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.
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.
View The Coffee Compass Map in a larger map