Hello darkness my old friend
Coffee is the gasoline to my personal engines. It gets me going in the morning, recharges my batteries throughout the day, and sometimes even helps me to go to bed in the night. Needless to say, that I consume copious amounts of the dark brew. If I’m desperate, I’ll take whatever I can get. However, if you do have a choice, there is no need to limit your gustatory experiences to mediocre drinks from your average bakery. In this week’s episode I shall therefore take you on a journey to my go-to places when it comes to getting my daily caffeine fix.
The trip begins in my own home. My alarm rings early in the morning. Then it rings about 4-5 times again, with me hitting the snooze-button as often as I can afford. When I finally decide to get up, I’ll first of all lurch into the kitchen to fire up my coffee machine, so that when I get out of the shower, there will be a cup of freshly brewed, filtered coffee waiting for me. For years I have been trying out grocery store brands and Melitta Montana has come out as the uncontested winner of my taste buds. Apparently, it is not sold everywhere. I usually get my packs at Edeka in the Neptunhalle mall. Price-wise it ranks among the other high-class brands like Dallmayer or Jacobs at about € 5.99. It has a roasted, almost nutty note to it – a truly tasty brew that does not knock out your taste buds, but brings them a satisfactory engulfing. I’ll then have my cup with a cigarette (preferably in the garden) to get some peace of mind before I head out.
When I finally have made to university, after 2 – 3 courses, I’ll feel the need to refill my batteries. Having many of my courses at or around Universitätsplatz (the busy square in the center of the inner city with the picturesque, reddish, Renaissance-style main building of the University – hence the name) I had enough time to try out all kinds of different spots in the vicinity. Best of them all seems to be “Coffee-bike.” It is, as you may have guessed, a tiny coffee shop mounted on a cargo bicycle. On a sunny weekday you usually find them at the corner of Kröpeliner and Breite Straße. Their coffees are very decent; creamy, rich in flavor, but not too strong. A good fit for someone looking for a literally nice cup.
In the afternoons, if I want to deliberately go for a coffee, or I just happen to come along I’ll head to Ronja espresso. The two cafés at Doberaner Platz and Magarethenplatz, are supplied with a number of different beans and blends, prepared by the boss himself. Ronja’s flagship store on the northern side of Doberaner Platz is a small but busy shop. Its decoration with pink painted walls and lamps and a counter built on top of old furniture elegantly keeps the balance between kitsch and finesse. The seats in the windowsills and the benches made of bottle-crates and boards invite you to enjoy the sun or have a talk with friends. My favorite is a coffee Americano, an espresso-shot thinned with hot water, with a bit of milk in it. For € 2.60 you’ll get a cup of intense flavor. The slightly fruity and sour taste packs quite a punch, so that you get the feeling of finally drinking a coffee with a character. There is a large number of other beans and roasts available, each with their own individual composition. I’ll leave it to the baristas to introduce you to their products, as this would exceed this article and my competences (I’m just a coffee aficionado not a connoisseur.)
A final suggestion is a discovery I just recently made. A friend of mine held her birthday party at Da Joir Ma, a coffee bar where they also roast their own blends. The decor of the store is quite minimalistic and hispter-esque. The contrasts of the white walls, wooden furniture and metallic coffee makers and decorative details create modern and sophisticated urban design. Their Americano (my regular favorite) is not as tangy as Ronja’s. However, it is still a delicious, full-bodied brew. The mild, yet rich coffee smoothly indulges your tongue with a sensation of liquid velvet.
To wrap this up – these are my favorite coffees to drink. There still are a number of places I still need to check out and I encourage you to make your own caffeine-fuelled experiences.