Coffee Time at The Barn

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The other day J needed some time to herself, so I took Mari, her stroller and went to visit my favorite coffee spot in Berlin, The Barn. Even though I do loathe New Year’s resolutions, I told myself I needed to take more photos again in the new year, so I took the Pentacon Six with me.

Had the pleasure of a good cup of Coffee Collective’s La Esmeralda from the Hario dripper, followed by a cup of Tim Wendelboe’s Tekangu, a delicious Kenya coffee, from the AeroPress. Of course that was also the day I treated myself to the woodneck, which is currently in heavy use. It’s a simple beauty, and the coffee is delicious.

In other coffee nerd news, the coffee geniuses at Coava in Portland came up with the funnel, a new full immersion brewing system, looks a treat too, like a tiny chemical lab at home. Also, J pointed me towards this beauty, the Clive Drip Stand, a beauty, though slightly expensive, but all made by hand. Some day…

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2010: My Year Of Coffee

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Last year I learned a lot about coffee, but most importantly:

  • I learned that there’s a lot more to coffee than just espresso.
  • Well-brewed coffee has so much more to offer in terms of taste, smoothness and enjoyment.
  • That great coffee is the result of simplicity but precision, consistency in results is a virtue. In the end, it doesn’t take more than a simple drip filter to get great results. Accessories for measuring, scaling and getting proper water flow are optional, but let me assure you, you will want to buy them eventually.
  • It’s all about the beans. I’ve been nothing but spoiled by being in San Francisco, Portland and being put in touch with Square Mile coffee beans. They’ve ruined my coffee taste, but in a very good way. Square Mile has become my favorite provider of excellent beans. Even shipped from the UK, it’s totally worth it, and their customer service is outstanding. Shame on Germany for the coffee beans, honestly!
  • German coffee culture is far behind the rest of the coffee world. Which is both sad and good, because we have some catching up and educating to do. The first reaction you still get from a lot of people when it comes to filtered coffee is simply: bleh. Understandable, because they were used to awful coffee makers. Here’s to improving the situation!
  • It’s easy to infect others with the coffee bug once you make them realize how simple it is.
  • Coffee is about ritual and enjoying it. I’d rather drink no coffee at all than being exposed to a bad or hastily made coffee.
  • I got a lot more picky about my coffee shops and a lot more observing of the barista (if you can even call a lot of them a barista), how they’re making coffee, where they’re doing it wrong (presumptuous, right? but what are you gonna do). It thins out the acceptable coffee shops quite considerably, but
  • Life is too short for bad coffee

Pictured above is my newest acquisition, a Hario cloth filter dripper, also called a woodneck. It’s ingenious, a simple beauty, and the coffee is delicious. I had the pleasure of drinking a coffee made with it back at Penny University, and since then couldn’t really get it out of my head.

Can you tell that I’m going to be writing a lot more about coffee in 2011?