How the coffee house has taken over our lives and the mecca of creativity: Berlin. In current times, when we can easily recreate our educational institutions, start-up businesses and personal workplaces, it should not come as a surprise that they might all end up looking like your favourite coffee shop. Following my last post on the ‘Coffeeshopification of Berlin’ and how noteworthy the café culture has evolved in the city, it is interesting to see how the process of turning universities and workplaces into coffee shops a.k.a 'Coffeeshopification' was already discussed by writer Steven Johnson who argued that coffee fuelled the enlightenment and that it was exactly midst the coffee house culture where crucial events took place. Already in 17th century London, people would hang out, exchange ideas and share a cup of coffee: the key combination which sparkled life changing events in our history.
A Caffeinated Working and Learning Environment
Artists and writers have often, if not always, worked in coffee shops, but now in the era of the digital office, everyone can basically work from wherever as long as there is wifi. In this sense, artists and writers have been joined by young entrepreneurs, programmers and, like me: journalists. “…the remaining function of the office,’ says Stephen Gordon ‘is to be that place that clients know to find you…and that kids and other distractions of home can’t’. This sounds very familiar: I literally moved away from Belgium with this exact same premise of being able to work from everywhere as long as I had a decent Internet connection.
Besides the office re-emerging in the shape of coffee shops, Gordon who is also mentioned by Browning in The Alpine Review, touches on the need for alternative forms of education, especially in the U.S where tuition fees reach outrageous levels. Modern learning and teaching institutions demand an improved working environment that would enhance creativity and the exchange of knowledge: the coffee shop. The matter of fact is that this process is already taking place in our working space and slowly but surely in our universities and educational institutions as well.
It is therefore indisputable that many cafés in the city are appearing and by doing so, bursting with young and upcoming artists, entrepreneurs and tech savvy individuals. Berlin has become the birth of the cool and the resurrection of the creativeness. It is the perfect place for both café owners to start a business (due to its relatively cheap levels of financial investment) and for coffee drinkers to enjoy a drink and get their creativity on. If you are new to the city or have had enough of the well-known Café St. Oberholz where an epidemic of tech and apple-aficionados take over each and every single table on a regular basis. You might want to explore other areas of the city where emerging cafés are popping out and where you will get the space to first: boost that oh-so-precious ingenious mind and second: enjoy a beautifully made cuppa Joe.
On the other hand, If you belong to those who are stuck in a good old office, don’t collapse in despair: Coffitivity will bring you the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop. Yes, the sound of a normal coffee house right at the office! Science has proven that those of us who experience certain levels of noise (like those experienced in a coffee shop) enhance performance on creative tasks. Hard to believe? Read more about it here. So, why on earth should I ever leave home then if I can make decent coffee and listen to coffee house ambient sounds right at home? too much for the ‘Coffeeshopification’ of my own house.
The Caffeinated version of The Best of Berlin
A city is an evolving and ever-changing entity and so is Berlin. Places close and other pop open; areas are left forgotten to later be re-discovered. Somewhere I read that ‘anyone who tells you it was better before hasn’t been here long enough or doesn’t realize that this city is never what it was and will never be what it should’. In the middle of this caffeinated revolution follows my own 'best of' in terms of coffee shops and divided in themes. Enjoy:
The best espresso:
The Barn. You actually taste the berries here. Five Elephant. A bit pricey but very friendly staff and the perfect working spot. Chapter One Coffee purists by excellence. The prices make up for the quality of the drinks and humbleness of the owner.
The best roastery:
The best service and good coffee:
Antipodes. Amazing staff and gorgeous eggs Benedict during weekends. Their facebook profile is brilliant, absolutely brilliant:
Did you know that tomorrow it is: "HOLY-SMOKE-THAT-WAS-A-GREAT-TIME-AT-ANTIPODES DAY!" Held every 12 July and 13 and 14 and 15 and 16 and 17 and so on für immer ...
Best scones and pastries:
Caties Blue Cat To.die.for
Best blends of coffeeshops and other things:
Sing Blackbird You can have a coffee and get a shopping spree of vintage, fancy second hand clothes.
Klötze und Schinken Coffee and Art. Mostly young, emerging and totally wacky artists, but very cool and great coffee.
Best Colombian coffee:
No Fire, No Glory Very comfy couches, friendly staff, the most fruity and delightful Colombian filtered coffee. Right here. The Barn. Yes to Colombian lungo! Macondo Coffee ain't the best, but you will get a full Colombian breakfast for a fiver!
Barretto Forget about your German and learn italian here.
Best Turkish: Simitdchi Fantastic Turkish bakery and café smack in the middle of Kottbusser Tor
Best German bread rolls:
Best juice bar: Funk You Guanábana at your service!
Best short break: Passenger espresso Simply good coffee, gooooood.
Best coffee in the middle of the west: Giro Coffee bar.