Public Coffee Roasters – Hamburg (DE)
Helping Hamburgers help themselves to great coffee
I have always been a big fan of the underdogs. Whether it’s supporting small, local fashion labels, going to farmer’s markets, going to see lesser known musicians or even visiting second or third tier cities. When a particular industry, scene or country is dominated by one or two major players, things can often get quite boring.
When I look at my own hometown of Hamburg, which happens to be the second largest city in Germany, I get the same feeling. I have always been extremely proud to hail from this gorgeous nautical city in the North not just because I have so many fond memories from growing up there but also because everytime I take foreigners there for a visit, they leave with the best of impressions. Everyone always goes to Berlin or Munich but actually Hamburg is the true underdog amongst major German cities. I strongly believe many of my fellow Hamburgers share the same view and rather than wait for others to come and impose their lifestyles, brands and ideas on us, we like taking things into our own hands. Just look at how German Hip Hop from Hamburg dominated the scene for so many years, or how Fritz Kola suddenly took Germany by storm. Even when it comes to coffee, we had our own answer to Starbucks long before the Americans dared to open their first store in the city.
Funnily enough, despite the fact that Hamburg’s port is the main transit point for a vast amount of specialty coffee coming from overseas, the city was a bit slow in catching on to the real third wave movement. People there, especially Milchschaummuttis (milk foam mamas), love their Latte Macchiatos. But luckily things are also changing here. One of the best places serving truly excellent coffee is Public Coffee Roasters, a small venture started by the former head roaster of famous Hamburg brand Elbgold and a friend who has a background in economics. Veljko and Argin first started roasting small batches of specialty coffee in an off-location and serving their beautifully crafted beans at a shop in shop in St. Georg. That’s also when I first met the two and we immediately hit it off.
During one of my most recent visits they told me they were finally looking for their first very own shop somewhere in the up and coming Neustadt, an area that’s practically attached to the city center but without much of the annoying tourist buzz so typical for the area around Jungfernstieg and Mönckebergstrasse. I followed their opening on Facebook and couldn’t wait to finally visit their new shop when I last returned to Hamburg last week.
Cozily nestled inbetween a few small shops on Wexstrasse, Public Coffee Roasters is the most exciting new arrival to Hamburg’s coffee scene since the invention of sliced bread. On the day I swung by only Argin was around but it was great to catch up over a cup of perfectly prepared coffee. Soon after Veljko popped in with some freshly roasted beans but feeling terribly sick, he didn’t stick around for long.
The shop itself is very tastefully decorated with many lovely elements such as the postcard holder by the door, the magazine rack with a brilliant selection of publications or the gorgeous piece on the wall, which depicts their logo using only string. Argin mentioned the boys were super happy with their environment and quickly built up a loyal following of coffee lovers who regularly pop in.
With regards to their coffees, they are always hunting for something really special that they can custom roast. At this point they only had a Yirgacheffe for filter, next to their various Espresso roasts and blends but it won’t be long before they once again have a great selection of beans from all over the world. Apart from serving their coffees here and delivering them to a few other shops in the area, the two friends also offer consultancy to people who are interested in opening their own shop. A great service for those who are maybe a bit unsure as to how to go about jumping on the third wave.
If you ever decide to visit Germany’s glorious capital of the North, you should not miss out on visiting Public Coffee Roasters. A truly great addition to the local scene!