Meet The Brains Behind The Barn, Ralf Rüller

Brienne Pierce

Ralf Rüller, quality obsessed and a caffeine aficionado, is the brains behind The Barn coffee roasters and coffee shop in Berlin. The Barn has a philosophy that mirrors that of the slow food movement, creating the least amount of distance between source and product. We take a deeper look at this popular shop with its creator.

Image courtesy of Ralf Rüller

TCT: How did you decide to start The Barn?
RR: I lived in London for 10 years, very near Borough Market. Moving back to my own country in 2008, I wanted to open my own shop, to focus on a few things that I feel very passionate about, and to make them as good as possible. No compromise. That was Coffee, Bread and Cake; all made on site and all equally well done. After learning the trade for two ears at the wonderful Splendid Delikatessen, I started The Barn in June 2010.
TCT: Can you describe your first experience when you realized that you loved coffee?
RR: I think I was ready for a change in my life and to focus on something I totally believed in. I felt that a door had opened and I was totally on fire.

Image courtesy of Ralf Rüller

TCT: What sets The Barn apart from other roasteries and/or cafés in Berlin?
RR: We have been pioneers for uncompromised quality from the first day. We go all the way and execute with perfection. We are obsessed with quality and detail. The Barn has a fully integrated approach; we fully involve our baristas in our roast evaluation. All coffees are followed and evaluated on our bar every day. In roasting we pick the best beans we can find and build a close bridge to the farmers; every link in the value chain, from crop to cup, is equally important to produce the perfect cup of coffee. In principle we never blend any of our coffees in order that we can properly showcase each farm and terroir. If a coffee tastes great you don’t need to add another coffee to it to make it taste better. Its a very simple concept and connects everybody to the very special farms we work with.
TCT: What advice would you give to your younger self?
RR: To age slower so I can live longer.

Image courtesy of Ralf Rüller

TCT: How would you describe The Barn in 80 words?
RR: A leading specialty coffee roaster in Germany. Known for our uncompromising approach to quality, we only work with highest quality beans, fresh in season. Our strength is to find memorable coffees and to roast them to perfection. All we do is handmade; we are obsessed with quality. In roasting we follow the natural taste of a coffee. In principle we never blend any of our coffees to showcase individual flavor, terroir and the work of each farm.
TCT: If you weren’t roasting coffee/running The Barn what would you be doing?
RR: Spending more quality time with my boyfriend.

Image courtesy of Ralf Rüller

Quick Fire
TCT: Android or Apple?
RR: Apple. Always.
TCT: Home cooked meal or eat out?
RR: Home cooked. At my home.
TCT: Night owl or early bird?
RR: Early bird. Love to see cities waking up.
TCT: Morocco or Thailand?
RR: Thailand. Miss the climate.
TCT: Be able to fly or be able to go invisible?
RR: Fly. Fly!
TCT: Watch a film or read a book?
RR: Film.

Image courtesy of Ralf Rüller
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.