Did you know that you can familiarize yourself with Japanese tea and tea culture without stepping foot outside of Berlin? Meet Macha-Macha, a café and shop for all things Japanese tea that has been occupying a small, pleasant space across from Volkspark Hasenheide since 2014. Inside, you’ll be met with over 25 exquisite teas and a fantastic house-made matcha cheesecake that tops our list as the best in Berlin. Owner Erik and Japanese tea instructor Yumi work directly with tea farms in Japan to ensure the products they buy and serve are of the utmost quality, plus they often host tea tastings, ceremonies (experience a Samurai Style Tea Ceremony this Sunday, 24.9.17), and other events to introduce Japanese tea culture to curious minds. Sit in the front room and watch the tea making process or request a seat in the back where one shoeless step across the threshold will transport you to a Japanese chashitsu (tea ceremony room) where you can relax in the zen atmosphere and enjoy your tea, and cake, in peace. (Text & Photos: Devan Grimsrud)
The latest doors to open on Mitte’s Linienstraße give way not to a gallery, but to a bakery that fits the contemporary art vibes of the neighborhood. Coming to Berlin by way of London, owner and baker Ruth Barry left her career in contemporary art publishing and started Black Isle Bakery in 2012 — naming it after the peninsula in the Scottish Highlands where she grew up. Over the past few years you may have tasted some of her cakes at cafés like Isla Coffee and Companion Coffee, but Barry always wanted to open her own shop. And that’s exactly what she’s just accomplished. The sleek gallery-like space features custom steel furniture finished with copper, silver and gold, allowing the bakery to literally shine. You’ll find classic sweet favorites like rich chocolate brownies sprinkled with flaky sea salt and Florentine cookies, but it’s the savory goods that will keep us coming back — from plump mushroom buns tinged with tarragon to eye-catching tomato short crust galettes. Expect the counter to change often, as Barry pays mind to both origin and season of her ingredients, making each baked treasure by hand in the open kitchen that she long dreamed of, and brought to life. (Text & Photos: Devan Grimsrud)
Teehaus im Englischen Garten is featured in our Cee Cee No.2 Book, which is available for purchase here.
In the middle of the Englischen Garten, which is located on the northwestern edge of the Tiergarten, sits a tea house. The location itself indicates that this is a secret place waiting to be discovered. As the name already implies, it offers a fine selection of teas, which you might miss sometimes in a coffee-centered city like Berlin nowadays. As with many other Berlin landmarks, there’s also history alive in the Teehaus: since May 1952 the guest house and the garden have been open to the public, thanks to the initiative of the Commandant of the British occupation zone. Like so much else in Berlin, Tiergarten did not escape the effects of the war — only 700 of the 200,000 trees that covered the park survived. As a gesture of friendship, the British donated more than 5,000 trees. Built on the foundations of the actor Gustaf Gründgens’ home, the Teehaus offers exactly what you’d expect from a day trip in Berlin: a mixture of tradition and curiosity. (Text: Vladimir Karaleev / Photos: Daniel Farò)
From Friedrichshain to Schöneberg, Bulgarian fashion designer Vladimir Karaleev has lived in most corners of this city. He’s been drawn to the busy streets of Berlin since 2001 – and founded his eponymous fashion label in 2010.
I love Scandinavia. Maybe that’s why I keep coming back to LuLa am Markt in Friedenau. Although its menu can’t be attributed specifically to Denmark or Sweden — or any other specific nationality, really — everything about the place reminds me of Scandinavia. Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon rolls. Or the simple but cozy and bright decor. In the morning, there’s delicious breakfast to suit all tastes, from golden porridge to avocado bagels. For lunch and dinner, there’s pizza and salad, but also small plates like the hummus. LuLa’s house-baked cakes are not only delicious, but are also served in generous portions. Speaking of homemade, almost everything is produced on-site: from plentiful variations on sourdough and sweet preserves to pickled vegetables. “Think global, act local” is the mantra that owners Sarah and Robert Sever follow in everything they do — like listing their suppliers on their website. It’s hard to get more hyperlocal than their fruit and vegetables, which are delivered three times weekly from the Breslauer Platz Wochenmarkt the café looks out over. Market days, by the way, are my favourite time to visit LuLa. Depending on the weather, you can stretch out in the sunshine with a homemade lemonade on the terrace, or sip on a hot tea, all wrapped up in a blanket, and watch the hustle and bustle of market day action play out in the square. If it weren’t for the “Berliner Schnauze” of the stallholders, you might just feel like you were in hygge-filled Nørrebro… (Text: Vanessa Bujak / Photos: LuLa am Markt)
Vanessa Bujak is Marketing Manager at Berlin bag label Loqi. Since 2014, she’s had a permanent base in Berlin, in Rome, Bologna and Düsseldorf. Friedenau is now the neighbourhood she fondly calls home.
A vegetarian-vegan-Afro-Italian café in Prenzlauer Berg? You better believe it! For just over one year, Atayacaffe has been serving the underserved kiez just north of the Prenzlauer Allee S Bahn station. After just one bite of their “African Bowl” — a generous serving of couscous served with two vegetable stews that taste of tradition and love — we knew we had to spread the word. From traditional Italian pasta dishes — think lasagna or ravioli — to Senegalese specialties like yassa “Dakar”, savory vegetables in a light, tangy mustard sauce, plus refreshing hibiscus iced teas and freshly made smoothies, Atayacaffe is a colorful and homey place owned by husband and wife team, Elisabetta and Bachir. Dishes representing both of their childhoods appear on the menu, and ingredients from Senegal and Sardinia are used to recreate the taste of home. Any way you slice it, this is a hidden gem not just for vegans and vegetarians, but anyone who values quality food, made fresh, with love. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photo: Matteo Avanzi (top right), Devan Grimsrud)