Bitter or sweet? How Berlin specialty coffee roasters stand out and stick together amid a competitive scene

Photo by Caitlin Hardee

Berlin’s specialty coffee scene has grown significantly in the past decade, bringing with it the joys and growing pains of any burgeoning market.

This year’s Berlin Coffee Festival brought some of the big names from the Berlin coffee scene to Markthalle Neun. We spoke to some local baristas and roasters about the struggles of selling a premium product in a country that might still view coffee as a “utilitarian” drink, despite being one of the largest markets of coffee in the world. Former barista Janne Kaas elaborates on her frustrations at consumers balking at a five euro cup, while happily paying the same amount for wine: “It’s just as labor intensive and just as difficult.”