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Berlin Coffee THE BARN @ brünch

Brunch without amazing coffee is just not the same.

Im pretty sure I am not alone when I say that the smell of fresh coffee in the morning is the best way to start the day (the smell of cinnamon buns is definitely up there too to be honest..!) You don’t even need to like coffee to appreciate the fact that the smell alone makes you smile.

I’ve become quite interested in coffee over the past two years and spent a lot of time in coffee shops working on my projects. Probably the best part of working for yourself 🙂 Naturally, I drank a lot of coffees and started to chat with staff and owners of various cafes about their story, different brewing techniques, ways of roasting, origins, types of coffee, etc.

By no means am I a coffee connoisseur but I do believe that I know enough to make up my mind about what is a good coffee and why and which isn’t.

Since I launched brünch, I have been working with some fantastic London-based, small-batch independent coffee roasters together including Volcano Coffee Works, Assembly Coffee, Bauhaus and Black Sheep Coffee.

All of them are different from each other and yet they share the same passion for coffee. Every time I speak to my coffee suppliers, their enthusiasm is infectious. Each of those roasters have their own story to tell, stories that I like to tell to my guests at brünch.

For my upcoming Berlin brünch at Nt’s in London Fields on the 10th of April, I am excited to be working with  THE BARN – one of my favourite Berlin coffee brands.

If you are into coffee and have been to Berlin you will probably know these guys. You can also get your hands on their coffee here in London now, for example at Prufrock Coffee on Leather Lane.

The Barn berlin

THE BARN is one of the leading Specialty Coffee Roasters in Germany. They started up in 2012 and are now known for their uncompromised approach to quality.

There are no blended coffees at THE BARN, as they want to showcase every farm they work with, which is what we love at brünch.

Ralf, the owner of The BARN said he wants to introduce people to the individual flavour profiles, terroir and the work of each farmer – microlot by microlot. He wants us to taste the difference.

How THE BARN sources their coffees

THE BARN is working with specialists that collaborate closely with their coffee farmers throughout a season. This is very important as change and risk taking are necessary to improve the quality output of a coffee farm over a longer period. Coffee farmers are looking to build a sustainable relationship with a partner that visits their farm more often than just once a year.

THE BARN build a triangle relationship with the farmer and the specialists and are seeing greater results year on year so they say. Paying a premium and transferring a growing portion to the farmer is key in their value chain from crop to cup. ‘The better the coffee, the more we pay’ claims Ralf, owner of THE BARN.

 

The-Barn-Berlin

How they roast

Ralf goes on to say that everything they do is handmade. THE BARN roast on a 1955 Probat roast machine that has been fully overhauled and modified especially for them. With direct engines, a strong airflow and an oversized cooling tray they can produce a very clean coffee bean that is fully developed.

They don’t burn out acids to make a coffee taste less acidic. They work around the flavour profile of each individual coffee to retain their own character shaped by terroir and weather.

At brünch we will be serving their filter coffees, which are generally lighter roasted to work better for filter brews.

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I have seen it myself – All their coffees are being life-tested on a daily basis. Baristas note down on each shift what they taste like and how the coffees are running through the machines. Their head barista is part of the production roast team to bridge the link from roasting to bar – not leaving their evaluation just to extensive quality control.

I am excited to introduce you all to THE BARN at brünch on the 10th of April. Get your tickets now as seats are limited 🙂 x

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Michelberger Coconut Water @ brünch

There are quite a few coconut water brands out there these days and I think I have had most of them.

Coconut water isn’t a drink for everyone and it took me a while until I actually started to like it. I stuck with it at first because someone told me coconut water was really good for you so I gave it another go. Glad I did, because now I love it.

Coconut water is hydrating, refreshing, low in calories, naturally fat-and cholesterol free and provides a good nutritional boost. It is also quite filling – perfect as a small afternoon ‘snack’. Apparently, it’s also a little wonder cure for hangovers 😉

So when I held my Berlin brünch event at Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch in March, I was introduced to this cheeky little monkey.

 

I got immediately drawn to its playful design and the taste is great!

I got really excited! Not only was ‘The Fountain Of Youth’ from my home city but also from one of my favourite hotels in Berlin – the Michelberger Hotel

 

If you have ever been to Berlin before, you might know the Michelberger Hotel. I’d say it is a one-of-a-kind hotel experience, in the centre of Berlin, Friedrichshain. The hotel is independently owned and operated and was designed by Berliner Werner Aisslinger. He wanted it to feel like staying at a friends house.

Those who know me, will know that my background is hotels and I have always been very interested in hotel architecture and design. And this one is really special. The hotel is housed in a converted factory building featuring a brick facade, high ceilings, large windows and a courtyard that acts as the social hub of the hotel.

The hotel interior uses objects sourced from local flea markets, often re-purposing them for other uses, and low-cost materials such as laminated larch. Every element of the hotel has either been custom designed and built, or selected specifically for it from furniture to hand-lettered stickers on the water bottles. The attention to detail is impressive.

 

And not only that! The best part is that the hotel has decided to throw out all big brands and faceless products in favour of a selection of crafted products from independent, family-run enterprises from near by and far away. Similar to brünch, suppliers have been chosen for their excellent quality and for the great people behind them; people who craft their products instead of companies who craft their brands.

Long story short, you can imagine it didn’t take me long until I was on the phone with those guys. I am really proud to be offering this amazing coconut water at my Berlin brünches from now on and excited to work with such great people, that share the same passion for quality and working with smaller independent brands and producers. 

More about The Fountain of Youth

How come The Michelberger came up with their own coconut water?

The story goes… ‘Whilst lazing around on the beach on holiday, someone gave us a young green coconut with a straw poking out. We fell in love and decided to bring that drink back to our bar in Berlin. So started a long journey until we found exactly what we were looking for: the most wonderful people farming the very best coconuts and finally we had found something so fresh and delicious that it felt exactly like that very first drink on that beach. In fact it felt so good we decided to call it the Fountain of Youth’

But what is The Fountain of Youth?

The Fountain Of Youth is 100% natural coconut water, with absolutely nothing added. The guys work with a collective of small farmers from a region in Thailand famed for the natural sweetness and delicate flavour of its coconuts.

And as with their hotel, every step of the process, from palm to can in hand, has been done with lots of care and in house. It’s a truly small-scale, local production.

How is it made? 

Directly after being harvested, the young coconuts are brought into the cooperative from the surrounding palm groves by the farmers who gathered them. Within hours of picking, each coconut is inspected and the husk is cut away and the top of the coconut is opened by hand, one at a time. Their precious water is then collected to be taste-tested, filtered and immediately placed into the cans and sealed. From here they are lightly heat-pasteurized with the whole process from the collection of the coconut water to the sealed can ready to be boxed up, lasting only a few hours so the water arrives here as fresh as possible.

The farmers nurture their palms in a clean, natural and traditional way, much as they have always done and the collective has taken the conscious decision not to apply for organic certification. Palms are by nature extremely hardy and pest-resistant and since they have always farmed cleanly and naturally. The Fountain Of Youth’ does not source globally and their cans are filled directly at the plantation from just opened coconuts to ensure purity and authenticity of the product.

 

palm trees

Nutrition facts (per 100ml) / Energy: 85kJ (20Kcal) / Protein: 0.1g / Carbohydrate: 4.8g, of which sugars*: 4.8g / Fibre: <0.1g / Fat: <0.1g, of which saturates: <0.1g / Salt: <0.021g. *natural, from the fruit

brünch – testbed for new Berlin brands & passionate people like us

brünch is not only about our amazing Berlin brunch spread. It is also a testbed for new brands and like-minded passionate people that want to trial their ideas and products, gain exposure and get feedback – from you.

This can be anything and anyone ranging from new Berlin (or German) drink brands to independent cool coffee suppliers, up-and-coming DJs, small artisan bread bakeries, local suppliers and independent venues. I want to give you all the chance to try something new and enjoy some proper Berlin vibes at my events. Therefore, whenever you come to my pop ups, please be open minded, try whatever is on the menu, ask us questions and let us know what you think.

In the past we have been working closely with hard-to-come-by German drink brands and small-batch speciality coffee roasters based in London. Some of our partners include(d) Club Mate, fritz-kola, Belsazar Vermouth, Volcano Coffee Works, Assembly Coffee and lots of other lovely independent producers and suppliers.

So for our next event in February, I will be working with Bauhaus Coffee.

Bauhaus Coffee is super new in London’s coffee scene (website coming soon). It was launched by Max and his uni mate Ted. I met Max for the first time when I was just about to leave my corporate job. He and his two uni mates Gabe and Eirik had just launched Blacksheep Coffee and I was able to help them out a bit and learn about coffee and the art of roasting and brewing.

Over time, Max started to challenge the speciality coffee scene’s over-complication and pretension though. He and Ted got together to develop a  ‘no nonsense coffee’ as they say … bold words but we like that!

Bauhaus Coffee was born.

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It is inspired by the principles of Bauhaus production – roasted combining the love of the craftsman with the consistency of modern techniques. All their coffee is ethically sourced from single farms, estates and cooperatives as it says in their sales brochure.

We are curious and will give them a try on 28 February at the Brewer’s Bar in Dalston. Tickets out now via www.bruench.com

Future collaborations are in the planning and whilst I cannot say too much yet, I can guarantee you don’t want to miss this. So keep your ears and eyes peeled for my next events including Berlin supper clubs and Berlin film nights with some of the best Berlin cocktails you’ll ever have in London.

I am excited to see you soon.

x

 

Heard of ‘BrotZeit’ yet? Brünch has got a little sister :)

Have I introduced you to BrotZeit yet?

After a year of successful brünch events held all across London, I have recently launched a new mobile Berlin breakfast bar called ‘BrotZeit‘ – brünch’s little sister 🙂 The German phrase is a combination of ‘Brot’ meaning bread and ‘Zeit’ meaning time.

BrotZeit is based on the Berliner ‘Stulle’, which is Berlin slang for an open sandwich and an extremely popular breakfast, lunch and dinner snack. So popular there is even a Stulle or ‘Butterbrot’ (another word for it..) day in September every year! Berliners love their bread and their Stulle!

But what is it exactly!?

BrotZeit serves this moreish Berlin Kult snack but with a twist – healthy & wholesome toppings on thick slices of rustic sourdough bread from small local artisan bread bakeries of the likes of E5 Bakehouse, The Dusty Knuckle Bakery, Brickhouse Bread and Elephant Bakehouse.

Sometimes pictures say more than words…

I change my menu whenever I have a new idea. I try to source locally where possible so my menu is very seasonal.

In the past, my menu looked something like this

Thick Slices of Rustic Sourdough with

 Goats Cheese, Fresh Strawberries/Fresh Figs, Basli & Honey

Beetroot, Avocado, toasted Sesame & wild Thyme (vegan)

Butternut Squash, Feta Cheese, Pomegranate & Rosemary

 Home-made Almond Butter, Banana, Yoghurt & home-made Granola (vegan)

Home-made Hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted seeds & Thyme (vegan)

For those with a sweet tooth, I also alternate between my brünch signature amaranth & chia granola with german quark, homemade banana bread with warm Nutella and toasted coconut, fresh Buckwheat waffles and Rote Grütze, a typical German dessert.

With BrotZeit I am bringing the mobile breakfast to life – colourful and vibrant, it is definitely an eye catcher wherever it goes.

Where can you find us? 

I am working with Morning Gloryville East London at their East London after parties at Number 90 in Hackney Wick from 11am until about 3pm whenever I can. For future dates, check out my Facebook page @bruench or Twitter @bruench_popup next dates on their website.

Exciting plans ahead! I am applying to trade at festivals this summer in the UK. There is definitely a lack of healthy food options, not to mention breakfast options at festivals, and I want to change that. It’s quite a lot of paper work but I am working through them as we speak. Fingers crossed. And perhaps will see each other for a dance or two and breakfast after soon 🙂 I will keep you posted.

If you have an event and would like to get BrotZeit involved, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at bruench@gmail.com. Would love to hear from you.

Lots of brünchlove.

Noemi x

brünch – 2015 in review

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun.

2015 was a fantastic and certainly eventful year for me. I am so very grateful for all the experiences I have made and people I have crossed paths with.

As you know, in October 2014 I left my corporate city job to launch brünch – London’s first and only Berlin pop up, bringing people together in London’s quirkiest venues to enjoy some proper Berlin vibes.

I quit my job because I did not want to wake up one day and regret not having tried. I wanted to follow my passion and live my ideas and dreams. But I also left my corporate job to change my lifestyle, find more balance and appreciate the small things in life that we often take for granted.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, who has come to my events and who has chosen to become and stay part of my journey. You know who you are and you are amazing – thank you.

Since I launched brünch in February 2015, my pop ups have grown from ‘bread brunch booze’ Berlin style to a platform for collaboration, up-and-coming DJs showcasing their talent, meeting new people, discovering London’s hidden and unusual spaces and bringing new small-batch German drink brands to London. You might have seen it already – I also launched BrotZeit in 2015 – my new mobile Berlin breakfast bar concept ideal for markets, corporate events, festivals and small cafes.

Our Berlin brünch community is growing and we (yes, the royal ‘we’ for now) have lots of exciting plans for the New Year – come along and join us! 🙂

brünch – 2015 in review

In 2015 I hosted ten Berlin pop ups and two BrotZeit events where I welcomed over 600 guests in 11 different venues. brünch was named ‘one of London’s most active pop ups in 2015‘ by London Pop Ups , ‘one of the capital’s most exciting pop ups this summer’ by STYLISTand ‘one of London’s prettiest breakfasts’ by About Time Magazine. brünch was also featured in Time Out London, the Evening Standard and my face even made it into Germany’s top newspapers such as Der Tagespiegel with an article on ‘Berlin, London und das ‘brünch’ – Wie sich das Frühstück ändert.‘ I still can’t quite believe it all and my heart still jumps with joy :)))

Last year, I took my pop ups to converted warehouses, rooftops, antique salvage shops, railway arches and craft beer breweries all across the city. In memory of a great year, here a little snapshot of my events in chronological order:

My very first pop up took place at Salon, Brixton in February 2015. Tickets were sold out almost a week before the event with around 40 people attending. Salon is such a beautiful venue owned and run by Nick Balfe, former head chef of Jackson Boxer’s Brunswick House and Frank’s Campari Bar. I can only recommend visiting his restaurant in Brixton Market Row for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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My second pop up took place at The Doodle Bar in Battersea in March. With 50 people attending, it was another sell out event. The vibe was fantastic and I met lots of lovely people and like-minded foodies including Spooncereals, the GrubClub, The Brick BoxSnactThe Social PantryCulinary Canvas and many more. DJ Dirk from Germany put on some hot electro sounds to get into Berlin mood.

In April, I hosted a Berlin Easter brünch at Brixton East 1871 – a converted 19th-century furniture warehouse just off Coldharbour Lane. The venue is stunning and has retained much of its original character and charm. It was a lovely event where about 40 guests attended with their families, friends, dates and partners.

A week later, we went the extra mile and took brünch to East London for the first time. Stage 3 in Hackney Central is part of the Hackney Empire building and with the help of DJ Dirk on the decks, we converted the venue into a little bit of Berlin that day.

In June I was asked to participate in the Streatham Food Festival with my pop up. I felt very honoured and excited to host a German-inspired Summer Dinner at Boyce da Roca, a small neighbourhood cafe in the heart of Streatham. I cooked for four days straight and even my mum arrived from Berlin to help me. It was beautiful ❤ I worked with Axiom brands and mixologist Fliss together to design some amazing cocktails to pair each dish on my menu.

Then it was time for a little Summer break. I went travelling in France for two weeks after reminding myself that leaving my office job also meant more time for myself, work-life balance and adventure. I went into the mountains in Provence and it was beautiful – a peaceful village tucked away from city life – so much beauty and time to let go and appreciate.

When I returned from holidays, I started spending more and more time up east. I explored Hackney Wick, London Fields and Clapton on my bike. Hackney reminds me a lot of Berlin – the vibe, the sense of space, the people…On one of my exploration tours, I came across the CRATE Brewery and in June I hosted my Berlin brunch pop up in their ‘Brew Shed’ – such a special setting. DJ Mo with his own label Homage Records on the decks – amazing vibes, amazing people.

Having been a few times to Maltby Street Market for food, drink and shopping, I inevitably fell in love with the most amazing antique salvage shop in London – Lassco Ropewalk. And so it happened that I managed to convince the owners to bring a little bit of Berlin to their shop in July. On a rainy Sunday morning my team and I converted this beautiful space into a buzzing Berlin den with fresh waffle and Nutella smells running through the shop and gorgeous bread from St John Bakery on offer. I love this venue.

I had been invited to the launch party of The NINES in Peckham in February which was run by two girls who were friend of someone I had met through another friend (this is basically how I find my venues ;)) The NINES is a converted garage bar hidden behind the Bussey Building and exactly what I was after for brünch. It took six months until we finally met up to discuss hosting an event together. In August, 40 people came to enjoy a long lazy Sunday brünch with proper Berlin electro tunes from Moody Pat, a young cutting-edge DJ from the French Caribbean who is definitely one to watch.

To take advantage of the warm summer months, my next event brought me back East to London Fields where I stumbled upon a new quirky venue with probably the best views overlooking London Fields (apart from Netil House perhaps). Playground & Proof had only just opened and it was a pleasure to be the first pop up to host an event up on their roof terrace – a hidden gem you should definitely go and check out if you are in the area.

In the whole month of October I then worked with Streetfeast on the opening of their new Hawker House in Canada Water – a 2,500 people venue with 14 street food vendors and nine bars – and project manage Oktoberfest, which welcomed approximately 5,500 people over two days. We ate, we drank, we danced – such an amazing experience and project to work on 🙂

November was another eventful month for me. I left Brixton after six years and moved to East London – it felt like the end of an era… I also celebrated my 30th birthday in November in Berlin and I launched BrotZeit at the Morning Glorville afterparty! In the meantime I was hatching plans and getting everything ready for my Berlin Winter brünch the following month.

I had visited Palm 2 in Clapton, a lovely venue tucked away above a cute local gourmet deli shop, back in the summer. I fell in love with the venue straight away and having moved close by now, my heart was set on hosting my last event of 2015 here. I welcomed about 40 people for a cosy Berlin Winter brünch in December with lots of German spiced Glühwein, fresh cinnamon waffles and delicious Berlin cocktails.

What a year!

I am seriously excited about 2016 and no doubt Berlin is here to stay 🙂

I am also incredibly proud to have worked with some of these amazing suppliers in 2015:

Berlin/German Drink Brands (among others)

Local Food Suppliers

Coffee Suppliers

Special thanks go to my fantastic friends and family for all your support and help – Sarah, Jamie, Pete, Esther, Roman, Lucy, Kaia, Rocio, Bill, Vicky, Sophie and Christie.

See you in 2016!

Lots of brünch love,

Noemi xx

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