Berlin / Coffee Guides

Ultimate Coffee Lovers Guide to Berlin’s Best Specialty Coffee

Where hipsters go, boutique coffee shops follow. Berlin is a prime example of this neighborhood development flow — it has only been within the last few years that Germany’s capital city offered a decent cup of coffee. But as soon as the third-wave coffee trend began, it became a tsunami. 

A wander around any of Berlin’s trendy neighborhoods like Neukölln, Kreuzberg, and Prenzlauer Berg will reveal a seemingly endless abundance of specialty coffee roasters ranging from Vienna-inspired coffee and kuchen shops to American industrial-chic caffeine purveyors. No matter the time of day, you will find young Berliners sipping espresso, cold brew or syphon-dripped coffee and you should join them — coffee culture is one of the best things to do while traveling in Berlin!

Ultimate Coffee Lovers Guide to Berlin’s Best Specialty Coffee

Greens Coffee Shop

Germans have a soft spot for houseplants, and you will see an abundance of home garden shops in nearly every city in Germany. Why not combine that with stylish cafe culture? Greens certainly did! Filled from floor to ceiling with beautiful house plants, this botanic sanctuary designed by a well-known landscape architecture also happens to be an awesome coffee shop serving up one of the best lattes in the city. If you are in need of a caffeine pick-me-up and boost of nature energy while exploring Museum island, the Greens is the most Instagrammable coffee shop in the area! 

Barn Roastery

Another one of the long established coffee purveyors in Berlin is Barn whose initial goal when opening in 2010 was to establish a strong coffee culture in Berlin. Fast forward to 2018 when they were awarded the best independent coffee shop in Europe, it is clear that Barn is a must-visit Instagrammable cafe in Berlin! They have several locations brewing up some of the best espresso in the city — I went to the Alexanderplatz location. The staff here are really serious about coffee, and you can only order drinks the ‘best way it is prepared’ and you will not find cream or sugar to add.

Bonanza Coffee

One of the OG third wave coffee providers in Berlin is Bonanza, which has established itself a cult-like following of locals dedicated to their fruity flavored beans. The original industrial-chic location is located in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, while the newer location is in Kreuzberg. Regardless of which shop you go to, you’ll be created by friendly staff ready to educate you about Bonanza’s retro-innovation techniques of coffee making. You’ll find any kind of coffee drink — espresso, flat white, cortado — that you desire here and you can be sure it will be delicious. 

Distrikt 

For the best espresso in Mitte, head to the locally beloved Distrikt. The slightly out of the way location ensures that the cafe isn’t catering to tourists or business people. You’ll find lots of locals working or catching up with friends here. The espresso beans come courtesy of Berlin’s Fjord Coffee Roasters. I thought the espresso here was practically perfect, with a strong yet masterful roast and beautiful oily top layer, all served in elegant porcelain cups.

19grams

A long-standing brand on Berlin’s specialty coffee scene is 19grams. They have been around since 2002 and haven’t missed a beat in two decades. All their coffees are made with house-roasted single-origin beans. Different beans are featured throughout the year, each seemingly better than the last. There are a few locations around Berlin, including the flagship roastery and coffee lab near Alexanderplatz.

Companion Coffee Shop

Tucked inside a simple courtyard in Kreuzberg, Companion Coffee dished out my favorite espresso in Berlin. The smooth texture and balanced notes of their expertly roasted beans kept me coming back day after day! This place feels quintessentially ‘Berlin’ with its grey concrete tables and hipster-chic staff. Plus you can walk away with some on-trend high end fashion digs from the attached Voo Store boutique.

Exclusive Coffee

Now I usually don’t recommend coffee shops or restaurants inside hotels, but Exclusive Coffee inside Locke Hotel is an exception. Their riverside cafe is GORGEOUS with an airy aesthetic, cozy seating and lots of natural light. It is the perfect place to stop for a pick-me-up after browsing the East Side Gallery. Plus, the espresso is lovely! 

5 Elephant 

Helping to pioneer the third-wave coffee trend in Berlin, Five Elephant is a rite of passage for Berlin coffee lovers. This place has a practically cult following. Personally, I thought the coffee was great but the vibes were snobbish and unwelcoming. That said, I loved the aesthetic of vintage maps sprawled across the white walls and vintage crown modeling around the cafe. Beans originate in Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, and Colombia. They’ve got a nice selection of cake if you are peckish! 

Coffee Drink Your Monkey

Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to work or a casual spot to catch up with friends, Coffee Drink Your Monkey is an ideal option on Berlin’s west side. This charming café offers specialty coffee drinks made with high-quality beans sourced from some of the best roasters in the world. In addition to coffee, they also offer a variety of pastries and sandwiches to satisfy your hunger. On a sunny day, try to snag a spot on their spacious patio overlooking Savignyplatz.

Calm Coffee Shop

Sandwiched between hip restaurants and shops on Wühlischstraße in Friedrichshain is where you’ll find one of the most Instagrammable coffee shops in Berlin — Calm Coffee. The high contrast white walls and black countertops at this plant filled coffee shop create a cozy and on-trend atmosphere to accompany their tasty coffee menu.  

This post was originally published in October 2021, and updated in January 2024 after a return visit to Berlin.

Have thoughts or questions about this Berlin coffee guide? Tell me in the comments!

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