When I visited Berlin earlier this year I was lucky enough to get a tip from a barista at The Barn about Chapter One, a new cafe that had only been open for a couple of weeks. When I visited it was clear they were still setting up shop, but the quality of their coffee was already top notch. That has a lot to do with the fact one of the owners is Nora Šmahelová, a Czech expat who is a WBC judge and a former German Barista Champion.
In most places in Europe “coffee” and “espresso” are synonymous, but I was surprised to find Chapter One’s focus is filter coffees. Most visibly, three siphon brewers line the bar and some coffees are offered on Aeropress and Hario V60. All of their coffees are from German roasters and when I visited I had a siphon of an Ethiopian Sidamo Dera Kabado from Johannes Bayer Kaffee, a small batch roaster in Munich. The coffee had a honey-like sweetness with a delicate body and really nice floral notes — everything I would expect from a quality Sidamo. Siphon is a finicky brew method that is difficult to do well in a cafe setting, but Chapter One is doing it right.
After such a nice visit I was excited to see this new video Chapter One posted on Vimeo this week. It features some gorgeous shots of coffee brewing and a trippy soundtrack I would expect from a city like Berlin. So watch the video and make sure you visit Chapter One next time you’re in Germany.