Guide: Third Wave Coffee in Berlin

Photo: Mary Scherpe
Photo: Mary Scherpe

Here’s an updated version of this guide!

After a highly caffeinated week, we’ve finished our guide to the best coffee in Berlin. The coffee culture here has been somewhat lacking, but a slew of third wave coffee bars have opened up in the past few years, with an army of New Zealander and Australian baristas. The focus of this guide is on the coffee itself, and not necessarily the cafe (although most of the cafes we’ve listed are also some of the best places to hang out as well). All the coffee served at the following cafes is of the highest quality, with the owners paying very special attention to the beans, the milk, the equipment, even the water quality and temperature. And surprisingly, the prices are nearly the same as your run-of-the-mill cafe (and definitely cheaper than Starbucks), although I’m not sure how, considering the 10,000 euro and up espresso machines that most of them use. But the best part of these cafes is how helpful and unpretentious all of the baristas are in explaining how coffee should taste and the various ways it can be prepared. So, on to the guide:

BONANZA COFFEE HEROES
Opened all the way back in 2007, Bonanza is one of the stalwarts of coffee culture in Berlin. Queues are common, especially on Sundays when the flea market is on at Mauerpark, but it’s worth the wait (and normally not that long anyway). Space is limited because they have to make room for the coffee roasters, but what other cafe can you name that roasts their own coffee on the premises?

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Oderberger Straße 35, 10435 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8.30h–19h, , Sat–Sun 10h–19h

stilinberlin five elephants

FIVE ELEPHANT
Five Elephant, that’s who. On top of having their own roasters, their beans are also direct trade, meaning they deal on a one-to-one basis with the growers. Five Elephant also scores points for its seclusion, at the far end of Reichenberger Straße, which means that most of the customers are from the neighbourhood and it’s never too packed.

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Reichenberger Straße 101, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8:30–19 , Sat–Sun 10–19

DOUBLE EYE
Double Eye is owned by the winner of the 2005 European World Cup Barista Champion, Arno Schmeil, and is known for its espresso. It’s also arguably the oldest cafe in Berlin serving such high-grade coffee, having opened in 2001, so they’re excused from not having a proper website or Facebook page. There is no seating, but that’s how espresso was meant to be drank anyway.

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Akazienstraße 22, 10823 Berlin Schöneberg – visit website
Mon–Fri 9.30h–18.30h, , Sat 10h–15.30h ,

CAFE CK
Speaking of world champions, this past weekend Cafe CK owner Cory Andreen took home a trophy for Germany as he was named the World Cup Tasting Champion (yes, that’s a thing). Cory owns two cafes in Berlin, alongside his business partner Kerstin. Cafe CK, in Prenzlauer Berg, offers a selection of brewed coffees as well as sandwiches and snacks. CK Pour Voo, the newer of the two cafes, is located inside Voo Store, and is decorated with furniture by our favourite Dane Sigurd Larsen. Most Wednesdays Cory hosts public coffee cuppings as well at CK Pour Voo. Look out for the upcoming dates on their Facebook page.

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Marienburgerstraße 49, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 08h–19h, , Sat–Sun 9h–19h

GODSHOT
Godshot is owned by Kai-Uwe, who taught himself the art of coffee-making, having first bought a machine for his home use, and then opening Godshot in Prenzlauer Berg. Godshot also hosts periodic seminars on latte art, and can also be found every Saturday at the Arnswalder Platz flea market.

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Immanuelkirchstraße 32, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8h–18h, Sat 9h–18h, Sun 10h–18h

stilinberlin companion coffee-2

COMPANION COFFEE
Two of the most talented barristas who helped Ralf Rüller starting The Barn went on to found their own business. The fashionable concept store Voo on Oranienstraße offered them a place to start at and that’s where Shawn and Chris are now serving delicious coffee and selling tea and treats in a relaxed atmosphere – see more in our review.

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Oranienstrasse 24, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Mon–Sat 11–19h

THE BARN
We’ve already talked quite a bit about The Barn and The Barn Roastery, so we won’t go in to too much detail, but rest assured that it will be one of the best coffees you’ve had in Berlin.

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Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Mon–Fri: 8am–6pm , Sat & Sun: 10am–6pm


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Schönhauser Allee 8, 10119 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Mon 11:00–16:00 , Tue–Thu 8.30–17:00 , Fri 08:30–18:00 , Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00

CHAPTER ONE
Chapter One is the youngest cafe in the list, having just celebrated their 6 month anniversary. Under Czech and German ownership, the cafe’s specialty is slow coffee, offering a Siphon Brew Bar, as well as a new espresso every day.

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Mittenwalder Straße 30, 10961 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Tue–Sat 09h–18h, Sun 11h–18h

stilinberlin no fire

NO FIRE, NO GLORY
Lastly, No Fire No Glory is probably the most laid back of all the cafes in this list, and is also located in the Kaffeeviertel in Prenzlauer Berg. Their focus is on an equal balance of good coffee and atmosphere.

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Rykestraße 45, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Sun 10h–20h

Comments

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  1. Oliver on

    Reply

    Somewhat disappointed you didn’t include Antipodes (Fehrbelliner Straße, Prenzlauer Berg) on your list but then, I already know about it and consider it one of my favourites.

    I know at least half of the others but obviously have more ground to cover :)

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      Dear Oliver,

      I’ve been to Antipodes, but to be honest, their espresso did not convince me … but the staff is very friendly and it’s a nice place to sit at!

    2. Rodolfo on

      Antipodes uses bitter, dark roast beans. Not specialty coffee.

  2. noerrebro on

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    Great! Need inspiration for my next trip to Berlin :)

  3. nikol on

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    this is such a wonderful post and blog as well. I always travel to Berlin but never really get to see the city. This blog has me making my list of what to do next time I go ( :

  4. vlad alexandru on

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    Yes my friends, this is such a personal article, really looks like somebody gave money to be there! All my respect for corey my good buddy, for the barn crew wonderfull coffee, my friends from chapter one nora and bjorn peace and love my friends, for the cappuccino from godshot, the guys from five elephants are doing a great job, no fire no glory was my first love in berlin, but my friends..to put a title like a world barista champion to a guy who even google doesn’t heard about him..is tragic, i.m wondering what you understand from all this coffee world..i forgot the guys from bonanza! Great job my friends..so put your eyes and minds ad read, and learn..because we train a lot to become champions, or good places in championships..we don.t promote robusta coffee and we don.t resteam the milk..like your champions are doing! Thank you for attention! My name is vlad i.m barista and yes i live in berlin!

    1. Mary on

      Dear Vlad, none of the businesses presented here paid money to be in this guide. Sorry to hear you dislike our selection of coffee.

    2. Anonymous on

      What Vlad is trying to say, is that Arno Schnell is not a World Barista Champion… the 2005 title belongs to Troels Poulsen from Denmark. A quick fact check would have cleared this up. Great guide nonetheless. You found all the best spots!

    3. dario on

      A small mistake — Arno is the “European World Coffee Champion” of 2005, which was held in Hamburg. Additionally there is the “World Coffee Championship” which was held in Seattle in 2005. We’re new to the coffee scene so excuse our confusion!

    4. cole on

      such a german reply

    5. kina on

      My good . … what did you have today , except of coffee ???

  5. Anonymous on

    Reply

    hiya, i’m moving to Wedding next week.
    Have you got any tips for cafes in my new neighbourhood that I could visit?

    1. Mary on

      Currently we don’t know of any Third Wave coffee ventures in Wedding.

    2. Anonymous on

      The coffee is nothing to get excited about (although acceptable), but it’s a nice place to sit, and their baked goods are delicious: Tassenkuchen, Malplaquetstrasse.

      Coffee Star on Muellerstrasse is a decent source for beans (they roast in the cafe), which is my go-to option whenever I don’t have the time to go get a bag of beans from Impala at Eberswalder or from Chapter One. I even prefer Coffee Star’s roasts over those you can buy at Bonanza or Double Eye.

      I don’t know of any coffee joint in Wedding that can really compare to Godshot and company in terms of coffee quality, though.

  6. Simon Dance on

    Reply

    Stunning photos. I’ve been to Goodshot a few times now (love the old airline trolley they use as a cabinet).

    Love to have you write a post for us sometime if you’re interest?

  7. jml on

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    For the best third wave coffee in Neukölln, Leuchtstoff at Körnerkiez is a must.

  8. Ralf on

    Reply

    What is the brand of the coffee machine in the picture above? Can’t read it clearly.
    Thanks!

    1. Mary on

      Which one?

    2. Ralf on

      The top one with the guy in the shirt with stripes

    3. Ralf on

      cool! Many thanks!

  9. alex on

    Reply

    Thanks for this list! I agree with you that Godshot is one of the best. I also like their “Wohnzimmer”-like atmosphere. Haven’t been there for a while, though. Do they still have the Danish-style 1970s teak furniture?
    Another one that’s very comfy and welcoming is in Pappelallee/Prenzlauer Berg: “The Black or White”, which I haven’t found on any of the relevant blogs or lists, but it’s worth a visit. They may not be the hippest with the most expensive machine but they make good coffee. I like their espresso better than the “fruity” (I’d rather call it “sour”) kind that has been so much en vogue recently. They also have a small but good selction of cakes and last but not least an exhibit of 3d-photography that alone is worth a visit.

  10. Hie-suk on

    Reply

    Somebody asked a while ago for good coffee places in Wedding and a really good one opened in my street Stettiner Strasse close to Badstrasse in Gesundbrunnen. He get’s the beans from the Röststätte http://www.ilmilanesedeltacco.com/

  11. Eva on

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    Am ende der Welt, Scharnhorststraße 5 is a good place.

  12. Andy on

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    You missed out Aunt Benny’s on Traveplatz, F’hain. Best long black I’ve had by a long way.

  13. Melissa on

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    Thanks for the suggestions! We need a great ‘real’ coffee to start the day exploring this amazing city. Are there any new locations you would now recommend since you wrote this article? Vielen Dank!

  14. Klinker on

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    Café Wunderlich Kopenhagenerstr. actually has really good 3rd wave coffe and a nice old “Handhebelmaschine”. Best coffee I have tasted so far.

  15. Carla on

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    Try Espresso Bar at Keithstrasse, I personally think that the coffee is one of the best in Berlin.

  16. Mark on

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    Hey Guys,

    thanks for the reviews…I’d just like to add a couple of places that you should check out. Passenger Espresso in Kreuzberg and Giro Cafe, knesebeckstraße Charlottenburg. These are the standouts in Berlin!

  17. Jess chev on

    Reply

    I use this coffee reference as my bible. Just had my cousin and her bf over and took them to nearly every place on this list. Bonanza coffee heros has awesome coffee and great vibe especially for the markets on sunday, and companion coffee inside voo with those cute baristas never seems to fail a great piccolo. danke :)

  18. Tom on

    Reply

    Found a new place in Friedrichshain that should defintiely be on this list called Silo Coffee, near by Boxi.

  19. Hannah B on

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    This is a great guide! Can anyone recommend places to find specialty coffee in Frankfurt?

  20. Lydia on

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    Silo on Gabriel-Max Str needs to be on this list- coffee amongst the best but also an honourable mention for the sandwiches and charming staff

  21. joe on

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    what about cafe espera on sonnenalle / panierstr in neukölln close to hermannplatz? i think its a very good place to get its name mentioned in the list above.. dunno if they do the 3rd wave thing (which i still dont know much about), but their coffee, espresso and homemade pastries are outstanding..also the vibe, and athmosphere

  22. Johannis on

    Reply

    Röststätte is missing here!

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