Someone asked “why are people moving to Berlin?” and someone answered “for the cheap ecstasy”. I mean, drugs are bad and all that jazz – but I think we all have in common that we came over here for the thrill. For the decadence, for the adventure, and for losing our minds a bit.
Me myself I have been here for a couple of years now, and believe it or not: constant partying gets boring and outdated after a while, as everything else. After bringing this up with some friends in a perfectly normal and very sober conversation, I realized I’m not alone with feeling this way: the majority of my friends are leaning towards a more career-driven kind of approach all of a sudden. Something I wouldn’t believe would happen two years ago when I was arriving in this freeky hippie city covered in a massive weed cloud.
I definitely COULD write about my experiences in the dark, dark start up-world
But when talking about ambition, this is not going to be one of those texts about the Berlin start-up scene: raising funds and drinking Club Mate over a game of Kicker, or whatever those people actually do for living, somewhere in Mitte or so. I definitely COULD write about my experiences in the dark, dark start up-world – but it wouldn’t be entertaining for anyone, let alone in any way beneficial for the founders of those companies I’ve been working at, let’s just say.
Bike culture, graphic art, veganism, spirituality, interiors in plywood
So do I have something in mind here? Of course I do. The ambitious trend that’s been spotting around town, in this case in Neukölln to be specific, is the super obvious hipster trend of vinyl collecting, clothing design, bike culture, graphic art, veganism, spirituality, interiors in plywood, and my focus for the day: coffee. I just want to add that this is not a mockery in any way, and I play a role in this type of lifestyle very much myself. With that said, I’m also aware about the “yuppification” of Neukölln” and how me as a Berlin-Swede contributes to that on the behalf of others. Puh. Saved my ass right there, didn’t I?
Humankind’s inner hole of darkness needs to be filled with intoxication and consumption
I’m just so goddamn tired of politics and I just want to talk about coffee breaks really so here we go: In a world that’s bleeding and humankind’s inner hole of darkness needs to be filled with intoxication and consumption there’s unquestionably a strong trend of “going back to the roots”; people are throwing away their smartphones, don’t own Spotify accounts, going to yoga sessions, dancing all casually to disco like that phenomenon isn’t ridiculous at all, claims that clubs are boring, and we are finally starting to understand the importance of actually covering our basic needs. As the basic need for a decent cup of coffee.
So where am I heading with this? Well, there’s a new spot that opened in the heart of Neukölln, and I happen to know the owners. I reached that age, I reckon, of having friends opening up their own business like we weren’t just kids that PLAYED that we had a café very recently. It’s named Isla, which is the Spanish word for island, and the venue and concept itself are representing everything I was just expressing. It’s a little break, an oasis serving coffee made of local and international beans created by Peter Duran – that’s also a record collector and DJ under the alias Oldspeak (www.soundcloud.com/oldspeakmusic) – and Philipp Reichel – that’s been running Café Neun over at Markthalle 9 like a boss whilst opening up a roastery and this very café at the same time. These guys know their coffee, in other words.
Hipster score – ding, ding, ding!
It’s an Instagram friendly place with the nicest staff in the world, sometimes even dogs present, and has an interior design that makes my Scandinavian heart skip a beat. So this is where we are right now, apparently I’ve reached that inner calm zen part of me that appreciates a cup of coffee to the point that I sit down and write a text about it. That’s just the type of person I’ve became: an adult writing a text that’s – sort of – about coffee/coffee culture but over all just me bragging about having ambitious friends, for an independent online magazine about happenings in Berlin (hipster score – ding, ding, ding!). I guess one is growing up in a city like this, too – who knew?
Pay a visit, and say hello from me, at:
Isla Coffee Berlin
Article by Emma Karlsson