The word ‘coffee’ might not immediately spring to mind when I ask you what Berlin is renowned for. But the city’s young, progressive population loves sustainable and reliably-sourced products. This makes Berlin’s Fairtrade coffee culture both dynamic and delicious.

All of the best cafés in Berlin offer at least a few different house blends, with each claiming to have unlocked the secret to the perfect cup of coffee. Being an extreme coffee fan, I had to go test them all for myself. 

So come along on a caffeine-filled journey as I lead you through the best coffee shops in Berlin. I’ll guide you toward the tastiest brews and teach you the unspoken rules behind drinking an exquisite espresso in Germany’s captivating capital.


Bên Rahim

The intimate, deli-like Ben Rahim is in the central Mitte district. It claims to be the first name in third-wave coffee in Berlin. The coffee shop roasts specifically-chosen arabica beans. They use a range of techniques and equipment to produce their famed drinks. If you feel inspired, you can buy the equipment in-shop.

If asked, the baristas of Ben Rahim will give you an in-depth look behind the cup, at the painstaking process that goes into brewing a masterpiece coffee. This includes a glimpse at the origins of each blend, the flavors behind the bean, and advice on how to brew yourself a great cup of coffee in the future.

Because of their high-end craftsmanship, Ben Rahim has a peculiar set of rules on how to enjoy your drink. Sugar is a big no-no, to avoid marring the taste, and certain drinks like filter coffee and Turkish Ibrik are made exclusively without milk. Consequently, Ben Rahim also sees no need for teaspoons. 

When I visit, I always opt for their praline house blend, served as a refreshing cold brew. The dark chocolate undertones mingle with the nutty essence, and just a hint of berry sweetness graces my tongue, meeting a symphony of aromas that are nothing short of enchanting.

Hours: 8 am to 8 pm daily

Address: Sophienstraße 7A, 10178

Website: Ben Rahim


Photo by: Bex Walton

19grams Schlesi

A hidden gem tucked away in the bustling streets of Kreuzberg, the 19grams Schlesi roastery stands as a testament to the city’s passionate coffee scene. 

Indeed, 19grams is proud to serve ‘bloody good coffee’ made from individually selected high-quality coffee beans that are roasted at hotter temperatures than usual in order to reduce their acidity while enhancing their cherry notes. 

Although the interior is not very large, the rustic café has a few regular and high-top tables dotted around that allow you to enjoy a snack with your drink. So, I found myself a seat and placed my order. 

To help preserve the delicately crafted flavors of the beans, I decided on a simple espresso, the best coffee on offer here. With the cup cradled in my hands, I took a careful sip. The boldness hit me immediately – a robust, fruity flavor profile that was a wake-up call to my taste buds and sleep-deprived brain.

My espresso came with a small brunch. It consisted of charred vine tomatoes with a red bean and chili paste. These were served on a slice of sourdough. I didn’t want anything too sweet as I wanted to preserve the unique palate of my drink. However, the lemon-poppyseed cake was tempting!

Hours: 8 am to 5 pm weekdays, 10 am to 5 pm weekends

Address: Schlesische Str. 38, 10997

Website: 19grams Schlesi