Speciality Coffee from Berlin.
As I have been following the world of specialty coffee for the past few years, I have noticed that most of the people in this sector are either locals or foreigners who have lived in Mallorca for a while and spotted a gap in the market that they felt they could fill.
I was more than a little surprised then, when I saw a known brand from Berlin opening here mid-July. They explain the move in their recent press release: “We export more than 80% of our coffee beans roasted in Berlin to private individuals and café partners around the world. In 2021, we followed our customers and moved ahead with our international café expansion with a first café in Dubai. Two weeks ago (July 2022), we opened our first European Café outside of Germany: in Palma de Mallorca. The Specialty Coffee scene in Spain has developed quite strongly over the past 5 years with local cafés and roasteries that created a great base of awareness for Specialty Coffee. We felt that this is the perfect time to be part of the growing coffee-loving community in Spain.”
Shortly after I saw this press release, I went to check out the place with a friend and her teenage son who is really into coffee. Nestled in a cute little street of Placa de Cort, full of interesting and quirky shops, I decided that I would like it even before I saw it. Initially, I was surprised by how small The Barn was. Then, as I was chatting with the lovely barista Ernesto, I realised that their idea – for here and now – was mostly a take away coffee. What it lacked in size, The Barn certainly made up in style. I love the clean lines of the shelves, the benches and the equipment on the bar. Also, the branding and the packaging of the coffee have one of the simplest but the coolest designs I have come across in the coffee world in Mallorca.
For someone who loves coffee, I often “spoil” it by ordering a cortado (an espresso with a bit of milk, for those of you who are not familiar). But here even a few drops of milk could not deter me from the fact that I was drinking some excellent coffee. Also, Ernesto was a perfect host that first day. He told me a bit more about the coffee, the company and put me in touch with Simona who is currently managing the place.
A few days later I was back, this time with my friend, a photographer Santiago Gallardo. Instead of going for cortado again, I let Ernesto choose my coffee for me. He suggested a Nitro cold brew, made with Kenyan beans. This was like no other coffee I have ever tasted. Fresh, slightly citrusy, a little bit like a high quality black tea, but unmistakably a coffee of the highest quality! I have definitely discovered my new favourite place in town!
The Barn, a brainchild of Ralf and Andreas, has been around since 2010. They won The Best Coffee Roasters Award” for Europe and Middle East in 2019 and “The Best Independent Specialty Coffee Shop in Europe in 2018.
All their coffees are of single origin and they work directly with farms. They choose their beans for “quality, cleanliness, sustainability and traceability” and “only buy fresh, seasonal crop”. This is one of their principles to treasure the value chain “from crop to cup”. They offer worldwide shipping and some interesting subscriptions, such as Monthly House Coffee or One Masterpiece per Month.
I was wondering why they chose Palma as the first European place outside Berlin and was told it was because they spend quite a bit of time in the city and wanted to have the same quality coffee while here. What a brilliant reason for a new venture!
The team in Palma is made up of three cool, passionate people. Simona is originally from Italy, so her passion for and her knowledge of coffee is somewhat “a given”. She came to Palma via London, where she also worked in the world of specialty coffee. She is into arty photography and nature. Ernesto is half Guatemalan half German. He held several different careers before getting into coffee. Nowadays he sounds like an encyclopaedia on coffee beans, profiles, flavours… An interesting point he made was that our taste (of coffee) depends on our past experiences. An example he gave me is that I might taste a lemon in a coffee he served me, but he might taste a lime, as that is what he was more familiar with. Another thing he said really stuck in my mind: “Coffee beans are all unique. Each one is like its own person.” Bet you will never look at your cup of coffee the same way after reading this and thinking about it! Julia, the third member of the Palma team, is in charge of their sweet treats. She is originally from Poland and a keen photographer, so she and Santiago talked shop for a bit as well.
As much as the focus at The Barn is on great coffee, there will be a few sweet bites on offer too, including a peanut butter and jam cookie and several Berlin inspired delicacies. Just as Santiago and I were leaving, the space was gradually filling up with the smell of a chocolate and nut cake still in the oven.
As I am writing this from home, I am sipping on a sample of a coffee the guys gifted me. It comes in a stylish, easy to transport pouch (6 to a pack). It is super easy to make, but it tastes nothing like any instant coffee you have ever tried. Nano Challa is made with beans from Ethiopia and carries nectarine and jasmine notes. Instant luxury in a cup! I can totally see this being a new trend on yachts all over Med in the years to come…
Till next month…
Text: Mia Naprta
Photos: Santiago Gallardo
Mobile: +34 722 25 51 19
Tel: +34 871 903 883
Address: Costa d’en Brossa 5, Palma
Open: 8:30-17:00 (ex. Sunday)
Photo Credits: @ Santiago Gallardo