2 Jul 2011

Birch Coffee

I'm starting to lose the will to live writing all these but I will persevere, partly due to boredom and partly due to the aforementioned masochism. Also I am avoiding doing school work which is an excellent precedent to set myself considering I start a PhD in October. WELP.

Ok so I did spend one of my days going to 4 different places. I walked from Chinatown to 36th St and Park Avenue. If you don't know Manhattan, that's a pretty long way and you should be impressed. I sweated a lot. Was it worth it? I dunno, probably? What do you want from me, coherence? Good luck with that.

to your left: soy latte and my awful fake Raybans

Birch is reaaaally nice. It's midtown, not an area I ever usually spend time in for obvious reasons so unless you're in that part of town for a particular reason I can't REALLY say it's worth going up for as there are a lot of equally good shops down south. It's decorated pretty cool, the people that work there are friendly, there's free wifi and it's got quite a good atmosphere if you're into that.

By that point in the day I had drunk 5 cups of strong coffee and was feeling pretty awesome aka fucked up, closest I get to a high now I'm nailed to the X, I know some people aren't down with caffeine but basically fuck you, why do you hate fun? I sure don't (barefaced lie, I do hate fun).

to your right: romantic iced coffee. closest I get to romance... sob sob (jk I hate that Hallmark bullshit)

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street has 3 locations in Manhattan - Chelsea Market, Alphabet City and Tompkins Square. The latter is the one that myself and my friend Tori visited. Tori is like my soul sister (in a white girl way) as she hates everything as much as I do and finds dealing with people and life on a day to day basis generally more trouble than it's worth. We found ourselves in Soho, on a Saturday when it was 90 degrees out and there were parades for some weird celebratory bullshit. It was awful and nearly gave us both aneurisms so luckily Ninth Street came to our rescue.
It's a really small shop, more of a bar to be honest, there is seating but it's minimal so don't expect to linger unless you hit it during a quiet time. I liked the interior though, it was very simple with no weird kitschy bullshit adorning the walls. No frills - just how I like coffee (see what I did there, nice tie-in, my education is paying off!).

Tori recommended that I have an americano as they were very good in her experience, and she wasn't wrong. Despite the heat outside (NY in the summer is kind of a shitstorm) I could totally cope with it and it's nice taking your time with a drink - lattes go cold a lot more quickly.

Afterwards we actually spent 3 hours looking for a tie for her boyfriend to wear to a mutual friend's wedding. Why. Why put ourselves through it? Female solidarity and a slight tendency for masochism.

El Beit

Also in W'Burg is El Beit. It's right in the shit, Bedford and 9th pretty much next door to Vinnie's Pizza (purveyor of fine vegan slices, italian ice and the infamous T.Hanks). The app on my iphone rated it very highly so obviously it was top of my list of places to visit. From first look it appears tiny but there's a lot of space to sit out back, where your people watching opportunities remain - lest you forget you are in Williamsburg, the customers are just as entertaining in appearance compared to outside.

Again, I went back a few times to try different drinks. Though I was greeted with consistently rude service (though better than Cafe Pedlar) I was also rewarded with consistently good coffee. They also do a lot of weird ice tea for all you bullshit ice tea drinkers.

My main compliment for El Beit is that their lattes are very strong - sometimes with coffee in the US I have found that the special barista's soymilk overpowers the espresso a little, but here that isn't a problem.

Even better is that it's right opposite the stoop! Lolol.

Blue Bottle

I first experienced Blue Bottle when I was in Brooklyn with Raw Nerve for a show back in October 2010. A friend took a few of us there when she heard how into coffee we were. It's on Berry and 3rd (I think) and has a big glass front, pretty snazzy innit. Inside it is very minimalist and kinda like a space ship (if space ships had an espresso bar... in my dreams they do and are flown by cats).

The shop is also a roastery, supplying beans directly to the coffee bar. And I mean directly - they probably walk like 10 feet and pass it to the barista. NOW THAT'S FRESHNESS YOU CAN'T BEAT. It's pretty cool to watch the roastery at work, you don't often get to see 'behind the scenes' and all the machinery is the real deal top notch fancy ass bullshit.

Unsurprisingly, the coffee is excellent. I went a few times as visiting Williamsburg is awful unless you can make your trip worthwhile in some way. Latte - great. Cold brew - GREAT. So great. Would drink forever and die of a heart attack as it's really strong.

The company is actually based out in Oakland and has shops there as well as San Francisco. 

BB is definitely worth a trip, not for the coffee alone but the aesthetic experience of seeing the beans being roasted and ground as well as watching your drink being prepared - the V60s are all lined up by the cash register so you can observe the unique brewing process. Do it, brave Bedford Ave, it may be torture but it's character building (right?)

Gimme Coffee

I can't think of this place without immediately thinking of this:

P - I - Z - Z - A

so in my head I would sing GIMME COFFEE. C - O - F - F - E (doesn't quite fit, frustrating)

I only visited the place on Lorimer, apparently there are one or two other locations, I imagine they're all pretty similar. To be honest, when in the area I'd rather go to Second Stop on Ainslie but it's really popular and very busy. The place was dead when I went in which was cool cuz I HaTe PeOpLe and wanted to listen to Slipknot in private (jk about the last part...or the first...you decide). The baristas were really nice and the coffee was pretty good except there was a LOT of it. It was like a little bucket.

I had excellent company in the shape of Adam Whites, who co-runs this wonderful and famous blog as well as an excellent label . The one black mark against him is that he doesn't drink coffee (pussy) oh and also thinks ramen is a food group but I can forgive you for that Adam because I know you're incompetent.

Cafe Pedlar

In keeping with the theme of Park Slope, here's the other place I went to after buying cheap tempeh and 6 for $5 Clif bars (btw they are not food, they are candy, stop kidding yourself) at TJ's.

Cafe Pedlar brews with Stumptown which is always a tick in the 'awesome' box and the coffee was very good.

There are, however, no more ticks in that box.

I experienced the absolute worst service here than anywhere I have ever been. Not just coffee shops - anywhere. When I approach someone who is gonna provide a service for me, I am friendly and polite because I work in the service industry and I know what a difference it makes to your day. When I asked for a soy latte I recieved no acknowledgement, the barista merely moved to the espresso machine and started making my drink. He barely held eye contact with me as I made my order. The coffee was then placed in front of me and I was then stared at. I passed over $5 and $1 was pushed across the counter towards me. No 'hello', no 'thanks', not even a fucking 'ok bitch here's your goddamn drink'

A massive personal gripe of mine is when customers thrust money towards me, tip it out on the counter or just leave it in front of me instead of simply putting it in my hand. Yo, don't be a dick, yeah? I am a human being. So experiencing this as a customer was kind of a bummer. It actually made me pretty mad. FUCK YOU ASSHOLE I HOPE YOU HATE YOUR LIFE.

Gorilla Coffee

I finally made it to New York, much to my relief. There's an app available for iphones (and maybe your shitty droid, I don't give a fuck) called 'New York's Best Coffee' so I decided to try and visit as many of the listed businesses as possible during my stay.

This is actually quite a challenge as there are like, 70 or 80? Due to this, a lot of my daily activities were orientated around which shops I could visit in that area. Or, a lot of the time, just going from one shop to another (look I fucking love coffee ok stop judging me jeez).

The first place I stopped is in Park Slope. Most of my NY friends dislike this neighborhood as it's yuppie and there isn't that much going on. I can't disagree but I went there a bunch to shop at Target, cuz I'm classy, Trader Joe's, cuz sometimes a girl can't deal with Whole Foods, and to visit a good friend who lives out on the G.

Gorilla Coffee is pretty good. I heard a few shot reviews but I definitely rate it above average. Had a few consistently good lattes and they also have a pretty tasty cold brew. Also really fast free wifi and if you time your visit there's usually a place to sit.

Amherst Coffee

Ok so you might go to Amherst for a show or some shit, I don't know. Birthplace of many popular bands during the late 90's and 00's such as everyone's screamo faves Orchid (not dissing, I have an Orchid tattoo... lol@me) and Ampere and whatever.
I spent a lot of time in MA exploiting how amusing I found an awkward situation to be by behaving like a big of a brat as possible. Despite my lack of genuine fun during this trip, the highlight (which wasn't difficult considering) was coffee from this place.

It was a solid 10/10. Maybe only one of a few I have experienced. I felt, for a second, this weird emotion inside of me...was it joy? Ok that's an exaggeration. Happiness is less extreme right? Maybe it was that. Shit was good. I had 2 even though it was hot as shit outside.

A+ would drink again if my sorry ass is ever dragged to MA for any reason.

(PS sorry to my few actual friends who live in these parts, you are in no way included in my derogatory opinions.)

(PPS check out my sick fancy US burner fake blackberry)

Northampton Coffee

Why would one go to Northampton? That, friend, is an excellent question, and one that I no longer have a good answer to. I won't get into details because (a) my life is none of yo bidnizz and (b) I actually can't think of any reasons to go there. It's a cute town I guess. Lots of lesbians (just an observation!). Ok I'm done.

My visit was basically a bit of a mistake and I ended up spending a lot of time avoiding someone while hiding out in Northampton Coffee, stealing their wifi to download Gossip Girl. The blow was softened by the excellent quality of their coffee and how nice the inside of the shop is; very big and open/airy and now I sound like an interior designer, gross.

Did make the mistake of an iced latte, it tasted good but fuckmylife it's too much milk. For a regular latte I can handle it because they are 8 or 12oz but the iced beasts over-soy me.

Anyway, if for some unfortunate reason you're in Northampton (I know I am really shittalking it but trust me, I have reasons) then you should check it out as it's definitely one of the town's redeeming features.


I've been putting off updating due to the sheer amount of entries I need to make (if I was a dude that could be an innuendo but... I don't have a dick and can only be the entered not the enter-ee...)

Fortunately, I have no social life so I can spend my Saturday avoiding the beautiful sunshine, locked away in my basement typing frantically and wishing I was back in NYC for both caffeine-related reasons and more personal ones.

14 Apr 2011


As an awkward, emotionally repressed and all-round-dead-inside terminally single mid 20's woman I don't give much thought to marriage beyond 'who would be awesome dumb enough to get hitched to me for a green card?'

I guess back in the day not many women had the luxury of avoiding relationships at all costs and so they had to marry whatever dog-dick showed them interest and had the most money.

We all know women hate fun, too, so in ye olden days, even pre-prohibition, they tried to ban coffee. According to this article in the Guardian, the "Women's Petition Against Coffee of 1674 claimed all-male coffee houses were responsible for "a very sensible Decay of that Old English Vigour..." by promoting "the excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish liquor called Coffee, which . . . has so Eunucht our Husbands and Crippled our more kind gallants they come from it with nothing moist but their snotty noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints..."

All this talk of eunuchs and moist noses has got me a bit flustered.

In addition to this, apparently Nietzsche didn't drink coffee. That bums me out, I am a big fan of his. However, considering he died of syphilis, his abstinence from the trve kvlt black magic bean obvs didn't do him much good. Voltaire apparently drank 60 cups a DAY. I call bullshit BUT I did once drink 12 shots of espresso in an evening while listening to the entire Burzum discography. I think I transcended this world for a little while and then my head exploded.

According to the dudes of the time, coffee "makes the erection more Vigorous, the Ejaculation more full, adds spiritualescency to the Sperme". Awesome. If I ever have a boyfriend again (LOL) I'm gonna make sure he's Herbie Fully Loaded on that shit.

Lastly; "The appropriate analogy is that coffee and philosophy go together like foreplay and sex...you can have one without the other, but the latter is better with the former and the former often leads to the latter."

Frankly I'd be happy to get any combination of either side of that analogy but beggars can't be choosers so I'll stick with Foucault and a flat white.

10 Apr 2011

It's the little things.

It's been a rough few days what with one thing and another. I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with some extraordinary people who give me perspective on my own life. Unfortunately, it's difficult to see past your own problems and emotions sometimes.

This morning I did my first proper piece of foam art. It's nothing special but I feel like it's another step in terms of my potential barista skills.

Small achievements are very important.

Just to remind you that I am still a scummy little punk I did lick the residual foam out of the mug and milk jug; (a) no dignity (b) I am not wasting good Bonsoy! shit's expensive.

P.S I gave up on coffee week. Wouldn't you if faced with endless Costa coffee?

Small Batch Coffee Co.

I read about this place in the Food & Drink guide (whatever, we get it at work) and my boss said I should go try it out. Obviously I always do what I'm told so off I went on another little adventure to Hove.

This place is TINY. There's a coffee bar, window seating and some seats out front. Out back is the roastery, which was there long before they added the storefront. Not much to look at really and it's in a very residential neighborhood right by Hove station. As I was perusing the beans the owner came out to help me choose a bag. First he asked if I was Australian based on my accent - this is like, the 4th or 5th time an Australian has asked if I am Australian. I seriously don't get it. I know my accent is a little weird but really?
I digress. He was very friendly and helpful and we chatted a little about business and beans. I bought a flat white and didn't have enough cash so he let me off which was pretty cool of him.

The coffee was ok. I'd go back to try a black coffee to see what that's like. They used the cheap shitty soy milk which probably was what ruined it for me. I feel like I am on a personal crusade to educate people about soy milk. Is that or is that not one of the most pathetic things you have ever read? Do I care? Zero fucks given.

Gotta uphold the reputation of snobby, awkward, demanding vegans worldwide.

I've been brewing with the beans at home and they're pretty good! Chocolaty with a berry undertone. I don't wanna write this place off based on one mediocre coffee because supporting local businesses is important, especially in a town that's getting more and more generic.

I sat in the sun and enjoyed an article about teenage alcoholism, smug in my xvx bubble of irritating superiority.

8 Apr 2011

UKCW day #3

Shitty day. Don't care. I have no energy to put up pretenses. Sometimes I have to fill my time with pointless, directionless errands just so I don't sit at home listening to Unknown Pleasures in the dark like a total fucking cliche.

Had to go into work to sign off on something so I got an iced caramel soy latte from one of the participating stores. Tasted like sugar water. If I hadn't seen her add the espresso I'd swear it had never seen coffee.

Tried another proper latte at home inbetween mailorder and practicing chords.

It was good. Microfoam spoiled by that bubble. Drank it too quickly. I'd blame it for my insomnia but that would be unfair. Tonight I must rely on codeine and will-power...easier said than done. I am so tired of this bullshit but never quite tired enough to sleep.

Over and out.

5 Apr 2011

UKCW day #2

So I have to write this down now because I have an awful memory and currently my head is full of guitar chords and confusing political philosophy.

I was in London to see Cold Cave (dreamy) and decided to try out some places I hadn't had a chance to before I moved. First up was Prufrock at Leather Lane. Now, I have been a huge fan of Prufrock @ Present, even with their unpredictable stocking of soy milk. Which leads me to the beginning of my experience at the new shop...

"Can I have a flat white with soy please"
"We don't do soy milk"
"Oh, ok, I'll take a long black then, thanks!"
(server turns to barista: "one americano")
"Take a seat, we'll bring it over"

So I await my coffee, checking out the large if somewhat clinical interior.

"Here's your flat white"
"Actually I ordered a long black..."
"Well do you want to try it anyway?"
"...I don't drink milk..."

Ok so it's an easy mistake to make but there were no other customers waiting for a drink and "flat white" does not sound like "long black" OR "americano". Anyway, it's a small gripe, and honestly it was the best long black I have ever had. Fucking phenomenal. Wish I had stayed for another.

Next up was the convoluted Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. In terms of atmosphere, it was cheese to the chalk of Prufrock. My barista was very friendly and we talked about Taylor St in Brighton as well as our favorite places to get coffee locally. I ordered my usual soy flat white. They definitely used Bonsoy (yay) and it was the perfect size. I continued my pretentious note-taking in the comfort of the small, cosy back room.

Much to my chagrin, one cannot live off grapes and coffee alone and by this point I was feeling a little shaky. As I had been walking around the city for a while now I had to briefly collapse at a Cafe Nero (I know, I know) so I could eat my rice cakes and catfood chickpea pate. I got a soy latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup, It set my teeth on edge a little but also did the job of energizing me enough that I could face hitting the Topshop mothership in order to try on 6 pairs of Levis which I was absolutely not going to pay £90 for.

Last but not least on my small adventure was Notes, Music and Coffee which had been recommended to me by several fellow snobs. This place is niiiiiiice. It's pretty much in Theater district opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The interior is very pretty and there's a bunch of seating, fancy chandeliers, long and impressive bar laden with shiny La Marzocco's. They brew with Square Mile, they use Bonsoy, my barista was adorably weird and super friendly. I can safely say the soy flat white was an 8/10. Very good. Not spectacular but how often do you drink a 10/10 coffee? Atmosphere plays a big part for me anyway and I would absolutely say try this place if you're in the West End (which is a fucking awful part of London if you didn't already know that).

Then I went to Cold Cave and swooned for a good hour, gazing up at W.Eisold dressed in decidedly Marc Bolan attire and unashamedly singing every word to all the songs.

4 Apr 2011

UKCW day #1

I'm a control freak. It is one of the only ways I can function on a vaguely acceptable level in day-to-day life. I thrive on routine and ritual. Every week before my German lesson I get a junk food coffee to try and encourage my brain to work.

This week, the Costa I usually go to is a participant in UKCW. Now, I would never, ever drink a standard coffee from a chain like this. The reasoning behind the shot of syrup is that it masks the taste of sub-standard espresso. The end result is a tasty sugary treat that goes against my pretty strict diet but luckily is burned off at the gym.

This week it was a caramel latte. I won't lie. This shit tastes good, but only because it's like a liquid candy bar.

Later on I was craving a decent cup. I have a bad habit of making coffee at home at around 9 or 10pm. I actually think it has zero effect on how well or badly I sleep because my sleep cycle is so completely fucked anyway that exercise, caffeine etc make no difference. I'M JUST WRONG INSIDE.

Anyway I made a Bonsoy latte. Everyone knows how much I love Bonsoy. I'd yell it from a rooftop given half a chance. It's 2.79 a liter here, shit ain't cheap, but it lasts me almost a week.

My rudimentary foam art came out looking like a brain. I was amused because I am a simpleton.

UK coffee week.

"UK Coffee Week™ takes place from April 4-10 2011 and unites the coffee and food service industry to celebrate the success and vibrancy of the industry with British consumers while giving back to an extremely worthy cause.

A nationwide program of charitable collections, in-store activities and public events will raise funds for Project Waterfall. This charitable initiative will deliver clean water to impoverished communities in coffee-producing African countries.

100% of consumer donations made during UK Coffee Week will go directly to support Project Waterfall."

Cool! So I can go drink coffee, donate a few coins that would otherwise probably go in the trash because I have an irrational fear of small change and get the warm feeling of making a difference aka white middle-class guilt.

Only thing is, here are the places in Brighton which are participating.
Two independent coffee shops. Two. This is a town renowned for its independent businesses. Shame on you, Brighton. 

You have enough of the aforementioned white middle-class guilt to sink the fucking Titanic and 7 Costas and a fucking MARKS AND SPENCERS CAFE is all you can muster. I don't even...



3 Apr 2011

no no no no no to everything.

I believe I have touched upon my issues with highstreet coffee shops appropriating antipodean styles of making coffee and, inevitably, doing a piss-poor job of imitating what is an extremely specialized, skillful profession.

I try not to spend a lot of time in the town center because, frankly, it takes every ounce of my self-control to not yell obscenities at ever fucking imbecile that I come across. On the occasions that I do venture out of my cave of solitude I have noticed more and more of what I can politely refer to as 'false advertising' and more honestly refer to as MASSIVE LIES.

Costa and Starbucks also claim to serve flat whites and now Coffee Republic. Come on guys. I understand that you are corporate businesses willing to monopolize on any 'niche' you come across in order to appeal to your vapid, ignorant demographic but I can't even laugh at this shit anymore. It's just sad.

This one is good. I see it everywhere. Considering it's based on shit coffee to begin with then the odds to not work in favor of the end product of this visual falsehood.

 There's an advert running on tv currently and at one point it shows a clip of Jamie Oliver blubbering, crocodile-tears running down his overweight babies face as he complains that people aren't massively into him rolling into their business and saying 'you're shit, I can do this better'.It makes me so happy. For one small moment a wave of enormous joy overwhelms me and then it's gone. But when I close my eyes I can still see his pain.

If I could bring myself to go get coffee at his restaurant then I would be surprised to say the least if I was served a drink that looks like that. Luckily, I'd rather carve my own eyeballs out with an ice-cream scoop and eat them than step over the threshold of that place.

What's next, McDonalds? Actually, worse. I saved the best for last...

I was gonna write something witty and acerbic but I am too busy vomiting all over myself.

guilty of being...light...in calories...

My body hates sugar. Last time I ate chocolate I woke up with a hangover. It also makes me extremely hyper in a way that caffeine never has.

However, I have a guilty pleasure. I am having palpitations just looking at it. Sugar-free, carb-free liquid heaven. Be mine. Get inside me. This shit is bananas, my brain cannot comprehend how it exists and how awful it probably is for me and goes against my wholefoods diet but I simply give ZERO FUCKS.

If anyone wants to make me happy then direct your attention right about here. kthnx.

I got some sample-sizes including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, gingerbread (hnnng) and cinnamon so I've been drinking lattes with a shot of one of those in it. I basically feel like I am on speed after I've ingested this awful deliciousness.

h8ers gon h8. So few things in life give me pleasure anymore and generally speaking I am a mega-snob about food/drink/clothes/people I spend time with so I allow myself a few slips. Candy coffee is one of them.

I drank this while listening to Nicki Minaj and browsing the Topshop webstore to remind myself that I do have female reproductive organs, despite them currently having absolutely no use.


Over the past month or so I have been working loads and been uncharacteristically busy. I love my job, I am very lucky to work for an independent, creative business with amazing people that I count among my good friends. Having a job again has basically saved me from completely descending into insanity and misery. I also love money so it's like, win-win.

When I am not there then I have mostly been sitting in my basement with the lights out listening to Merchandise and writing/assembling a project of mine.

What this has not left a lot of time for is coffee adventures. In addition, I suffer from chronic insomnia which is extremely frustrating so I thought I'd give a zero-caffeine approach. That lasted 2 days and I didn't sleep any better so concluded it was total bullshit and got off the wagon quicker than a hooker drops her panties.

Anyway enough about sex workers and my boring life. I have been practicing making long blacks. I am getting pretty good at it! I am currently using the Bonanza beans I bought in Berlin but they are almost out/stale. They do make a good black coffee.

The one above is a little...black. Now, I enjoy a monochrome life. I own one navy Fred Perry polo and that's the extent of color in my wardrobe. But a long black should have a crema like a good espresso. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this type of coffee, the technique involves pulling a double/ristretto shot over boiled water rather than the reverse (americano). I prefer them because the taste is stronger and they look nicer.

(I eat dried fruit. Whatever. I drink kale smoothies and think rice cakes are delicious, y u mad tho?)

3 Mar 2011

9 Bar Cafe, Hove

On the days I don't go to the gym I like to try and walk a bunch otherwise I feel gross for not exercising. I have started working out a lot to try and help with my anger as well as looking after myself more, in conjunction with my new found nutrition obsession which includes freaking people out with green smoothies.

It was also the nicest day in ages and walking along the beach was, for once, quite a pleasure. I feel like a day which involves listening to Law of the Rope and catching some winter rays (no fear of tanning) is not a bad one.

I can't stop internally lol-ing at the name and only about 20 of my friends would find it funny. Nine Bar were (are?*) a UKHC band who were pretty big in the early/mid 00's. From that mental association alone I decided to give it a shot. I was very pleasantly surprised. The coffee was excellent. I got a double shot soy latte which was pleasingly small, as it should be, and tasted excellent. Good milk (not Bonsoy but not the cheap shit) and a very good espresso base.

I will definitely go back there. Reminded me of Red Roaster a bit so maybe they brew with RR beans. I think some people assume Hove is a bit shit because it's famously where you move when you're ready to settle down and stop partying so much. Brighton is super studenty and also full of 'alternative' douchbags who dress in clothes from Cybergoth or entirely in hemp (brb vomiting) and Hove is more like... yummy mummies to the extreme and delis and all that shit. It has some really nice places to hang out though including 9 Bar and is far less overwhelmingly try-hard cool than Brighton.

*I just googled them and they have a new song on their myspace if you're interested...

Bonanza, Berlin

Rob, the guy who is doing my barista training (update about that to follow soon) told me I had to go here. It's supposedly the most elitist shop in the city. We went on Sunday before going to the Flomarkt across the street (totally recommended - so awesome for finding cool knick knacks and people-watching) I waited about 15 mins to be served, the shop was PACKED. It did give me time to look around, which wasn't difficult considering it's about the size of my bedroom. 

Bonanza is also a roastery so I bought a bag of their beans too, need to crack on with those after I finis the Phoenix. I think the baristas were Australian but it was hard to tell... one was maybe Dutch and looked epically Aryan (plus point for Bonanza, keepin' it master race). I also spied a bag of Blue Bottle beans but didn't wanna bother them by asking for that as my espresso because (a) busy as fuck and (b) intimidating as fuck. Good sign though.

The coffee was great. #2 of the 3 we visited. Very smooth and went down nicely while walking through the Flohmarkt where I searched for sketchy pin badges and bought skull related objects. I would say go to Bonanza during the week when I am sure it will be a little quieter. Don't expect to be able to sit down though.

Godshot, Berlin

I was recommended this shop by my buddy Bradley who is from DC but lived in Berlin for a time and is also a fan of coffee-based activities, as well as being the person who introduced me to Club Mate and as a result I am eternally grateful to him. Club Mate is like this non alcoholic caffeinated beverage slightly reminiscent of sparkling apple juice crossed with champagne... it's pretty weird and gives you an epic buzz as I discovered due to drinking some at 11pm and sleeping like shit as a result.

Cute shop, lots of seating and really nice baristas. I got talking to the girl who served us about working there and living in Berlin as an Australian. She asked where I was from and said I had the weirdest accent she'd ever heard - like a mix of american, english, australian and 'nowhere'. Dunno if that's bad or good or grouping three of the most disliked english-speaking countries together is kind of an insult. Whatever.

I did enjoy the coffee but it didn't blow me away. Kind of a bummer as I had heard such good things. The flat white was slightly... flat. Espresso was good. I mark it up because of the atmosphere. I also bought a bag of Phoenix Blue which is from a roastery in Dresden. I had heard a rumor that they brewed with Black Cat (Intellegentsia) but alas, no, no more...sadness.

The Barn, Berlin

Most of my friends know my current attitude towards my country of birth is one of resentment and I have itchy feet to get out, even if it's just for a while. My mum kindly offered to take me on vacation for a few days so we went to Berlin. I love the city, we visited when I was 17 but it was great to return as a more confident, adventurous person.

Obviously I researched coffee shops before leaving and three sounded particularly promising. The Barn was a 15 min walk from our apartment in Prenzlauer Berg and is pretty fucking tiny - definitely not one to go and sit in unless you don't care about personal space (I do and almost made my mum cry on another occasion when I told her to get the fuck out of my face. I am a brat).

It does do great coffee. Like, really fucking good. It was the best I had during the trip. I got a flat white and it reminded me of the coffee from Prufrock @ Present. Milk was perfect, espresso was perfect, whole execution was extremely enjoyable. My mum also agreed that it was the one she preferred.

Prenzlauer Berg is a cool neighborhood, made me feel kind of at home cuz it has an East London vibe going on. You can walk to Mitte too if it's a nice day going past the Museum area which is pretty epic.

Obviously I got no foam art. Obviously. Fuck you.