Imagine a feeling that encompasses coziness and warmth, but with an added sense of belonging and inner peace—that’s Gemütlichkeit, just one of many non-translatable German words (yes, we’re capitalizing the nouns like real Germans). There are many ways to achieve Gemütlichkeit: a comfy evening on the couch, a lazy afternoon spent cooking with friends, or a weekend getaway somewhere quiet. But the best example is “Kaffee und Kuchen“—literally, coffee and cake. It’s a ritual that’s all about gathering with family or friends on a leisurely afternoon for a chat over, well, coffee and cake. The secret ingredient, though? Losing track of time. Think of it as Germany‘s answer to Swedish fika or English afternoon tea.
In Germany, the habit of meeting over coffee and something sweet was first established in the late 17th century. Once coffee became more accessible, beyond the country’s elite, in the 19th century, Kaffee und Kuchen became a fixture for those seeking a little break from the everyday grind. The German pastime is practiced all over the country, but it’s perhaps best put to use in the vibrant capital of Berlin, as a way to slow down. To participate, simply find a friend, arrive on time (this is Germany, after all), and get lost in conversation, caffeine, and cake. Here are five cozy cafés where you can enjoy a short break with the best coffee and baked goods in Berlin—any day of the week.
Step inside ORA and you’ll find yourself surrounded by meticulously picked decor that pays homage to its past as an apothecary (think dark-wood medicine cabinets, high ceilings, and delicate stucco). Add to this some freshly baked goods and you’ve got one of the coziest spots in the city for a coffee break by candlelight. Be sure to try their cinnamon buns.
Oranienpl. 14, 10999 Berlin
Five Elephant is not only well-known for its in-house roasted coffee, but also for its cheesecake, made with a secret recipe. Just around the corner from the lush Landwehr Canal in the Kreuzberg district, the light-filled space invites conversation (no laptops allowed in the front room!). Indulge in one of their many cakes on offer, all rich and delicate at the same time, with that perfect crispy crust.
Reichenberger Str. 101, 10999 Berlin
Black Isle Bakery
What may appear like another sleek concept store in the central neighborhood of Mitte is actually one of the latest additions to Berlin’s café scene, a quiet haven bathed in all white, apart from a smattering of shiny copper accents. Black Isle Bakery (pictured at top) specializes in simple, traditional delights made to perfection. The fine selection includes sweet treats such as a well-balanced lemon cake, Scottish ginger cake, and dark chocolate brownies with sea salt—everything you could hope for to accompany that cup of post-lunch coffee.
Linienstraße 54, 10119 Berlin
Just off the famous airport turned park Tempelhof, Isla is the calm refuge its name suggests: Take a seat at one of the small wooden tables and enjoy a piece of simple (but delightfully moist) pound cake among the jungle of potted plants scattered around. But don’t mistake Isla for just another trendy café in super-cool Neukölln—fully committed to zero waste and sustainability, at Isla, coffee is served in mugs made from composted beans.
Hermannstraße 37, 12049 Berlin
If you’re after that old Berlin charm, look no further: Since 1852, Konditorei Buchwald has specialized in the fine art of Baumkuchen, the German version of traditional spit cake. It can be ordered with or without chocolate coating, as small slices or huge tortes. If that doesn’t charm you, the patterned wallpaper and satin-draped tables reminiscent of another era certainly will.
Bartningallee 29, 10557 Berlin
Powered by WPeMatico
The best entrepreneurs are like a good cup of coffee: fresh, strong, and bold.
Army Green Beret turned coffee brew master, Evan Hafer, is exactly that. As the CEO of Black Rifle Coffee, Hafer says they’re selling freedom, one cup at a time.
It’s a great tagline. You know what else? It’s an incredible business. The company roasts over a million pounds of coffee per year and grosses over $30 million annually. This isn’t a veteran with a hobby; this is a savvy businessman with a passion.
Here’s my 60 second interview with Evan, filmed recently at the White House.
As the CEO of StreetShares, my team and I fund America’s best veteran-owned businesses with veteran business loans and contract or invoice financing. The questions we get asked over and over again are how to break away from the crowd; how to stand out as an entrepreneur. Here’s how:
Lesson 1: Find your passion.
“I fell in love with coffee 20 years ago,” Hafer told me. “I was the only guy who invaded Iraq with a bunch of boutique, small-roasted coffees.” Eventually, he began roasting for his fellow soldiers; they even converted a gun truck into a spot where they could grind coffee every morning.
To be a successful entrepreneur, the first thing you need to do is hone in on your passion. What’s going to make you want to get out of bed every day and hit the pavement until you can’t work anymore? If you’re not passionate about your business, why would anyone else be? Find out what drives you, then figure out how to make money doing it.
Hafer told me, “When I got back from the Middle East, all I wanted to do was roast.” That’s exactly what he did.
Lesson 2: Be clear in your vision.
Hafer knew his passion had potential. He teamed up with some friends at Article15 Clothing and did a test-drive of his Freedom Roast coffee on their site. They sold about 500 pounds of coffee, and it inspired him to launch Black Rifle Coffee in December 2014. “Conceptually, guns and coffee go together very well,” he said. “Every range that I’ve been to, coffee has been part of shooting.” He knew what he wanted to create: A lifestyle brand centered on supporting the 2nd Amendment in conjunction with great coffee. “You’re not going to find that anywhere else,” Hafer added.
Hafer’s time in the Army served him well in transitioning to life as an entrepreneur. “In the military, you have to push yourself past mental and physical limits, every day to the point where you’re almost desensitized to the work,” he explained. “Now I feel like I have an endless capacity to just always work. The military gave me the context to reach into basically a bottomless well of endurance.
Lesson 3: Be fearless.
One of the most important assets veteran entrepreneurs bring to the table that their civilian counterparts don’t always have is perspective. “While serving, you’ve been in the worst places,” Hafer offered. “The worst business you are put in will never compare to the worst experience that war puts you in.”
That realization is ultimately what encourages Hafer to be fearless. He explained, “I’m not going to lose my life or kill anyone. That allows me to fail and fail fast, so I can learn from my mistakes. At the end of the day, I don’t care. It doesn’t harm my ego – I just embrace the failure and move on.”
Any entrepreneur will tell you that failure is a part of the game. How you handle risk and incorporate it into your business model will dictate whether or not you’ll be successful.
Lesson 4: Be you.
Hafer always wanted to roast coffee. Now, he wants to make other people a lot of money doing it. “I’d rather make 100 people millionaires than make $100 million dollars myself,” Hafer shared. “This company is a good opportunity to make money.”
One of Hafer’s first hires was a soldier who served alongside him in Afghanistan. With 86 employees, 60 percent are veterans . That was a big part of Hafer’s vision. “It’s not PR – it’s who we are,” Hafer said. “This company is about freedom. It’s not about social issues. The premise of the company is, ‘You do you.’”
Next time you go to order a latte, think about the lessons you can learn from Evan Hafer. Then order your coffee like a good entrepreneur: fresh, strong, and bold.
Powered by WPeMatico
Dunkin’ Donuts is holding a nationwide tasting session Friday morning for its cold brew coffee—and yes, that means free coffee this morning and lunchtime.
The promotion is live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, giving people a chance to try the coffee, which the chain says is “crafted by hand in small batches, prepared by steeping a special blend of coffee in cold water for 12 hours.”
With that kind of preparation time, it’s no surprise that this is a “while supplies last” kind of promotion.
Cold brew coffee is a trend that’s taken off over the last few years. As opposed to iced coffee, where espresso is cooled with ice and generally mixed with other things like milk and syrup, cold brew coffee uses a whole different brewing process.
The lengthy process supposedly brings out different characteristics of the grounds, compared with traditional hot brewing techniques. Cold brew coffee is supposed to be smoother and less bitter, with more of a floral profile. Due to that lack of bitterness, it’s easier to drink black and sugar-free.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been offering cold brew coffee since August 2016, but with the seasons changing, it’s clearly decided that now is a good time to remind people about it.
Powered by WPeMatico
I love coffee books, I don’t know why. Probably because I’m a sucker for anything coffee-related. If you put coffee in front of anything, I’m probably going to want it. A coffee circular saw? Sure, I can see how that would be a useful additional to my pour-over bar. But you don’t have to be that head over heels for gear to appreciate a nice coffee book, especially one that is primarily photography-based. And Beber Mi Sudor—a new book from Nordic Approach and photographer Jake Green being released tomorrow, April 6th—is just that.
This is the first in a series of books that will “document [Nordic Approach’s] epic journeys with speciality coffee at origin, starting with Colombia.” The name, Beber Mi Sudor, literally translates to “drink my sweat,” a colloquialism “used by Colombian coffee workers to reflect the incredible effort and energy that goes in to producing their crops.”
Along with Green’s photography, the book will include “interviews with farmers, roasters, and our long-time friend Tim Wendelboe, as well as essays on Colombia’s unique environmental conditions, the intricacy of cupping, and Nordic Approach’s philosophy and experience as a green coffee sourcing company.”
To celebrate the release, Nordic Approach is holding a book launch party this Friday at their Oslo headquarters, starting at 7:00pm. But for those unable to attend, the book will be available for purchase via the Nordic Approach website. For more information on the Beber Mi Sudor or the launch party, visit the Beber Mi Sudor Facebook event page. And pick up a copy for you old friend, Zac. You know he likes coffee things.
*top image via Nordic Approach
Powered by WPeMatico
It’s true! The 2018 London Coffee Festival kicks off in just a few short days, bringing with it the sights, sounds, smells and slurps of the world’s premiere consumer coffee event. This is Sprudge Media’s astounding fourth consecutive year attending and covering the event, and we’re thrilled to be back again for a wild whirligig of a good time in the city that never sleeps…er, the city that sleeps after a nice long lunch.
That would be London, global capital of coffee culture (with heaps of great wine). It’s a city that leads the world in cafe cool, and at the center of it all sits the London Coffee Festival. What began in 2011 as a new event is today Europe’s leading coffee festival, drawing exhibitors from across the UK and EU and more than 30,000 attendees annually. It is a hot bed of brand exhibitions and product launches—the work we do covering London Coffee Festival each spring informs content all year long on Sprudge.
An important facet of the fest is its work with Project Waterfall, an international water charity focusing on bringing drinkable water to coffee growing communities. 50% of ticket sales at this year’s festival will be donated to Project Waterfall. This ethical approach to hosting coffee festivals is inspiring and a big part of why we’re proud to continue supporting the London Coffee Festival in 2018.
So what’s on at the fest? Heaps, to put it mildly. There is of course the 4th annual running of the Coffee Masters Tournament at London Coffee Festival. This year’s tournament promises to be the biggest and best yet, drawing an international cadre of top flight competitors to the stage at LCF. Sprudge Media Network has expanded its coverage of the Masters this season to include live content via the Sprudge Live Twitter and web hubs—you’ll be able to follow up to the minute coverage from the event all weekend long, with coverage supported by Cafe Imports, Acaia, Assembly Coffee, Oatly UK, and Faema. Follow Sprudge Live on Twitter and visit our Sprudge Live coverage hub for content all weekend long form London.
The showfloor itself is an enviably deep bench of brand activations, product launches, pop-up bars, and educational opportunities. It’s hard to figure out where to start with the highlights, but we’ll do our best by diving straight in.
- La Marzocco UK’s popular True Artisan Cafe experience is back, featuring an ever-rotating roster of top roasters from across the UK, Europe and beyond. Expect a focus on signature drinks and espresso blends, and stop by throughout the festival—there’s always something new on the bar.
- The Lab is boasting perhaps its most robust collection of speakers in festival history. Across a stunning series of talks and panels you learn from the likes of Tim Wendelboe, BBC Good Food writer Miriam Nice, Richard Corney and Jessie May Peters of Raw Material, home coffee roasting expert Geoff Woodley of Ikawa, Coffee Masters champion James Wise, Curators Coffee co-founder Catherine Seay, and many, many more.
- A lively and surprise-filled exhibitors showfloor featuring pop-up cafes, cuppings, hot new gear, and much, much more.
And that’s just scratching the surface! There’s also epic off-site parties from the likes of Mavam (Thursday), Sprudge Wine (Thursday), and many more events to come. There’s also an epic OATLY takeover at Boxpark from Monday April 9th thru Sunday April 15th, featuring free oat milk lattes, prize drawings, an epic latte art throwdown on Wednesday the 11th, and complimentary “Big Leb-Oat-Ski” (!) cocktails on Friday and Saturday night. If you’re hosting an off-site party or event during London Coffee Festival and would like it listed on Sprudge, please get in contact.
We’ll see you in London at the 2018 London Coffee Festival!
Sprudge Media Network’s coverage of the 2018 London Coffee Festival is supported by Cafe Imports, Acaia, Assembly Coffee, Oatly UK, and Faema.
Photos by James Bryant for London Coffee Festival.
Powered by WPeMatico