Berlin in Cups of Coffee


After finding a hotel, a flight and a couple guidebooks, the first thing I do when planning a trip is figure out the best places to drink coffee.  I trust that finding a few good places to eat will make more sense once I arrive and I know that there will be a free map available somewhere in the city.  Coffee, however, is something with which I don’t trust many people.  I want my coffee excellent and, preferably, made with ethically sourced beans.  All the better if they’ve been roasted in house.

After the amazing cafes I went to in Paris, I was eager to explore the third wave coffee shops of Berlin.  Luckily, I found them.  While I wouldn’t say that Berlin’s coffee culture is at quite the same level as what you find in London or New York, it still was exciting.

I didn’t manage to make it to quite as many cafes as I had hoped to, but I drank a few good cups.  Berlin’s coffee scene is still nascent, which means you have to travel a bit in order to find the cool-cafes.  But that’s okay.  It will help you see Berlin beyond Mitte (the centre) and that is always essential to a good trip.

My very first stop in Berlin (no really, very first stop after the hostel) was The Barn.  I had read that it was one of the best coffees in Berlin and it was certainly one of my favorite ones I had.  When I saw the word ‘cortado’ on the board, I nearly jumped up and down with glee.  I immediately ordered two cortados (one for me and one for my friend) as my friend procured a small table for us to sit at and catch up.  Our cortados were served in tall, slim glasses that were a nice German change from the gibraltar/duralex glass.  While the coffee was really good, it was one of those delicate coffees that shines with less milk.  On one hand, that’s kind of the mark of a proper good espresso.  On the other hand, I want to taste coffee with milk, not milk with coffee.  Still, there was a fruity, chocolatey flavor in this coffee that I had been missing in Italy.


The next day, after turning into icicles whilst walking along the Berlin wall memorial, my friend and I found ourself at Bonanza Coffee Heroes, perching with our cappuccini, a croissant and maps at one of their small wooden tables.  The cafe was one of the smallest, but best-oganized spots I’ve ever visited.  They managed to make sure there was enough space for everyone, while still barely having room to make coffee.  The cappuccino was a bit on the big side, but the coffee was so bright and fruity.  I have truly never tasted a coffee like that and I wish I could have another cup right now.  This was a naturally sweet coffee, I wish I could have another cup.  If you’re in Berlin, go to Bonanza.  I would recommend ordering something other than a cappuccino — and I would hope that you hadn’t just walked along the Berlin wall in the snow — but I have a feeling that you’ll fall head over heels in love with whatever drink you choose.

On my last day, I didn’t manage to try a new coffee place, but I did have a coffee with my breakfast that I believe is worthy of noting.  At this gorgeous little bakery near our hostel, Zeit für Brot,  I had an americano.  And I loved it.


Coffee is about more than just the flavor, although that is a big part of it.  I want a cup of coffee over which I can chat with a friend in the morning for a while.  I want a cup of coffee to warm up my hands and my soul.  I want to be able to hold it and linger and think for a while.  The americano suffers from the fake-sounding name, or one that sounds like a cocktail.  I enjoyed it with a drop of milk and was thrilled to have something that was calming instead of in my face.

Coffee has many faces and, as coffee lovers, I believe we should be open to all the different types of coffee there are out there.  Berlin was a fascinating coffee city, perhaps not my favorite drinks ever, but ones that I felt honored to experience.

Do you have a favorite coffee city?


4 thoughts on “Berlin in Cups of Coffee

    1. Emilia Post author

      Thanks! You should definitely book a bus to Berlin, it’s a fantastic and fascinating city. Not to mention the interesting overlap between history/modern culture. The coffee is just an added bonus 😉

  1. Pingback: Thoughts and Reflections on Italian Coffee Culture | emilialiveslife

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