I got a big kick out of the post I wrote on The Barn because so many of you left comments. I like when this blog generates a dialogue and I get a chance to exchange thoughts directly with some of you.
When I first came to Berlin in 2009. The only place you could get a flat white was Bonanza Coffee. Like The Barn today, they did away with any modesty and strutted around like they had invented coffee. I remember being shamed when I asked for a decaf and I haven’t been back in 3 years.It’s a very different landscape in Berlin these days. There are plenty of great coffee places around. They get coffee. They have a slick machine. Square Mile or Monmouth beans. The baristas with the trendy hair cuts that waffle on to each other about the beans and the tiny nuances they are detecting. And they are nice to you. You don’t have to fiddle nervously at the bar, wondering if you are going to get the lingo right? If they can smell the instant coffee you had 3 days ago when you were absolutely dying for some caffeine and your grinder was on the fritz (Really? You have a grinder? You’re such a coffee nerd.)
And it’s nice to have options. You can go to the divas, where everyone (including the boys) seem to be crossing their legs too tight (a direct result of all that coffee and no loos) or you can go someplace like Katie’s Blue Cat, Oslo, No Fire No Glory or more recently Westberlin. Incongruous amongst Checkpoint Charlie’s tatty tourist spots. Westberlin with its huddles of mismatched chairs, each bunch like a cast for a new Sex in the City, different yet somehow belonging together.
“Oh!” She exclaimed happily as she walked over and picked up a magazine. “Look!” she opened it to an article she had written.
We had a slice of delicious nutty chocolate cake and a wedge of Linzer torte to go along with our superlative cups of coffee, easy on the attitude.