Exploring Specialty Coffee in Berlin
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
It's been a while since I started exploring Berlin's specialty coffee scene. I think it is very diverse and I learned a lot from it so, "naturally", I thought, "let's share some thoughts on the blog!" If you're a coffee lover and you're in Berlin or planning to come here you are lucky because Berlin's scene of specialty coffee is vibrant and alive!
A lot of people around the world will admit they simply love the black drink that helps us all feel more awake in the morning, but the vast majority of the coffee lovers around the world (and that's a fact) could have drunk a better cup of coffee (if they'd just knew!) to starts the day with.
In Berlin, there's a big range of shops and roasters, thus, this is a great opportunity, for any coffee enthusiast, to try a new coffee consumption way and slowly adapt to the world of specialty coffee. Different roasters roast different coffee varieties and origins. Every roasting act and batch is an art for itself and every coffee shop offers a different service and customer experience, and as each shop is offering its own roasted coffee and blends you are more likely to have a unique experience every time you walk into a different shop.
For me, Berlin was the opportunity of my life to enter, learn and experience, more than I could ever imagine, about coffee itself and the world of coffee yet, it took me some time to realize what and where this "specialty coffee" scene is?
At first, I hardly believed a better coffee option is even an option... and I think that without earlier knowledge and guidance, finding these shops wouldn't have been possible, and that's part of the beauty of the specialty coffee scene - away from the buzz and fuzz, it's located in the heart of the neighborhoods rather than the chaotic city center and crossroads. I would not deny that I found it a little odd - "why in the world such good product- high-quality coffee is not out there for everybody to see and consume?".
It took me time to understand: quality over quantity.
It's all about the quality and less about the other things around. It's about using high-quality raw material and transforming it into a high-quality product. Then, communicating this product to the customers through love and dedication, professionalism, good service, and transparency. Knowledge, of course, is really important, more important than what espresso machine you have or a grinder, or how cool your coffee shop is. Knowledge, used in the right way, is to guide the shop's team to create and deliver a great product.
I found that apart from the varieties of roasters and coffees, each shop offers a unique environment and experience for its customers. Some are cozy, some are hipster some are modern, some are minimal, and while some shops would rather serve a beautiful range of home-made sweets and desserts to accompany your coffee, others would offer a full food menu including fresh breakfast, sandwiches, and salads made in their kitchen. Many shops choose to be sustainable and contribute to the environment and society (it would be more than appreciated to bring your own favorite coffee cup). Those which are not yet sustainable will soon become so, saying it simply because that's the direction the world moves towards.
To sum things up
Coffee culture varies. Different societies perceive coffee differently. Some would say coffee is all about hospitality and would adapt to their product to the locals' taste, while others would stand for the art of coffee saying "I dedicated myself to know more about my product, I invite you to come and try it yourself". From my point of view, the specialty coffee scene in Berlin is there to stand for the art of coffee, trying to get the maximum quality of the product they use, and so all you have to do is come open-minded to a new coffee experience!