Why You Should Put The Barn On Your Coffee Radar

Over the last decade several cities have emerged as coffee destinations: London, New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, and Oslo immediately come to mind.  These trendsetting cities are home to acclaimed roasters and attract a steady flow of globetrotting baristas on coffee pilgrimages. But over in the Eurozone a wave of new coffee shops have been popping up around Berlin, and one cafe in particular, The Barn, is a big reason why your next cafe crawl should be in Germany’s capital.

When I went to The Barn, there was a line out the door, I had trouble finding a seat, and I awkwardly bumped into several strangers while trying to navigate the small interior to grab my drink and get it back to my table without spilling it. But I also had some incredible coffee.

I visited The Barn three times during my stay in Berlin, and they were slammed each time. But despite the high volume, they turn out a consistant, quality product. A proper shot of espresso and espresso in properly steamed milk are the two things I look forward to most when visiting a coffee shop, and the shot of Square Mile’s Red Brick Espresso was best I’ve had of it. The cappuccino I had my third visit was particularly immaculate: butter toffee sweet with liquid chrome foam.

Cappuccino at the Barn

Even though my main motivation to visit a cafe is espresso, filter coffee is my first love, and I enjoy getting the chance to compare my home brew to leading professionals’. The Barn’s filter offerings were as good as I’ve had anywhere; they had some great guest coffees from Australian roaster Market Lane and renowned Danish roaster The Coffee Collective. Here are my tasting notes (all brewed on a Hario V60):

  • Market Lane — Finca Suiza El Salvador: Bright, floral, and red fruit. A very tasty, drinkable cup.
  • Market Lane — San Julian Guatemala: Forgot to take tasting notes- but it was good. Market Lane’s website says honey and plums — the plums may be pushing it, but I enjoyed it.
  • The Coffee Collective — Kieni, Nyeri, Kenya: Incredibly sweet with a pleasant acidity. It got increasingly more delicious as it cooled. Confirmed my love for this Danish microroaster. Was lucky enough to get 250g of whole bean and thoroughly enjoyed brewing it at home.
The only thing I found disappointing about my visit to The Barn was that none of their coffees were roasted in Germany (for that I had to go to the wonderful Chapter 1). Their coffee was as good as I tasted in London and Copenhagen, but I didn’t need to go to Berlin to try any of them. However, I was excited to find out The Barn is opening a roastery, which will feature a fully refurbished Probat UG15 coffee roaster. Yet another reason to make Berlin your next coffee destination.

Tim Wendelboe at the Barn


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