syphon.

Address:
Lekka 14
105 62 Athens

The Underdog

the underdog specialty coffee athens

Come day, come night - The Underdog has got you covered! Set in a picturesque pedestrian street close to Thissio metro station, it's not only coffee shop, roastery and bar all in one, but also home to 3 World Coffee in Good Spirits Champions and one Runner-Up! There is really no limit to the professionalism and innovation you'll encounter at the Underdog cafe.

the undersog specialty coffee athens
the underdog specialty coffee athens

I met the 2016 champion Michalis Dimitrakopoulos during midday hours and given the heat I felt it was best to stick to coffee. He charmed me with a really tasty flat white, followed by a delicious cold brew. Their shop currently holds 9 different espresso roasts and 5 for filter. Depending on the day you'll be enjoying single origins from Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Ethiopia or Kenya. If you come by the cafe hungry an extensive brunch menu will take care of your cravings!

Address:
Iraklidon 8
118 51 Athens

Mr. Bean Coffee Roasters

mr bean coffee roasters athens
mr bean coffee roaster athens

This coffee shop underwent some changes in recent years. At the time of my first visit to Athens in 2016 it was still associated with Kudu Coffee Roasters. This summer I found out they went separate ways and are now roasting under the name Mr. Bean Coffee Roasters. The bean master roasting behind the scenes is Konstantinos Perpinias, who had already worked with Taf during their early beginnings.

mr bean coffee roasters athens
mr bean coffee roasters athens

What stayed the same is the gorgeous cafe interior and great location in Exarcheia! Lot's of natural light and outside seating make this coffee shop a great hang out spot. Mr. Bean's house blend is a chocolatey brew from Brazil and Guatemala. Apart from espresso there are plenty of brewing options available, including cold brew, as well as sweet treats to accompany the coffee. And if you want to try my next recommendation, you just have to cross the street!

Address:
Emmanouil Mpenaki 20
106 78 Athens

Taf Coffee

taf specialty coffee athens
Taf specialty coffee athens

Even though I feel like Taf Coffee needs no introduction, a guide to specialty coffee shops in Athens wouldn't be quite right without featuring them. The roastery was found by Yiannis Taloumis already in the 90's. It evolved from roasting the traditional Greek way to becoming a pioneer in bringing third wave coffee to Greece and finally to the capital Athens. Taf was actually the first specialty coffee shop to open in Athens as early as 2009.

With such a longstanding tradition and experience it is no wonder that Taf received recognition way beyond the Greek borders. Just this year their house espresso blend Rosebud won the bronze medal for the category espresso blend at the Australian International Awards 2017. It has a creamy feel and smooth body with caramel, chocolate and nutmeg aroma. Give it a try when you pass by the cafe! But not only the coffee is excellent! During my visit Konstantinos Iatridis, the winner of the Hellenic Barista Championship 2017, did a great job explaining the different coffees and helping me choose. :-)

Address:
Emmanouil Mpenaki 7
Athens 106 78

Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies

Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies specialty coffee athens

For those who want to try Taf coffee closer to the center of Athens, Duo Goulies & Duo Mpoukies is the perfect place! The cafe is located close to Panepistimio metro station and serves exclusively coffee roasted by Taf. Their quality standards as well as professionalism are equally high and not even the humidity in the room is left to chance. I found their baked goods and Greek yogurt to be excellent as well.

Address:
Dragatsaniou 8
Athens 105 59

Kaya

kaya specialty coffee athens

Kaya is definitely not an easy cafe to track down. It is located inside a shopping complex called "Stoa Bolani" close to Syntagma and is a take away espresso bar run by a nice bunch of coffee professionals. You'll not only find that the coffee is very inexpensive, Kaya also has the highest number of grinders for espresso I have ever seen in one shop. Apart from their house blend, a nice range of local roasters and their single origins is rotating in a total of five grinders. It is the perfect place to drink yourself through Athens specialty coffee scene in just one afternoon!

kaya specialty coffee athens
kaya specialty coffee athens

Address:
Voulis 7
105 62 Athens

In this city guide I've introduced the most central coffee places, many of them are easy to reach from Syntagma Square. There are more great specialty coffee shops not featured here, such as Mind the Cup and Manor House in the Peristeri neighbourhood or Nomad Roastery in Chalandri neighbourhood. They are included in the map below.

Amazing female baristas, roasters and entrepreneurs of Berlin - Rahel Goldmann

Rahel, aka Rachelle Katz, is a born Berliner and has worked as a barista as well as marketing and public relations manager for Father Carpenter. She recently started supporting the guys from Happy Baristas with implementing table service and bringing a new approach to customer communication to their coffee shop in Friedrichshain. Read about Rahel's approach on hospitality, her ambitions to compete and how she prepares for the upcoming German Aeropress and Barista Championships.

rahel goldmann barista berlin

Rahel, how did you get into coffee?

Sometime in 2013 I heard about a new café around the corner from where I was working, so I went to see what it, my friend called it ‘Australian coffee’, was. I placed my usual order: a Latte Macchiato. The barista told me he could make a café latte instead. I went for it and with the first sip, I was totally blown away by the flavours, it was like an awakening! The espresso was pleasingly acidic and I really enjoyed the smooth texture of the milk that tasted super sweet. Driven by the desire to figure out why this coffee was so different to anything I’ve known before, I started doing research. That's when I slowly began to understand that there’s way more to coffee then just the stuff that wakes me up in the morning. At the time I was managing Cupcake Berlin, which was a good job, but I was eager to learn more about specialty coffee. I went to undertake a beginner's barista course at the Berlin School of Coffee and got my first job at Double Eye. The foundation was set, but I wanted more, I wanted to progress. Shortly after, Father Carpenter started their ‘Rookie Program’, aiming to hire for attitude and train for skills. At that point I was studying Communication and Management at Uni and training to become a skilled specialty coffee barista. After only six months at Father Carpenter, I knew that coffee is what I want to do in my life. I left uni to take on a full-time position at Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers, which in hindsight was a fantastic decision.

After working at Father Carpenter for 1,5 years now, you're moving on to Happy Baristas. What's your role going to be?

At Father Carpenter I've become a spot on hospitality person. Marian and Roland from Happy Baristas saw potential in hiring someone like me as a front of house person. They are in the process of implementing table service and I'll be supporting them in their mission to make coffee more approachable – with strong communication skills. What we are trying to achieve over the course of the next 4 months is to create a more holistic customer experiences. As I am currently training for the Germany Barista Championship, Marian, who is a competitive barista, is a great person to learn from and be trained by. Working at Happy Baristas gives me the opportunity to train under less volume and in more detail. The café has just the right environment for that.

rahel goldmann barista berlin

What do you love about the two coffee shops, Father Carpenter and Happy Baristas?

At Father Carpenter you get the whole package: really good food, delicious coffee and excellent service. The philosophy behind it all, is to increase the quality of life – even if it’s just for these 30 minutes you’ve spend at the café. That's basically it in a nutshell.

Happy Baristas has the aim to make specialty coffee approachable, understandable and accessible for everyone. They're very strong with signature drinks to get people interested and involved, they’re offering a rich and diverse drink menu, not only to please the customer, but also to give the opportunity to access specialty coffee from multiple angles. Happy Baristas are generally very invested in and welcoming to specialty coffee newbies. They also put as much emphasis on nitro teas, to showcase the magnificent flavor profiles of tea and tea drinking in general - a beverage with a thousand year old history.

You've told me you're participating in German Aeropress Championship for the first time. How does the preparation look like?

For the Aeropress Championship you receive the competition coffee two weeks in advance, but you don’t know the varietal, the processing or the region it’s from. All I know at this point is that Five Elephant roasted it. When the actual competition takes place, you will get the same coffee but roasted at a different time in a different batch, so chances are it’ll react slightly different. Obviously other variables such as the water quality will be different too, luckily you can bring your practice water. You get 250g of roasted coffee to practice with and basically need to make it last until a few days before the competition, when it will have the same age as the coffee you'll compete with. It’s my first competition in coffee and of course I want to score at least in the top 3. The Aeropress Championship is a fun competition, which I take seriously regardless, but I’m also looking forward to the BBQ and drinks afterwards. ;-)

And then in winter in the German Barista Champions, how are you preparing for that one?

The Berlin Coffee Festival is coming up this weekend, so we will have a lot of green buyers, roasters and coffee professionals in town. This is very helpful for my coach Marian (Happy Baristas), my roaster Maren (Ernst Kaffeeröster) and myself. We’ll cup different coffees, experiment and hopefully gather some impressions that will feed into my routine. This is going to be the first step. I want to compete because I want to learn a lot and get better, but I also want to tell a story. So my competition’s theme is just as close to my heart as the divine coffee I’ll be using. Competing on a national level provides a good stage to talk about certain issues and challenges we are facing in the industry, so it'll be a good audience for the phenomenon I am trying to display and describe in my competition’s narrative. It'll have a certain political approach to coffee and women in coffee. I obviously can't give away too much at this point.

rahel goldmann barista berlin

What are your aspirations for the future?

I am moving to Australia in 2018, thanks to a scholarship, for Sommelier classes. Working in coffee made me understand the multiple layers of hospitality as well as experiencing flavours in a whole new way. First came coffee, then came wine, I’ve recently even started to enjoying Whiskey, for example! Once you learn to ‘listen to what you taste’, the entire food and beverage industry becomes such a wild beautiful playground. I am looking forward to learn more about every single aspect.

After the sommelier classes, whilst obviously working in coffee still, the next step could be to become a chef or a pastry chef, anything that extends my horizon basically. I’ve got another good 50 years on this planet (knocks on wood) and I don’t want to stop learning and improving ever. I can predict that I’m not going to get tired of engaging people in the greater beauty of taste and talking about a wholesome approach to the products we’re sourcing and consuming.

Thanks so much Rahel and best of luck for your competition goals!

Read more interviews from the series 'Amazing female baristas, roasters and entrepreneurs of Berlin'

and check out my guide to Berlin specialty coffee shops here.

Amazing female baristas, roasters and entrepreneurs of Berlin - Karolina Kumstova

Karo is a barista and senior editor from the Czech Republic who has been living in Berlin for 2 years. She won the 2016 Brewers Cup in her home country after competing twice before in coffee competitions. Read about her lessons learned and her thoughts about Berlin’s specialty coffee scene.

karo3.jpg

Karo, what triggered your career in coffee?

I got into coffee through working in hospitality. My friend Adam Neubauer (2 times Czech barista champion), used to be my colleague in a café in the Czech Republic that was all about fluffy cappuccinos with chocolate on top. When he started reading books about coffee and doing things a bit differently, I was intrigued. This is how I got more interested in coffee. I like to get better at things and coffee allows you to improve by practice. You just have to do it again and again. At some point I moved to London to dive deeper into the coffee scene there and ended up staying for two years. What I liked best was the contact with the customers. It is what gives me energy. It can also put you down at times but I think customer service was always the most enjoyable part of it for me.

As barista at Tres Cabezas here in Berlin and senior editor at European Coffee Trip you get a good overview of local coffee scenes. How would you describe the third wave movement in Berlin as compared to other places you’ve been to?

I think Berlin has a long history with coffee for sure and I can’t really judge how it developed before I lived here, but I remember there was a firm circle of specialty coffee shops such as Chapter One, The Barn and Bonanza, when I first came here as a tourist. Within a year of me living here there were already 15 or so more and now it must be around 50. At first the scene seemed a little bit too sure of itself because there was not much competition (maybe it felt like this because I was coming from London), but in a short amount of time it got so much better than what I thought was possible. The competition definitely grew and pioneers noticed the change and grew with it.

There is a clear influence from foreigners who are moving here and open coffee shops. Every café is so distinct too. There is one run by refugees, another is run by one single person, there are coffee shops in fashion stores, others sell coffee out of a VW bus or sell cold brew from a basement, and so on. Berlin has a lot of room for experimentation and quality coffee is becoming more and more available outside of the stereotypical Aussie café. What’s pushing the scene forward for sure is the increasing competition. Berlin is a start-up city, there is space and it is welcoming creativity, which is awesome. In London, for example, it would be so much more expensive to start a business. In Berlin people experiment just because they want to bring something to the table, and it is affordable to do so. My prediction is that the third wave in Berlin isn’t stopping anytime soon.

You’ve just participated in the event Barista Connect. How was it?

It was amazing! It was such a wonderful event because of its size, there were maybe 40 of us, and I met new faces from all over the world. Very diverse coffee professionals attended and the event managed to make a connection to all areas of coffee and all professions - from coffee roasters to producers, growers, trainers, baristas and managers of cafés. Barista Connect provided a platform allowing us to learn from one another. Although everyone had a different background, we shared common experiences.

What do you think is the biggest difference between an event such as Barista Connect and coffee events where both men and women take part?

It is more about the atmosphere and the energy that is present there. As we were all women, apart from one guy, the event didn’t feel like the usual ones I attend where everyone needs to prove a point. It was more like a friendly discussion of ideas and viewpoints. There were no boundaries to what people talked about, what they asked and what their ideas and opinions were. No one cut each other short for example. It was like girls chatting over a cup of coffee. I don’t think I ever had been confronted that much with ‘men rule it all’ but it is more about the perception I guess. I felt like it was very easy to discuss in a friendly manner without anyone making you feel stupid. No judging, no comparing, because no one gives you that sense of doubt. I didn’t have it at least.

karolina kumstova barista

You’ve also participated in coffee competitions. Can you tell us about your experience?

In 2016 I won the Czech Brewers Cup. The year before that I came in 4th in the Czech Barista Championship, a competition I had participated in already 2013. When I competed for the second time I was living in London, I wanted to progress and the competition felt like a great opportunity to do so. I realized too late that it was all about feedback and criticism from friends and supporters. Instead, I did the preparation completely on my own. When the time came I packed my suitcase and flew to the Czech Republic without a team coming with me. I didn’t even know it was appropriate to ask for help and that a team effort was behind it.

When I won the 2016 Brewers Cup I had learned from my previous experience and came with support from Bara and Five Elephant. I can’t even imagine now doing it on my own. During the competition you forget the small details, like polishing your glasses, and your team will remind you of exactly those. During the world championship I was again pretty much on my own and can only say that it is not good to compete without support. From my perspective, people I see who are very successful are cooperative, seek feedback and structure as well as constructive criticism.

Has your career changed since winning the Czech Brewers Cup in 2016?

I got more followers on Instagram! ;-) I haven’t really taken that direction, I haven’t reached for better positions or anything like that. I do feel more confident talking about coffee though. The title supports your word, it’s like a proof of skills or something.  I guess it did have a positive effect of how people perceive me, but I wouldn’t brag about it in order to gain credibility.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I am working full time for European Coffee Trip and it is going really well, even though everything I do is trial and error. My plan is to become a better editor. As much as I love coffee and serving people, I think I’ve finally found what I’m good at, which is why I would like to work as a writer only. I have a good way of expressing things on paper. For the future I would love to contribute to publishing a book and combine it with traveling and discovering new places.

This year I am also competing at the German Aeropress Championship to improve in something I am not so good at. But I actually enjoy the challenge much more than I enjoy winning.

Thank you so much Karo! Keeping my fingers crossed for the Aeropress Championship!

Read more interviews from the series 'Amazing female baristas, roasters and entrepreneurs of Berlin'

and check out my guide to Berlin specialty coffee shops here.