November Blues

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This photo was taken on Sunday, when the world was a better place, and it was the warmest day in history in Berlin. We didn’t do much, but we did go out for a walk with Mari. The sun went down gloriously, there’s no other word for it, promising a good day for Monday, which it really was.

I could really feel it today, the dreadfulness that is November. A rainy cold day that started with a flat tyre on my bike. Guess I deserve that for deliberately going back to get my bike when i already left the house.

Well, what are you gonna do. Fix the tyre of course.

Mari is kinda what keeps me sane these days. That tiny person that only needs to smile to brighten up the day. But I digress into parenting blabber. Here’s other things that make the day worth the while. Shame we don’t have the weather right now for me to pick up my longboard. Have been neglecting it way too much this summer.

I love watching these with Mari, she gives them her full attention, and I can’t blame her. The day she asks me for a skateboard, a longboard or whatnot, I’ll be happy to run off to the shop and buy it for her. Just watch this one, and you’ll understand:

A Crush on Drip Coffee

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I bought a Hario V60 coffee dripper at The Barn the other day, and what can I say, I’m in love with it. I’ve enjoyed coffee from the AeroPress for quite a while now, but dripped coffee is still a whole different story.

Speaking of the AeroPress, if you have one, be sure to check out this brewing guide, introducing the inverted brewing method for the AeroPress. Having tried it, I can highly recommend it.

So anyway, filtered coffee, pretty awesome. Finally a proper way to go through all the coffee beans nice people sent me. Current favorite: Four Barrel Panama Duncan Estate. What a glorious brew it is.

There is something weird about drip coffee though. People immediately dismiss it as old-fashioned. Coffee drinkers in Berlin really like their very milky beverages, latte macchiattos drowning every little bit of coffee taste in an ocean of milk. These days I’m really repelled by that, because I want to enjoy the coffee and its taste, not drink large amounts of milk.

I used to be like that, but now I prefer it either small, in the form of a flat white or a gibraltar, or pure, be it dripped through a paper filter, a woodneck, a chemex or a siphon. Filtered coffee brings out the essence in any coffee.

And in case you were wondering, Hario really know what they’re doing. Love their coffee equipment. The woodneck is next on my list.

In other news, J finally started a blog. You should check it out.

The Coffee Shop Diaries: The Barn in Berlin

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The last two months have been pretty crazy for me. I somehow managed to travel through half of Europe (at least that’s what it feels like), still manage to get some stuff done, spend quality time with family and foster my love for coffee.

When working for a client in central Berlin, I regularly found myself going back to a coffee shop that just recently opened (and which I just came across googling for places to buy a Hario V60 dripper in Berlin). The Barn is shaping up to be my new favorite coffee shop in Berlin. Of course they’re selling good sandwiches, cake and some local groceries too, but they’re really ramping up their coffee department.

They started out simple, with an espresso machine and a pretty visible collection of Hario V60 coffee drippers. Even then you could tell that coffee is an important part for them, and you could watch the owner picking up all the tricks and coffee making trade secrets from the rather young baristas. Pretty noteworthy is the fact that one of the baristas is from Vancouver, the other from New Zealand. Also, it turns out that the guy from Vancouver worked at the Elysian Room, together with Nathan, Claire’s boyfriend, the guy who pushed me over the edge into coffee geekism. Small world, eh? (see you how I snug in a Canadianism?). Needless to say the coffee is pretty great. Flat white, single drip, you name it, they’ll make it, and with all the care you’d expect from a good coffee shop.

Anyways, over the last month they’ve extended their coffee area, added more equipment to make single drip, filtered coffee, AeroPress and even woodneck coffee, an accessory that’s next on my list to buy. They’re also importing coffees from roasters around the world on a season basis. Right now they’re serving single origin Coffee Collective coffee, in September they served Stumptown beans. All the caffeine buzz in the world couldn’t keep from trying one of their light Kenya AA roasts. I have yet to try their house blend though, but turns out I’m still maxed out with beans from the coffee for prints swap.

As a nice addition, they’re also selling Hario coffee brewing equipment, high quality stuff from Japan that’s pretty hard to come by in Europe unfortunately. Speaking of equipment, I finally caved and bought a Hario V60 coffee dripper and a Hario Skerton hand mill. Great stuff, single drip really is a revelation on how easy it is to make great coffee.