// Overseas travel blog
So, here goes.
In putting together a list of my favourites, my general considerations for what makes a great coffee shop are, in a very particular order:
1. Bonanza Coffee, Oderberger Straße
Hands down, these guys make the best iced flat white in the city. After having ordered one on several occasions on different days, I can assure you that they are consistent, creamy and delicious. The staff are friendly and well-informed, and they won’t hesitate to make recommendations or tell you that, while you think you want an iced Americano, what you should be ordering is their iced filter coffee which will deliver a more rounded flavour when served cold.
Bonanza also holds free cupping sessions on Saturdays (although I unfortunately didn’t get to attend one), and has ample outdoor seating if you’re in need of some sunshine.
2. Hermann Eicke
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior and very central location, located right near the Bernauer Straße U-Bahn station – Hermann Eicke delivers on-point coffee. As soon as you poke your head inside the joint, I guarantee you’ll want to spend the whole day there.
The décor is a minimalist’s delight, and there’s plenty of room for working, brunching with friends, or just watching the Berlin hipsters go about their important phone business. They play low-key techno on weekends and it’s a perfect spot for people watching. And if you’re not already convinced, the brunch menu is not only delicious, but super cheap.
3. Oslo Kaffebar
Oslo is a bit of a favourite with travellers and expats, and the baristas here tend to speak better English than they do German. So while it may not be the most authentically ‘Berlin’ experience, they do make great coffee and have a decent selection of baked goods.
The café is definitely angled at the freelance crowd, so if you’re after somewhere reasonably quiet with speedy Wi-Fi, it’s a good place to take the laptop and settle in for the day.
A word of warning: I almost threw my coffee over my head as I picked up the cup, because although it looked like brown ceramic, the crockery here is made from extra light-weight, recycled coffee grounds. So go easy on the lifting!
4. Five Elephant, Mitte
The smaller of the two Five Elephant is conveniently located on Alte Schönhauser Straße in Mitte. It’s in the perfect area to either duck in on a quick break from work, or stop by during a shopping outing in the area. The space is pretty tiny, so this keeps the antisocial laptop crowd at bay and keeps the line moving quickly.
The Five Elephant crew source and roast their own beans, and are committed to ethical and sustainable practice, which is a big plus; but most importantly they make great coffee. I’m due to check out the Kreuzberg roastery next time I’m in Berlin.
5. Rösterei Kaffeekirsche
Wall of greenery inside: check. Indoor and outdoor space: check. Great coffee: check. This one ticks all the boxes. I started with an Americano, and finished with an espresso. Both were delicious, and served by attentive staff. There are also several other decent coffee options within a tight radius here, so it’d be the perfect place to start a weekend coffee crawl, if you’re up for it.
Although I certainly acquainted myself with more than five coffee shops during my last month in Berlin, these places have stayed in the forefront of my mind as the most memorable.