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COZYMAZU — THE DELECTABLE TASTE OF TAIWAN IN WEDDING

COZYMAZU — THE DELECTABLE TASTE OF TAIWAN IN WEDDING

In an unassuming corner of Sprengelkiez lies the best-kept secret of this city’s tiny Taiwanese food scene. The light-flooded, incense-laced interior of Cozymazu — filled with latticed wood lanterns, traditional Taiwanese art and wicker chairs — invites you to escape into an inspired sensory experience. In designing her restaurant’s concept, owner and chef, Wei-En Chan drew upon her nostalgia for the diversity of Taiwanese food culture and her grandparents’ cooking — from scratch, organic, MSG-free. The resulting (veggie- and vegan-friendly) menu reinterprets Taiwanese street food and other classics. Like taro tapioca dumplings served with roasted shiitake mushrooms, coriander, crispy onions and a dark vinegar-garlic glaze. Or the recent addition of hearty bowls like the “Cha Pao Fan”: steamed rice in broth with matcha, salmon filet, edamame and lotus root. Come by on a weekend morning for brunch, accompanied by a variety of fine Oolong and other teas, served in a tiny set. Highlights of the set menu option include the homemade peanut milk, spiced tea eggs and hot steamed raw sugar cake. No detail goes unnoticed in the dishes’ preparation and presentation. As far as culinary ambassadors go, Wei-En is doing her homeland more than proud. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Mina Aichhorn)

Cozymazu, Sprengelstr.39, 13353 Berlin-Wedding; map

Tue-Fri 12-22h, Sat-Sun 10-22h

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21GRAMM — NOURISHING ALL-DAY DINING IN SOULFUL SURROUNDINGS

21GRAMM — NOURISHING ALL-DAY DINING IN SOULFUL SURROUNDINGS

A cemetery perhaps isn’t where you’d expect to find a bustling, cozy eatery. Yet from morning coffee to a nightcap, 21gramm is here to satiate your thirst and hunger throughout the day — pulling off each menu at a consistency that’s rarely seen at its all-day-dining counterparts. We visited one evening in early autumn, and were torn between taking a seat in the charming brick courtyard — complete with string lights and blankets — or in the vaulted interior, which owners and friends Jeremias, Daniel and Tilmann painstakingly renovated, choosing to leave a few gothic-lettered passages of scripture on the walls in honor of the building’s original purpose as a chapel. Whenever you visit, it’s all about the platter here — think creative twists on the classic cheese and meat boards for brunch. From 18-22h, a simple evening menu turns an after-work glass of wine into dinner: Our salad with flambéed goat’s cheese and caramelized walnuts was full of flavor and paired perfectly with a glass of Jülg 2017 Grauburgunder. Oh, and the name? Yes, it references the alleged weight of the soul. (Text: Anna Dorothea Ker / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

21gramm, Hermannstr.179, 12049 Berlin-Neukölln; map
Mon-Fri 8-24h, Sat-Sun 10-24h

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TITO FRITZI RECOMMENDS: TEA·SALON·IKI

TITO FRITZI RECOMMENDS: TEA·SALON·IKI

Coffee, coffee, coffee. First, second, third wave. Stop it already. Coffee is overrated. If I meet people for a coffee, the cup is empty two minutes later. Should I then have to go straight back for a second one, or what? The whole “let’s go for coffee” thing is nothing more than an excuse to blab on at agency interns anyway. Even worse are these digital nomads, who spend the whole day sipping a large cappuccino. I’m much fonder tearooms in general, and especially Tee·Salon·Iki. Alright, word games should remain the domain of hairdressers only. In every other regard, this place comes absolutely recommended. In a nutshell: Tea expertise, including extensive consultations on request, and a wide selection of healthy tea ingredients and herbs. This salon is understated and anything but pretentious. The staff are sensationally friendly and extremely well-versed in what helps when against what (mostly tea from the Macedonia region). The house recommendation is Greek mountain tea, which helps to prevent Alzheimer’s, ADHD and other degenerative disorders. The best thing about tea, however, is that it can be replenished with water almost as often as you want (as the frugal laptop cohort knows well.) (Text: Tito Fritzi / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)

Tee·Salon·Iki, Böckhstr.50, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Tue-Sun 11-19h

Tito Fritzi edits the weekly newsletter Dingsi-Dongsi, a source for all things interesting and entertaining. He lives right next to the tearoom, and that’s worth its weight in gold.

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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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