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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
10119 Berlin Mitte
Schönhauser Allee 8
10119 Berlin Mitte
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.
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.