In recent years, Berlin has begun to buzz with a growing affinity for high-quality coffees. Perhaps because it is a haven for Australian and American expats, the third-wave coffee movement has become just about as relevant to Berlin’s social foodie scene as the internationals themselves. Here are 10 of the city’s hippest and most happening coffee havens.
Located amidst Berlin’s gallery district in one of Mitte’s hippest neighborhoods, THE BARN always draws a crowd. From their iconic logo to their rustic minimal decor and phenomenal coffee, it’s easy to see why. They have an extensive coffee menu, and each brew is made with the best possible beans, which are always grown and harvested sustainably and equitably. Not to mention, THE BARN has some pretty tasty cakes and pastries to boot. This spot has actually gained so much popularity that it recently opened up another shop nearby on Schönhauser Allee.
This small cafe on Boxhagener Str. is popular for its wide variety of beans available for purchase as well as its sociable staff and laid-back atmosphere. As for the beans, they roast them in small batches five times a week to ensure fresh flavors and aromas. They also sell some other brands of beans like Pura Vida Berlin Coffee and Wild at Heart. Their website contains a wealth of information about the sourcing and characteristics of each variety. If Friedrichshain is a bit out of the way, Tres Cabezas recently opened another location in Mitte called 19grams. Be sure to check it out.
Five Elephant is a small cafe, bakery, and specialty roastery in Kreuzberg. Their aim is to bring the best roasts to Berlin whilst also doing their part to contribute to socially and environmentally sustainable coffee production through transparent commerce. Five Elephant sources green coffee beans to their roastery where they prepare them. The café’s Scandinavian-style interior is cheerful and simple with a few large tables for working or visiting with friends. We recommend pairing any coffee with a scrumptious treat from the dessert case. Located near the Landwehr Canal, Five Elephant is ideal for a morning coffee to bring on a stroll along the water.
Five Elephant, Reichenberger Str. 101, Berlin, Germany, +49 (0)30 96081527
Bonanza Coffee Heroes
Bonanza Coffee Heroes prides itself on its unconventionality. The passionate people behind this operation use a combination of old and new techniques that fall under the umbrella of what they call ‘retro innovation.’ Something else that sets them apart in the coffee roasting game is that their strategy is to roast the beans as little as possible. They want the tastes of the beans to shine through rather than the roasted taste itself. The industrial chic interior provides a cool backdrop for savoring this highly distinctive cup of coffee. Plus, there is outdoor seating here, too.
While many of the shops on our list offer filter coffee, Companion Coffee works exclusively with high-grade espresso as well as tea. The owners lived and worked within the specialty coffee havens of Vancouver as well as Perth before moving to Berlin and starting their own operation. Companion Coffee is located within the designer flea market, Voo Store. Pop in for a quick pick-me-up at this small cafe in between shopping stints or sip yours slowly in the sun on the outdoor courtyard.
The teeniest cafe on our list, Concierge Coffee is only about 15 square meters in size. Situated on Paul-Lincke Ufer, right at the edge of the canal, this is an intimate little spot to stop for a cozy cup of coffee amid abundantly rich aromas, which waft from within. The interior is dimly lit with exposed brick walls and small decorative details. As for the guys behind this operation, the owners actually hail from Bonanza Coffee Heroes where they were trained in the art of third wave coffee production. Interestingly, the house recommendation here is not a filter coffee, a cappuccino or an espresso. Instead, it’s the flat white.
Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers
Probably one of the prettiest coffee shops in Berlin, Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers is located in an historic building with a pristine courtyard in the heart of Mitte. The ambiance alone is reason enough to visit, and they serve brews made from Five Elephant’s roasted beans. Mixing shabby chic decor and industrial stylistic elements, the interior is utterly gorgeous, too. In addition to coffee, Father Carpenter makes phenomenal healthy breakfasts and baked goods galore. Come here for chia puddings, avocado toasts, and a variety of other interesting culinary creations.
Distrikt Coffee is the ideal spot to sample roasts from Berlin’s finest coffee roasters as well as others of note in Europe. They serve teas from Companion Coffee and brews made from THE BARN’s beans. Distrikt’s coffee is notoriously strong as they typically serve double-shot coffee. Plus, Distrikt Coffee has a breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch menu, making it a good place to meet up with friends or do work with something substantial to eat. Menu options include açaí bowls, pancakes, and avocado toasts, salads, sandwiches, tartinettes, soups, and more.
Under the joint ownership of one German and one Czech person, Chapter One focuses on the production of slow coffee. In fact, the gadgets they use to make theirs might more closely resemble things you’d find in a science lab or distillery. Just a couple of options for your brew method include pour-over and Chemex-style filter coffee. They brew their teas with the same level of ceremoniousness and precision. The interior consists of warm and mismatched tiles, which also helps to add to the intriguing old-time science lab vibe.
Chapter One, Mittenwalder Str. 30, 10961 Berlin +49 (0)30 25922799
Silo Coffee is the third wave coffee shop that’s all the rage in Friedrichshain. The fact that this coffee shop and brunch spot was brought to us by two Australian expats, means it’s got to be good. Beyond their expertise in the realm of coffee, Australians love their avocado toasts, and Silo has plenty of different variations on this near-universal favorite. Silo also has a fantastic cold brew. With its hearty breakfasts and bustling neighborhood vibe, Silo is a place that just keeps on surprising us. Be warned, however, it isn’t laptop-friendly on the weekends because it is so popular with the brunch crowd.