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Alice Nell
August 24, 2015

Meet Coffee Expert Hannes Fendrich

Hannes Fendrich will be holding a coffee course at betahaus starting in September, one that we've created in collaboration with Coffee Circle Berlin. Hannes’ coffee journey began by roasting his own beans at home. After developing his barista skills, he began working at Coffee Circle where he ran a pop-up coffee shop and mastered his espresso-making technique. He visited Ethiopia and learned about the cultivation and harvest of coffee beans directly at the source. Hannes has a passion for coffee roasting and loves the feeling of turning green beans into coffee. Take a look at our interview with him as we ask about contemporary coffee culture and exactly what skills and tools are needed to make the perfect cup of joe.

Having mastered the craft, what do you believe are some of the first things a new barista should learn?

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.

What’s more important for a good cup of (filter) coffee: beans or machines?

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.

Over recent years filter coffee has shot up in popularity. Tools like the Chemex, the Aeropress, and the Hario V60 are making a real name for themselves. What would you say is the major difference between these newer machines and the old-school filter coffee presses?

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.

What do you prefer to use yourself?

My personal favorite manual brewing tool is the Hario v60 since it’s very simple and quick.

In a few words could you describe your perfect cup of coffee?

Sweet, clean, fruity, and distinct.

Could you recommend five great coffee place in Berlin for us?

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

Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK


Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !

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