We simply adore Fenster Coffee over in the Wrangelkiez of Kreuzberg! Besides their aesthetic, simplistic approach to interior design, their passion for getting the best from every roast they buy is evident just from watching the way they brilliantly work your coffee, whether a flat white or filter coffee – the care & attention they give to each cup is higher than a lot of other speciality coffeeshops in Berlin, and always tastes AMAZING too! We spoke to very coffee-experienced Dutch co-owner Jasper Springeling about the way his coffeeshop works and how it came to be…
© Theresa Schlage (@waytocoffee)
We hear you’ve had a strong background in coffee. What did you do before setting up Fenster Coffee?
End of summer 2010 I left my Job as graphic designer for a landscape architecture company in Amsterdam to move to Berlin. I started working for Bonanza Coffee Roasters, first washing dishes later as barista. From doing barista work I developed a strong interest towards roasting coffee.
When the person roasting coffee for Bonanza left to go back to Australia I took the opportunity to pick up the position and for a good part of 3 years I was their main coffee roaster.
The coffee roasting adventure took a new turn when there was an opportunity for me to help a starting shop and roaster in Munich named Man versus Machine. Working with the owners and staff of MvsM in a consulting / roaster / barista role gave me the confidence that it would be great to open an establishment of my own.
Once back in Berlin this chance came to me at Falckensteinstrasse 5 when our business partner asked me if I would be interested in opening a Specialty Coffee shop. This Place is now Fenster Coffee Berlin.
© Nailya Bikmurzina
You clearly know your coffees then. What roasteries do you currently feature in Fenster Coffee?
Well, Fenster Coffee is a Multi Roaster Specialty Coffee shop and we feel it’s interesting to compare locally roasted coffees with coffees from roasteries outside Berlin or Germany or the EU.
This changes regularly however and within a few weeks we also hope to bring in our own coffees.
How does your experience as a head roaster benefit Fenster Coffee?
The Specialty Coffee Scene in Europe is growing rapidly and it is part of a movement within consumer culture that focuses on quality and improvement of a great product that connects people. You see this same movement with other products too, like craft beer or natural wine for example.
Within this movement people work with great passion and take great care about all the different aspects throughout its value chain.
So, as a coffee roaster you get to meet a lot of people that are just as crazy about what they do as you are. I truly believe that this passion shines through each and every cup that we serve in our shop.
We feel you’ve got one of the best Flat Whites in town… what’s the secret?
Every shop has their own style or way of making coffee taste great, but we think a double espresso with lots of body, sweetness and a pleasant fruity acidity is great for flat whites.
This espresso shot with the best quality organic milk, steamed to the right texture and temperature served with a lot of love and care should bring a smile to your face.
The design of coffee shops these days is increasingly more important to the aesthetic and feel of the whole experience. What was your thought-process behind your design?
We chose an open floor plan with several workstations for filter coffee and espresso based drinks. The idea is to play with the role of customer vs barista.
We wanted to make an open and welcoming space without the traditional situation where the customer is in front of the bar and the barista behind it. Therefore the workstations have different orientations. It’s a bit of an experiment that, up to now, has worked out well!
© Nailya Bikmurzina
We’ve also enjoyed some EXCELLENT brunches at Fenster Coffee. What dishes do you tend to offer during the week?
For our weekday lunches and weekend brunches we hope to bring a seasonal menu.
A small menu with great flavours. Just a few options done the right way.
What’s was the hardest thing about setting up Fenster Coffee?
The Wrangelkiez is a very lively colourful neighbourhood and I feel that our biggest challenge was to make Fenster work as a place for people visiting here from all walks of life!
Trying to create a sense of community for the locals whilst also catering to the large amount of tourists that flood the streets at times. We simply want everyone to feel at home.
And what advice would you give to those wanting to set up their own café?
Cancel all your other plans!
We feel the coffee scene in Berlin is really on a high at the moment. How do you feel it is changing and maybe differs to other European capitals?
Berlin has become an interesting place for coffee lovers over the past few years.
A rapid expansion of shops and roasteries proves this. Berlin might be a bit ahead of the curve right now but most cities are catching up.
© Nailya Bikmurzina
What’s in store for the future of Fenster Coffee?
Up next is roasting our own coffee. We have some great single origin espresso and a blend coming up, alongside with some outstanding filter coffee.
We will also be focusing more on the food side than we have done in the past and want to work with a range of local and international chefs.
Where do you like to eat, drink and relax in Berlin?
For a nice drink Buck & Breck is always a winner… or any random bar in Neukölln to be honest.
Complete the following sentence “For me, Berlin is…”
…about the great sense of freedom that moves this city.
I think Berlin is and always has been a place of becoming. It has been going through extreme changes in the past and promises many opportunities for times ahead, which makes it one of the most exciting cities in Europe for me.
We are big fans of Fenster Coffee and seriously recommend you go and try one of their fantastic coffees in the Wranglekiez very soon!