überlin

Win the gift that keeps on giving: a coffee subscription from Silo!

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: this competition is now closed. Click here to see if we’re running any open competitions]

For us, this year’s coffee discovery was Silo, a beautiful Friedrichshain cafe run by Aussie expats with exceptional taste in the black stuff. We’re pleased to announce that Silo are now sharing their obsession with all things caffeinated beyond the Berlin borders with a curated coffee subscription service – AND that they’ve given us three months’ worth of coffee to giveaway! Introducing your prize:

The Silo Curated Coffee Subscription is a guided tour through what we, the owners and operators of Silo, a specialty coffee shop in Berlin, think is the best coffee available.

We will be sending out the best coffees that we can get our hands on. Subscribers can expect to receive coffee from renowned German roasters such as The Barn, Bonanza and Five Elephant on a regular basis, as well as some fantastic roasters from overseas including Drop Coffee, Coffee Collective, and Workshop. We are always looking for the finest coffees of the season and we will be sending out the best we can find. When we are able to, we will reach further afield and bring some coffees back from other renowned coffee roasting countries like Australia and the US.

At the start of every month we select and send one 250g (or 1/2lb) bag of freshly roasted coffee to you. We select one filter and one espresso every month, and you can subscribe to either. If required, we can also grind your coffee to suit your equipment. We select your coffee with the aim of sending out a diverse and interesting range of coffee from a wide range of origins, roasters and profiles.

We have a three month coffee subscription to give away, worth €35! To find out how to win, scroll down…

HOW TO WIN A THREE MONTH SILO CURATED COFFEE SUBSCRIPTION.

Just answer this question in the comments below:

Silo’s first coffee selections were Gichithaini AA (blackcurrant, raspberry with wonderful mouthfeel) and La Divina Providencia (muted maraschino cherry balanced acidity with a syrupy body of fudge/caramel).

If you had to produce a coffee inspired by Berlin, what would it be called and what would it taste like?

You have until 6pm on Friday 27th December. Good luck!

The Boring Bit (yawn, RULES):

1. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
2. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON!
3. Our favourite comment wins. It’s that simple.
4. We will announced the winners via our Facebook page on Saturday 28th December.

Music Montag: Milwalkie

by James Glazebrook

Here at überlin, we love a good Scottish accent. It’s just one of the reasons that our all-time favourite rock bands include Idlewild, Biffy Clyro and now, Milwalkie. Lazy (and regionally insensitive) comparisons aside, Aberdonian brothers Matthew David Morris and Steve Morris – and token German Jan Pfennig – distinguish themselves with a taste for epic atmospherics and shimmering, slightly-shoegaze melodies.

We’re stoked that Milwalkie gave us the exclusive to new video “Land” (above), which features singer Matt walking Verve-style through the streets of Berlin, encountering the people and places who’ve made the band feel at home here. They were also good enough to record this interview, which explains how the brothers arrived in Berlin, what they think of the indie scene here, and some tips for places to explore and, more importantly, get coffee! Enjoy this video Berlin Portrait, check out Milwalkie on Facebook and buy “Land” on iTunes.

Pee Pee’s Katzencafé

by James Glazebrook

Josie Thaddeus-Johns, creator of When You Live In Berlin, gets her fix of caffeine and cats at Pee Pee’s Katzencafé.

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What’s allowed: stroking, cuddling, watching. What’s not: restraining, disturbing from sleep, pulling of tails, flash photography. No, you’re not reading the new list of rules for Berghain, but a guide to what you can and can’t do in Neukölln’s Pee Pee’s Katzencafé.

I hadn’t considered getting my own pet in Berlin for the first six months or so of my new life here. Nevertheless, I was told, by an expat older and wiser than myself: “After you’ve been living in Berlin for a certain amount of time, you’ll just get this urge to get a pet”. And sure enough, I’ve now begun to suffer from this peculiar affliction. I guess when you don’t have that just-off-the-boat pressure to discover a new club every weekend, you have considerably more time for ensuring that an animal other than yourself is fed and cared for.

Luckily, since I live in a fifth floor flat, more immediate help is at hand. Pee Pee’s Katzencafé (despite its unfortunate name) is designed for people like me to get our stroking, cuddling and kitty-watching fix. The place is filled with a number of cat climbing frames for feline entertainment. When I visit, both cats (Pelle and Caruso – brothers!) are curled up on the top of a frame each. They pass my own personal cuteness test with flying colours, but also had to pass slightly more official tests to be sanctioned for public consumption. As did their owner, Andrea, who filled out pages of questions to show that she knew everything there is to know about cat care – yep, German bureaucracy extends to felines too. It’s this bureaucracy that keeps the cats to just two in number – no more are permitted in a space of this size.

Boasting WLAN (I’m telling you this because, as a freelance writer/nomad internet user, it’s the first thing I look for in a café), it’s calm and relaxing, just next to the beautiful Thomashöhe, in the quiet bit of NK between Hermannstrasse and Karl-Marx Strasse. Its coffee (contrary to what Exberliner might say) isn’t up to the scratch of the Neukölln’s more trendy coffee places, but their New York cheesecake (a speciality according to Andrea) could definitely give the rest of the cheesecake brigade a run for their money.

It might not be the trendiest place, but if you’re having one of those days where your mood can only be improved by getting close and personal with a lil furry thing, it seems like a fair deal. #Miaow.

Silo

by James Glazebrook

Silo Friedrichshain

We may be wrong, but it feels like there’s been no decent coffee in Friedrichshain since No Fire, No Glory moved up to P Berg. So we welcome Silo, recently opened by two Aussies bringing with them flat white-making skills and a shared obsession with all things caffeinated. They’re indebted to The Barn, which is where they source their roasted beans and borrow some of their techniques, but they beat out Mitte’s micro-café in square meterage, interior design and welcoming atmosphere. Try the filter coffee specials – I enjoyed a blueberry-imbued Ethiopian – or go on Tuesday, for one of Silo’s public cuppings (full details on their Facebook page).

Silo Friedrichshain bar

Silo Friedrichshain abstract painting

Silo Friedrichshain roasted in Berlin

Silo Friedrichshain Olive

Silo Friedrichshain books

Silo Friedrichshain Olive close up

Bullys Bakery

by James Glazebrook

When we heard there was a cafe called Bullys Bakery here in Berlin, we just had to pay them a visit to show off our very own bulldog Olive! As soon as she waddled into the cute Neukölln store, she was greeted by 2 1/2 year old Kurt, the eponymous bully, and very much the big dog around here. About five times as big and half as excited by new friends, Kurt tolerated little O’s attempts to scale his mountains of muscles before going for a sleep in the back.

Even if you aren’t a dog lover, you’ll find much to enjoy in Bullys Bakery: a great flat white (the yardstick I use to measure the standard of a place’s coffee), beautiful cakes and delicious Flammkuchen. A German speciality, these sauceless pizzas are an überlin fave, and the ones we ate at Bullys, especially the chorizo, egg, goat’s cheese and rocket, the best we’ve ever had. So if you ever find yourself on Weserstrasse, pop in for a coffee and cake, and say “wüf” to Kurt for us!

 

überlin does Copenhagen

by James Glazebrook

Part two of our Excellent Scandinavian Adventure! (Zoë’s busy cutting-and-pasting our heads onto Bill and Ted’s bodies as I write this.) After Stockholm (read our highlights here), Copenhagen was colder and even more expensive! Case in point: brunch for two at Café Europa, recommended by the chic @Lilies_Diary, came to €70. Despite this, the Danes were warm and welcoming, and we had loads of fun: here are the best bits of our three days in the CPH.

We stumbled across a couple of early highlights on our first walk through the historical waterfront Nyhavn district into town. First, we picked up the best brews of our trip in the Coffee Factory, and then we spotted an actor from Forbydelsen! (For the nerds: Nicolas Bro, who plays Thomas Buch. If he wasn’t deep in conversation, you’d now be looking at a picture of him, me, and my two thumbs.) We celebrated by hitting the shops, killing (geddit?) time in Wood Wood and the city’s countless independent boutiques – naturally, I bought some Clarks.

Shamefully, we only followed one tip on our friend Ed’s excellent Foursquare list, but we picked well. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, rightly called “the most beautiful museum in the world”, is one of the best things we’ve ever seen. Situated an hour away on the north Zealand coast, the museum combines an excellent collection – of sculpture in particular – with panoramic views across the Øresund that had us vowing to one day live somewhere like that. Back in town, we went from the transcendent to the touristy, popping into the Ice Bar to warm up (its -5°C was a few degrees balmier than the street outside) and grabbing the best hotdog in town at the nearby Andersen Bakery. Muscular, sexy versions of those limp dogs you get in Ikea, these are like the Brigitte Nielsens of meaty treats. I’ve said too much…

Check out our Stockholm highlights, and stay tuned for more stunning photos of the Louisiana Museum.

Katie’s Blue Cat

by James Glazebrook

When we moved to “Kreuzkölln” (ew) seven months ago I would bemoan the lack of decent coffee this side of the Landwehrkanal; now it seems like every other street has an excellent café. Competition is fierce for the title Best Coffee in Berlin, so let me word this carefully: Katie’s Blue Cat produces the smoothest flat white south of Mitte… if you get lucky with the barista. It doesn’t kick like Passenger Espresso‘s double-shot caffeine bomb, and neither is produced as consistently as the velvety creations from The Barn

Anyway, the real draw at Katie’s is their baked goods, all made in-store. We’re steadily working our way through the range of cookies, flapjacks, cheesecakes, and one-offs like chocolate and peanut butter pie and, on Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie. While our waistlines suffer, our tastebuds rejoice – and we’ll frequent the Blue Cat until we can’t fit through the door. And then we’ll switch to their delivery service(!), until our fingers are too fat to dial. But don’t let the image of our impending morbid obesity put you off – get down to Katie’s Blue Cat for sweet coffee and even sweeter treats.