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.