These days, it feels like every week, there is a new specialty coffee bar or roastery opening somewhere nearby. Every time, I cycle through Amsterdam, I stumble across some venue that has ‘specialty coffee’ written all over it and we constantly receive emails from startup roasteries who want to get into one of our boxes.
Indeed, the coffee industry and society have come a long way. There has never been a better time to get involved but we must also remember that things weren’t always this easy. And I’m saying “easy” because it’s still tough to be running a small café or roastery. Let’s not disregard that.
When the third wave was beginning to break over Europe, it was mainly in large capital cities that you could find serious specialty coffee businesses, though as always, there were many exceptions too. Berlin, which today has one of Europe’s most competitive scenes, was one of those early pioneers where people like Sascha Spittel, Thomas Stock and their former co-founder Jörn Gutowski opened one of the city’s first specialty coffee espresso bars.
The name was Tres Cabezas, three heads in Spanish, inspired by the three friends’ trip to Costa Rica where they first encountered high quality coffee and experienced life on a coffee farm. ‘Why don’t we have this kind of coffee in Germay?’ they wondered while surfing on the country’s pacific coast. A plan was hatched and upon their return to their homeland, they set about transforming a very traditional, stubborn and large industry by opening their first café in Friedrichshain in 2002.
Admittedly, it was very hard in the beginning as Sascha confessed in an interview some years later. Many people didn’t really get specialty coffee, thought the coffee was too sour or too fruity or wanted to add tons of milk and sugar without tasting it first. There were probably many moments when they wondered if they had made the right decision but their perseverence paid off. In the years that followed, Berlin suddenly experienced a massive influx of internationals who brought with them a desire for better cofffee. In particular, Americans and people from Down Under who were already used to filter coffee and fruity espressos from back home.
Then, more and more roasters opened their doors and before too long, Tres Cabezas became 19 Grams, inspired some its Aussie employees who traditionally used 19 grams of coffee for a double espresso. The company’s mission was always to try and change the German coffee and hospitality industry by giving people access to more information and better coffee and to maintain close ties to farmers in places like Costa Rica.
As a fellow German, I know how much influence large brands like Tschibo, Melitta or Dallmayr Prodomo have and that Germans are also very price conscious when it comes to ‘commodities’ like coffee. I’m only saying this because to the vast majority of consumers, coffee is still nothing more than brown liquid best consumed with lots of milk and sugar.
In the past few years, 19 Grams experienced exponential growth, catapulting the business into the highest echelons of the German specialty coffee scene and ever since their first Coffeevine feature in December of 2020, they have been a regular partner of ours. Now, they are back for a fresh new feature with a super delicious 96h extended fermentation washed Pink Bourbon that will blow your bloody socks off.
Produced by Gabriel Castaño Buendía who runs Finca La Granada in Colombia who is famous for discovering the Pink Bourbon varietal that is now super trendy, this coffee offers a spectacularly vibrant cup profile that reminded us of rhubarb soda with a touch of strawberry sweetness. It’s tart and fresh and absolutely delicious as either filter or espresso.
Receive this coffee along with delicious picks from Workshop and Langøra as part of our upcoming European coffee roasters selection. Browse our shop for all options and to place your order today. Ships globally on 19.10.2023