As a renowned mecca for coffee nuts, Berlin has something to satisfy the needs of even the jitteriest caffeine addict. Whether it’s a grab-and-go morning espresso or leisurely Sunday latte by the canal, the standard is high and competition fierce. But where do these great locally-perfected beans come from? We explore the best coffee roasters at the heart of Berlin’s formidable scene.
It all started in Vienna, where Willy Andraschko spent a lot of time drinking coffee. Enough to inspire a bold career move, in fact. He became part of the team behind the Einstein headquarters in Kurfürstenstraße – and was responsible for the large drum roaster there. The next logical step was to concentrate entirely on the beans. Since 2006, the Andraschkos have been roasting in typical dark Italian style and stocking their coffee in the esteemed establishments of Berlin’s gastronomic heart. Old school and reliably good.
Industriestr. 18, Tempelhof, Ullsteinstraße | Tel. 030 69 59 86 87 | Mon-Fri 9am-12pm + 1pm-4.30pm | www.andraschkokaffee.de
This long-standing heavyweight among Berlin’s roasteries has delicately modernised itself in the wake of the third-wave movement, without compromising its character. You can buy classic Italian roasted espresso – dark, creamy, chocolatey – at Uhlandstraße for a fair price.
Uhlandstr. 173-175, Charlottenburg, Uhlandstraße | Tel. 030 88 67 79 20 | Mon-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 10am-7pm | www.berliner-kaffeeroesterei.de
Bonanza Roastery Café
The Bonanza Coffee Heroes were among the pioneers of the so-called third-wave movement in Berlin: young, international coffee enthusiasts who got to the bottom of the beans. Now, in addition to the hip little cafe on Oderberger Straße, Prenzlauer Berg, there’s the roasting plant opened which opened in 2016.
Adalbertstr. 70, Kreuzberg, Kottbusser Tor | Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat+Sun 10am-6pm | www.bonanzacoffee.de
Kris Schackman came to Berlin from Portland, Oregon of all places – the daddy of the do-it-yourself food movement. In Berlin, he and his partner Sophie Weigensamer opened the roasting café Five Elephant in the then-dilapidated Reichenberger Straße in Kreuzberg. When it comes to filter coffee rich in nuances, Five Elephant roasts come highly recommended.
Reichenberger Str. 101, Kreuzberg, Görlitzer Bahnhof | Tel. 030 69 50 74 44 | Mon-Fri 8.30am-7pm, Sat+Sun 10am-7pm | 2nd branch: Alte Schönhauser Straße 14, Mitte | www.fiveelephant.com
Under the label ‘Fjord’, Friedrichshain’s Silo Coffee and Mitte’s Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers roast their beans together from a back garden in Münzstraße. They want to sell their speciality coffees throughout Europe with confidence – in close cooperation with the respective coffee bars.
Almost all Berlin roasteries rely on directly traded, pure coffee – but the Flying Roasters go one step further in their commitment to organic products, describing their working methods as “direct, collective and transparent”. Pleasingly wholesome.
Hochstr. 43, Wedding, Gesundbrunnen | Mon-Fri 2-6pm | www.flyingroasters.de
Han Coffee Roaster
Only beans actually from Vietnam make it to the drum roaster on Pannierstraße. Apropos: If you’re keen to know how Vietnamese coffee roasted in Berlin tastes, we recommend the wonderful Qua Phe on Max-Beer-Straße. In addition, some of the city’s better Vietnamese restaurants work together with Han Coffee Roasters.
Pannierstr. 40, Neukölln, Hermannplatz | www.hancoffee.de
What we commonly call the bean is only actually the coffee fruit, the coffee cherry. This ‘Kirsche’ is also the name of a friendly café with its own roasting plant in the gastronomically diverse environs of Adalbertstraße. Pure Arabica is roasted here at a reasonable price (250 grams for 7€). A second shop recently opened not too far away at Böckhstraße 30 on Kottbusser Damm.
Adalbertstr. 23b, Kreuzberg, Kottbusser Tor | Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat+Sun 10am-6pm | www.kaffeekirsche.berlin
The café at Markthalle Neun, always charmingly lively in the early morning, has been renamed. Now known as Kaffee Neun, you can watch resident mastermind Philipp Reichel and his team roast the coffee in-house while you wait. Kaffee Neun is one of the roasting houses with a wallet-friendly price structure: 13.50€ is a decent exchange rate for a pound of artisan coffee.
Eisenbahnstr. 42/43, in Markthalle Neun, Kreuzberg, Görlitzer Bahnhof | Mon-Sat 7.30am-6pm, Sun 10am-18pm | www.markthalleneun.de
An old VW bus and an even older coffee machine: that was the beginning of Passenger Coffee. These days, after cutting their teeth at various markets and music festivals, the team run a Kreuzberg café and roasting plant on Elsenstraße, where – besides the coffee, of course – we like the casual, homely vibes.
Elsenstr. 38, Treptow, Treptower Park | Mon-Fri 7.30am-5.30pm | Tel. 030 23 57 56 67 | www.passenger-coffee.de
The Barn Coffee Roasters
Cool fact: roasting is the reason The Barn’s Schönhauser Allee door remains locked on Mondays. It’s then that Ralf Rüller concentrates entirely on those coveted beans. Smells, tastes, listens. Waits for the sound when the beans crack – an explosion of aromas. Rüller roasts his single-variety coffees in a ‘greener’ way than typical espresso blends. They’re also served by the cup at Café Kranzler, now part of The Barn.
Schönhauser Allee 8, Prenzlauer Berg, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm, Sat+Sun 10am-6pm | www.thebarn.de
Tres Cabezas y Amigos
The early risers of Tres Cabezas roast on Boxhagener Straße in Friedrichshain. The three coffee heads have also made a name for themselves in gastronomy as a comparatively inexpensive provider of third-wave products. They even rent and sell espresso grinders and machines as part of their little coffee empire. Tres Cabezas also owns two cafés at Schlesischer Tor in Kreuzberg and in Chausseestraße in Mitte, both of which are named 19grams – the weight of beans that are put into a (double) espresso there.
Boxhagener Str. 74, Friedrichshain, Ostkreuz | Tel. 030 29 04 74 70 | Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat+Sun 9am-8pm | www.trescabezas.de
So there you have it: Berlin’s coffee roasting highlights. If you’re now in need of a sit-down and some herbal tea to offset all the caffeine, here’s our list of Berlin’s best tea shops.