The fast Coffee-to-go in a paper cup is last season. Nowadays, preparing and drinking coffee is thought of as a ritual, a beverage of the finest quality. Coffee beans indeed have a complex flavor structure comparable only to wine grapes. Acanthus’ contributor Gintare Adomaityte met Tansel and Bora Özbek from Berlin based Refinery to talk all about coffee.
Tansel and Bora Özbek have been passionate about coffee culture for ages. However, the truly inspirational journey started in the heart of Berlin in 2015. With their considerable knowledge the couple set up the high end coffee shop Refinery which today is known for carefully selected coffee from local roasters and homemade delights. “We want to create a new type of coffee enthusiast’s community and we are extremely focused on the details”, says Tansel. Located in Berlin-Mitte neighborhood, the café combines Scandinavian interior with industrial Berlin design – without being overly stylized. The high-ceilinged space seems to be lived in; there is a harmony in design and space for coffee talks and mind.
Acanthus caught up with the couple to get their expert take on current moods and trends.
What’s the story behind your shop?
Everything in life happens because of a reason, Refinery Coffee is not an exception. It’s been a while we were brainstorming about our own business which would bring self-fulfillment and happiness until we realized our passion should be the business. David Lynch once said: “Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all”. Refinery Coffee states completely in opposite: better no coffee at all than bad coffee. The vision was to create a social multicultural place for the coffee professionals, lovers and those who share the same passion as we do.
What’s special about your space?
Refinery Coffee stands for the highest standards within the field and we support local roasters from Berlin. It is a thoughtful and sophisticated combination of the multiple impacts: Berlin roasted coffee is served in a carefully designed environment. Very bright and minimal Scandinavian influences though mixed with the citys’ rawness and industrial design perception. The exact reflection of Berlin’s melting pot discourse.
Talking more technically about the coffee preparation and serving, the water supply and power is the core. For example, for our espressos we use the “Spirit” coffee machine which allows to extract espresso shots perfectly by offering accurate temperature control and pressure proﬁling per group head. Our grinders are by Mahlkönig (EK43) and Mazzer (Robur). Of course, all our coffees are made from double shots of espresso! Besides it, we have a monthly special which is usually an amazing single origin coffee from Africa of South America.
What kind of people visit your shop?
There are few types of coffee drinkers: professionals/ lovers, those who have a passion plus interest and thirsty ones. All of them are very welcomed to enjoy the locally roasted coffee and explore a special design of Refinery. However, it is very related with a location too. Refinery Coffee is situated in the heart of Berlin city which means we serve different flows: creatives, professionals, artists, tourists, thirsty and hungry, inlove and lonely, lost and found. We feel like we are in a dialogue with a crowd and it inspires the team.
What are the important things in your daily life?
One of the most important things we’ve learnt is to appreciate what we have. If you start your day with a right tonus and a cup of good espresso, nothing else can bring you down. Collecting the experience, knowledge and impressions and being surrounded by coffee smell – what could be better for the priceless moment’s idyll?
Interview by Gintare Adomaityte
The Refinery Coffee