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BREWING IN IMPECCABLE STYLE: COMPANION TEA AND COFFEE

BREWING IN IMPECCABLE STYLE: COMPANION TEA AND COFFEE

In 2013, Chris Onton and Shawn Barber took over Voo Store’s corner café space and turned it into a plant-filled oasis named Companion Coffee. Now, with the opening of their new café in Weserkiez, they’re striving to further expand the tea side of their business, applying the same ethical approach they take to sourcing high-quality specialty coffee: seeking out all that’s exceptional and working directly with small producers from around the globe. Alongside beautiful tea-stained wooden booths, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a gleaming La Marzocco Linea, a small curtain pulls back to reveal a tea room designed to host tea and coffee tastings. Starting this winter, the companionable team will experiment in the kitchen with a small seasonal menu of simple bites, but for now, you can enjoy a pastry from Mitte’s Black Isle Bakery or a grilled cheese sandwich alongside an exemplary cup of coffee or tea. And, just this Friday and Saturday (12.-13.10.2018), also Nasi Lemak, Malaysian curry puffs and homemade desserts at the Ma-Makan pop-up #5. (Text: Devan Grimsrud / Photos: Luke Marshall Johnson)

Companion Tea and Coffee, Weserstr.166, 12045 Berlin-Neukölln; map

Mon–Fri 8-18h, Sat–Sun 10-18h

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LAURA BOX RECOMMENDS: HOME COFFEE & FOOD

LAURA BOX RECOMMENDS: HOME COFFEE & FOOD

Bathed in sunlight, Home Coffee & Food may be one of the brightest additions to Berlin’s growing specialty coffee scene in recent years. Established by New Zealand native Sarah Flanagan, the sunlit café on Jonasstraße is known for its friendly neighborhood feel. Inside, lush plants accent the polished concrete floors and high white walls, and a variety of freshly baked treats and cakes sit temptingly along the counter. The coffee is the true star though, with Home rotating a variety of international coffee beans, such as Entre Rios beans from Costa Rica, supplied by Barcelona’s Nomad Coffee, and Gatare beans from Rwanda, supplied by Bratislava’s Goriffee. The menu matches the refinement of the coffee selection, with a small, seasonal brunch menu of beautifully presented items. The majority of the menu is made up from local, ethically sourced ingredients, with a focus on zero wastage and minimal environmental impact. “Home”-made batches of marmalades, cakes, and fermented vegetables are for sale, and their kimchi makes a welcome appearance on the menu. Through the meticulous presentation and care that goes into each coffee and meal, it is clear that Sarah Flanagan and her staff share a great love for the space, and this effortless warmth is imparted on each customer who visits. (Text: Laura Box / Photos: Laura Box, c/o Home Coffee & Food)

Home Coffee & Food, Jonasstr.23, 12053 Berlin-Neukölln; map
Mon-Fri 9-18h, Sat-Sun 10-18h

Laura Box is a Neukölln resident who recently relocated from Sydney, Australia. A freelance writer and content creator, she is interested in great coffee, art, and design.

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PAHR: DINE IN A BRUTALIST OASIS AT WEDDING’S NEW LOBE BLOCK

PAHR: DINE IN A BRUTALIST OASIS AT WEDDING’S NEW LOBE BLOCK

There’s been a bit of a buzz around Wedding since the opening of Arno Brandlhuber’s mixed-use Lobe Block — a staggered concrete building in a quiet corner of Humboldthain that’s home to ateliers, studios, agencies, and apartments. Its resident restaurant and “platform for creative experiences” is Pahr, founded by Jessica-Joyce Sidon and Caecilia Baldszus (who trained in the kitchen at Forsthaus Strelitz), and currently serving a simple, vegetable-focussed lunch menu and all-day coffee during the week. Think Albatross sourdough with housemade Obatzda, Zwetschge plums, coriander and chili, carrot galette with melon and za’atar, or a pumpkin bowl with spinach, radicchio, dukkah, and tahini. Many elements here support local: Coffee beans come from the nearby Coffee Circle, The light-flooded interior is filled with sleek tables by Tatkraft in Reinickendorf, and two large-scale artworks by Peter Klare, whose studios are located in the Uferhallen, adorn the towering walls. The French word “par” (“by”) as in “par excellence” inspired this establishment’s name, and if its first two weeks of service is anything to go by, we’re looking forward to watching it grow — with dinner service, workshops, and a whole lot more to come. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Pahr, Böttgerstr.16, 13357 Berlin-Wedding; map

Mon-Fri 9-17h, follow on Instagram for updates.

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A NEW SPECIALTY COFFEE OASIS: % ARABICA COMES TO KREUZBERG

A NEW SPECIALTY COFFEE OASIS: % ARABICA COMES TO KREUZBERG

It’s all too easy to walk right past % Arabica: There’s no advertising, no sign, not even a logo to draw attention to the beautiful new café that is tucked away in a Kreuzberg courtyard. A lack of customers is not something this place needs to worry about, however, as the company — originally from Japan — has built up an international reputation for serving an excellent cup of coffee. Founded in 2013 by Kenneth Shoji, % Arabica follows the third wave coffee movement, prioritising quality, taste and fair production conditions. This concept also applies to their small yet fine selection of food. Toasted banana bread with rhubarb compote or crispy granola with homemade yoghurt go great with an Americano, an espresso or a matcha latte. The next time you’re strolling down Reichenberger Straße and pass by number 36, take a peek into the courtyard — your curiosity will be rewarded. (Text: Lisa Staub / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

% Arabica, Reichenberger Str.36, 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map
Mon-Fri 8-18h, Sat-Sun 10-18h

P.S. Ahead of the Berlin Coffee Festival, % Arabica is organizing an espresso martini party on 30.8.2018 (19-21h), including a Ninety Plus Coffee tasting. RSVP by 28.8.2018.

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CHIPI CHIPI BOMBÓN — THE SWEET TASTE OF ARGENTINA VIA ITALY

CHIPI CHIPI BOMBÓN — THE SWEET TASTE OF ARGENTINA VIA ITALY

Andrés Bezem hails from Argentina, a country famous for its fantastic steaks. Yet according to Andrés, a little-known fact about his home country is that the Italian cuisine there is superb, too. His homemade gelato, at least, is so good it makes you melt. Andrés only uses the highest quality ingredients, which is what they all say, but in this case, Chipi Chipi Bombón doesn’t always have every flavors in stock: a good sign indeed. Today, for example, pistachio and coffee are out. Not to worry — you can choose from the vegan sorbets, for example, such as lemon or pineapple-parsley. Fortunately for me, they do still have baked sweet potato and zabaglione, made from the Sicilian fortified wine Marsala. Some varieties can be enhanced with pieces of Swiss chocolate to add some bite. For those who can’t make up their mind, a sampler cup with six miniature scoops is on the menu. And if that’s not service enough, they even deliver your order of ice cream straight to your door upon request. (Text: Eva Biringer / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Chipi Chipi Bombón, Warschauer Str.12, 10243 Berlin-Friedrichshain; map

Mon-Thu 14-23h, Sat-Sun 14-24h

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