1 Apr 2015

Coffee Crawl Berlin: Where to Drink Coffee in Berlin

Coffee crawling, usually I do it within the Netherlands. Visiting different cities and trying to see it all. And with 'it all' I do not mean the tourist attractions, but the coffee houses. This month I was in Berlin to run in the half marathon. I had one extra day, and in stead of seeing the different museums, the East Side Gallery or the Holocaust monument, I went coffee crawling. Let's call it passion, instead of obsession. 

And in one day you can see a lot. Below a short overview of the best coffee places I visited in Berlin.
Still, I have not seen it all. If you look at the map, all the red pins, these places are also rumoured to be awesome.

See Map

Five Elephant
address: Reichenbergerstrasse 101
La Marzocco Strada
own roastery

Five Elephant is a real hot spot located in Kreuzberg, and not only famous for its coffee, but also its cheesecake. Multiple cakes are baked and served throughout the day, with people even ordering pieces or a whole cake to go.

Its a beautiful and warm place with amazing historical world maps on the wall. The space feels very dynamic, while at the same time being a place you could sit for hours. They roast on a separate location not far from the cafe, offering espresso and filter roast for their customers and some other cafes in Berlin.

I had a lovely toffee flavoured cappuccino and of course a piece of cheesecake and chocolate cake, split between the four of us. A friend had an amazing Brazilian V60 drip coffee. Most baristas in Berlin, just as in Paris, are not locals. This Brazilian coffee was used by one of the cafes Baristas competing in their own national barista competition in Sweden. Which meant, unfortunately, that it wasn't for sale as they were on their last kilos. But it was so fruity and sweet, with a nice rounded acidity one would have guessed it was a lovely Rwanda or Tanzania. I have seen this more and more the last couple of years, Brazil is doing some amazing work on their specialty lots.

address: Oderberger strasse 35
La Marzocco Strada
own roastery

I visited Bonanza a couple of years ago and I loved it already then. Not long ago they remodelled their cafe and now it is just unbelievably gorgeous. With both owners having a background in art, this perhaps should not be a surprise, but it is just so exquisite. The balance between the roughness with small perfect details is stunning.

I ordered a Colombian El Zafira Gesha brewed on an aeropress. It was very floral, fruity and balanced and got better and better the more it cooled off. And I have to say again the cup for the filter coffee is so amazing. It brings forth the cleanliness and the flavour of the coffee so beautifully. They had the same cup all those years ago and back then it inspired me to think more about the serving vessel, as expressed in a blog I wrote on the subject. Although the space is not filled with comfortable couches, but rather high stools, I could sit here forever.

address: Linienstrasse 40
Kees vd Westen Spirit
coffee by Bonanza and other roasters

Kasck is a place where they serve craft coffee and beer. As it was a little to early in the day, I did not try the beer, but only a cappuccino. It was a very good, creamy cappuccino. The atmosphere big, bold and welcoming, with a lot of wood and large colourful details. The overall feel is a little more like a bar, but then they also serve great coffee, both espresso based and filter. What more could you want?

The Barn Roastery
address: Schoenhauser Allee 8
own roastery

The Barn the roastery was very high on my wish list. The last time I was in Berlin I visited their other shop, and was very impressed with the overall knowledge of the baristas. I am still trying to form an opinion on the uniforms though. The blocked shirt over jeans comes across very natural and very barista-esque, but that also makes it look a little forced, when you see five people wearing them.

The roastery is huge. Its massive. The bar is very large as well, with the register on the corner, and then legging off into a side for the espresso drinks and a side for the filter coffees. Although the space also holds a roastery, experimental space, a cupping table, a corner for merchandise and still there is a lot of space to seat customers and is a real meeting place.

I had a Burundian coffee, brewed on an aeropress. It was very sweet, fruity yet chocolaty. The coffee is served with a card filled with information about the coffee you ordered, which gives you more appreciation for the cup and the work of the people behind the cup you are drinking. 

Father Carpenter
address: Muenzstrasse 21
Five Elephant and other roasters

Father Carpenter is located in a quiet courtyard in the middle of busy high streets, which provides this peaceful and serene vibe that fits very well with a warm cup of coffee. The cafe does connect to a clothing store, but as a customer you do not really notice this, until you turn the corner into a clothing rack.

The space is very clean and gives a nice combination between old, classic woodwork and modern tiles, colour and details. I orderd an espresso macchiato, served in a colourful blue cup, with a Burundi espresso base. The espresso macchiato is served with an ever so small dollop of steamed milk, personally I like a little more milk, so in the future I would order a cortado, but the flavour of the espresso was bang on. Again a place so comfortable, you could sit there for hours on end.


Want to see more Coffee Crawl Berlin edition? Check out the album on the Coffee Strides Facebook page. 

Want to read about the other Coffee Crawls? Check out the other editions.

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