How the “King of Coffee” is influencing Berlin’s coffee culture
Hey folks, it’s me again – your favorite French bulldog, CE-woof and creative director, Otto. I have a question to ask you: what the hell do you like about this disgusting, black liquid in those very unpractical and small human bowls? It doesn’t taste well to me, but you humans seem to love that stuff. The other day, I listened to my owner Gregor, how he talked about this so called “third-wave” coffee culture, so I came up with this brief summary for you.
Close to our interior design office in Neukölln, you can see those spaces everywhere. Coffee shops you call them, but I haven’t understood your obsession with them yet. Most of the time, you are not even taking the time to drink the coffee inside the shop. You are taking one of those “to-go” cups that land (hopefully) in the trashcan. The coffee culture has changed over the years, says Gregor. Especially when he compares it with the coffee culture in Prague. He seems to know quite well about this topic. After all, the seventh coffee shop that Gregor designed is going to open soon. You could almost call him the „Coffee King“ of interior design.
“You know, Otto; when I was younger, people really savored a visit at the café. You took your time, met up with your friends, discussed about life among many other things, and the perception of the space was a completely different one. Nowadays, in a very rapid working world, people don’t take the time to actually enjoy the coffee ritual.”
Hm, is the bearded giant right with his assumption? I mean, there are coffee shops with stunning interior design on every corner. Doesn’t that actually mean that the coffee culture is rising again? After all, I have read many things about this „third-wave“ coffee trend and just read recently somewhere that „Kreuzberg is Berlin’s epicenter for coffee culture”. It is told that the coffee that we drink today is “better, more creative and individual” to the coffee the previous generation drank. Coffee enthusiasts speak about the coffee bean like they would talk about good wine and everybody owns a espresso cooker nowadays. So what is it about this assumption that Berlins coffee culture has changed dramatically?
“The definition and function of a coffee shop has changed nowadays, in my opinion. On the one hand, you have people that are still meeting their friends in cafés the way people used to traditionally. But their perception still has changed. It’s more about the experience they feel inside the café. It’s really all about taking time and experiencing a piece of peace whilst having a coffee – especially in our hectic society. Therefore, it is essential to stun them with great interior design. They need to feel comfortable and welcomed. It’s not enough any longer, to set up some fancy chairs and tables. You have to transform the space into an oasis, where one would like to spend in all day and forgets the outer world for a little bit.
Secondly, I can see a new coffee culture rising – one that came with the possibility of location-independent working. Those creatives are transforming the coffee shop we know and give it a new function; a co-working space. Many cafés have become the networking hotspot of modern working culture that attracts a dynamic and creative clientele – and they all love to drink good coffee whilst being surrounded by great interior design.”
Seems like mister hipster has a point. A good café needs to take over many new functions. It has become a space that is more then just a place to get some disgusting black liquid. It needs to be a multifunctional space and especially one people experience different to its previous meaning. Filiz from Café Caramel described it pretty well in an interview – you should read it. But also the Estate Coffee and Blueberry Coffee received a multifunctional space that combines traditional with modern coffee culture. One could almost say that my owner really put a trademark on the face of Berlin’s coffee culture and its interior design.
“It is important to me that I feel good when I enter a café – especially knowing I will spend some hours inside here. I need comfortable seats, some wood for the walls to give me a feel of nature and some nice accessories that make me want to daydream, before I sit back at the computer. The longer I spend in a café, the more profit I generate for the owner we know that. This is why the café’s interior design needs to blow me away.”
I think it is quite impressive to know, how much we contributed to the face of Berlin’s coffee culture. With 12 oz. and Windback Coffee there are two more spaces we created that contribute to a modern, creative exchange. Even though we have become the “Coffee Kings” of interior design, there is still no way in hell I would drink this disgusting black stuff. Yuck!
But you should take your favorite coffee lover with to the next closest café – and you’d better take some time with you! It’s much nicer and environmental friendly anyway, than to walk around with this stupid “to-go”-crap. I’m off to Hasenheide.
Yours Otto, von Berlin.
Photos: Fizz foto:graphy