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Most importantly, an aspiring barista must have a lot of passion and a willingness to learn. If they are starting out at home, they should seek out as much information on coffee as they can. Coffee courses are also a great place to begin because they provide the space to ask questions as well as an opportunity for starters to practice their skills. New baristas should try to brew with other baristas in order to exchange knowledge and techniques since no two palates are the same. I would also recommend finding a job in a coffee shop whose coffee quality the barista really enjoys and to take part in competitions as they tend to boost a barista’s progress.
Beans. The justification behind the trend in filter coffee is that new tools produce really delicious coffee, but the big changes made to the coff
ee scene in recent years lie in the quality of the coffee beans and not in the coffee tools. For example, so-called speciality coffee roasters offer great beans that contain specific aromas and that aren’t overwhelmed by a bitter taste like commercial coffee from the supermarket tends to be.
Tools like Chemex, Aeropress, and Hario v60 allow baristas to take advantage of each tool’s specific elements like the paper filter or a special shape. For example, due to its thick paper filter, the Chemex produces a distinct and sweet but light cup of coffee. In contrast, the Aeropress makes a rich and full-bodied coffee because of the way it’s used. The Hario v60 produces a cross between the former two by creating a sweet and rich coffee. But old-fashioned hand brew methods like the French press or the Melitta filter can also produce good results. The key is that manual brewing methods will always make better coffee than automatic machines, since the coffee brewer can determine all the important brewing parameters such as water temperature, grind setting, and water flow. This individual treatment given to each batch is not possible with an automatic machine and therefore creates a suboptimal result.
My personal favorite manual brewing tool is the Hario v60 since it’s very simple and quick.
Sweet, clean, fruity, and distinct.
Berlin is actually packed with great coffee places, so this is a tough call. For the most exemplary coffee around, I would recommend the following spots:
Coffee Profilers: A recently-opened coffee shop that is a Berlin-Greek cooperation. They have a great selection of espresso and filter coffee, and some of the awesome baristas here have won world championships.
Companion Coffee: A tiny and very stylish coffee bar in the fashionable Voo Store that serves espresso from the best coffee roasters from around the world. The great thing about this place is that every day a new espresso surprise is waiting for you.
Ben Rahim: A cozy shop that serves very tasty coffee in the great location of Hackesche Höfe. Ben Rahim is probably the only speciality coffee shop that offers traditional Turkish Mokka coffee, which everyone should try!
Nano Kaffee: This sleek and well-designed coffee shop works with a variety of different roasters, giving customers a wide range of coffees to try. I have had some of the tastiest filter coffee in Berlin here.
Father Carpenter: One of the best coffee shops in the city center (also near Hackesche Höfe). The atmosphere is great and the baristas are absolute pros. I definitely recommend the flat white as it's consistently delicious tasting.
Hannes will be leading our new Coffee & Barista Course that will take place over three sessions on September 9th, 13th, and 16th. Together with Coffee Circle, we'll teach you all about roasting and tasting, how to make the perfect espresso & latte art, and how to brew a great cup of filter coffee at home. Sign up before September 1st to get our Early Bird Special! www.betahaus.com/berlin/coffeecourse