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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?