Blooming Coffee Bar

An espresso, made with the Todos Santos, a washed coffee from Guatemala, roasted by Blooming Coffee Roastery and served in Blooming Coffee Bar, presented in a gorgeous, handleless ceramic Aoomi cup, handmade in Poland.When I visited Köln on my way back from Berlin in May, I had two coffee shops to visit, The Coffee Gang and Ernst Kaffeeröster. However, I quickly added a third, Blooming Coffee Bar, which came highly recommended by the locals. Blooming Coffee Roastery & Coffee Bar (in true German fashion, it’s both roaster and coffee shop) only opened its coffee bar last summer, on Leonhard-Tietz-Straße in the city centre, although the roasting part has been going for a little longer.

As a coffee shop, it’s very modern, with a clean interior design and décor. It’s the first coffee shop I’ve visited that uses the Decent Espresso machine, which was designed with the home market in mind. There’s a choice of two single-origins, served from a very concise menu, while for filter, there’s batch brew and four single-origins, each matched to either V60 or Kalita Wave. There’s also a selection of tea and a small collection of cakes/pastries.

The design aesthetic extends to the cups and servers (both by Kinto) for the filter coffee, while for espresso, there are some gorgeous ceramic Aoomi cups, handmade in Poland. Naturally, they’re all available to buy, along with the coffee beans and tea.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Blooming Coffee Bar, a relatively recent addition to Köln city centre.
  • It's located on the corner of Leonhard-Tietz-Straße (right) and Jabachstraße (left).
  • This is one of two benches, each with its own table, flanking the door. There's a table...
  • ... with a pair of stools to the right, and this bench/table combination down Jabachstraße.
  • This is also where you'll find the A-board, showing the daily batch brew.
  • The entrance is on the corner. Let's go in, shall we?
  • The view back through the open double doors.
  • The bench to the left of the door.
  • Inside, the seating starts to the left of the door, where this little nook has its own bench.
  • The counter follows, along the back wall, while the bulk of the seating is to the right.
  • ... ending with this little area at the front, to the right of the door.
  • Let's take a more detailed look, starting with the L-shaped bench by the window.
  • The bench runs along a low wall which surrounds a semi-open staircase to the basement.
  • There's another bench, on the other side, to the left of the door.
  • Meanwhile, the staircase has been made into a feature, with these two chairs/table...
  • ... built into the wall/over the top of the stairs as they descend to the basement.
  • There's one more bench, running along the right-hand wall beyond the staircase.
  • A view down the bench from the top of the stairs, with the retail coffee beyond.
  • Returning the favour, here's the view the other way, where you can see the stairs.
  • Design is very important to Blooming Coffee Bar, and there are plenty of neat features...
  • ... including the lamp and this corner bookshelf.
  • Talking of shelves, this one hovers over the staircase with various flasks, coffee kit...
  • ... and some of the gorgeous ceramic Aoomi cups, handmade in Poland. I was tempted!
  • More cups on a shelf on the wall above the stairs. Must resist! I own so many cups already.
  • This time its the turn of the glassware (top) and boxes of tea (bottom).
  • To business. You order at the weird, two-legged table in front of the counter.
  • It houses the pastries and cakes...
  • ... as well as more retail stock. Note that the coffee comes in both bags and jars.
  • Talking of which, the drinks menu is delightfully concise.
  • Filter coffee lives off to the left, in front of a frosted glass screen, behind which is a small...
  • ... kitchen area. As well as the Kalita Wave filters, there are V60s. The interesting...
  • ... hand-grinder isn't currently used, but was bought to allow customers to grind their...
  • ... own coffee for a pour-over. I had a more conventionally-ground V60 of the Uddeyi...
  • ... a naturally-processed Ethiopian, which came in a Kinto server, complete with cup...
  • ... and a cinnamon bun (this is an optional extra).
  • I returned the following day for an espresso. Blooming Coffee Bar has three of the...
  • ... Decent Espresso machines. This is an older model, effectively a spare...
  • .... while these two are in use every day, one for each of the two espresso options.
  • A view of the two Decent Espresso machines, seen head on.
  • The grinder is something special too, a Solo from Grindie in Italy.
  • First, grind the coffee, then give the distribution tool a quick twirl...
  • ... before tamping firmly.
  • Attach the portafilter to the Decent Espresso machine...
  • ... and we're underway. Check out the coloured lights on top of the group head.
  • And here comes the coffee.
  • I love watching espresso extract. The Decent's mirrored front just adds to the experience.
  • Last one.
  • You can also watch the progress on the real-time graph on the tablet on top!
  • Just to prove it's not just espresso, the Decent also steams milk.
  • Back to my coffee (which wasn't the one we saw extracting). Served with a glass of water...
  • ... it comes in one of these gorgeous ceramic Aoomi cups. It really added to the experience.
  • I'll leave you with this view of my espresso from above.
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Blooming Coffee Bar is on the northern side of Leonhard-Tietz-Straße, occupying a ground floor unit on the corner with Jabachstraße. Just a 10-minute walk from my hotel, it was very convenient for me to visit and is also very handy for various tourist locations in the city centre.

Blooming Coffee Bar is rectangular, with the short side on Leonhard-Tietz-Straße, although there’s a large chunk missing from the corner, the wall running at 45° to both streets. You’ll find the broad double doors here, flanked by a pair of small windows, while a pair of benches stand outside, one under each window, each with a small, rectangular table. There’s another window to the right on Leonhard-Tietz-Straße, where a round table with two low stools replaces the bench. The symmetry is further spoiled along Jabachstraße, a broad stretch of wall ending with a fourth window, another bench/table combination beneath it.

Inside, the layout is complicated by a semi-open staircase on the right-hand side, which leads to basement (staff-only). Set back from window, this has been very cleverly turned into a feature by building much of the seating around it. As a result, what could have been a simple, single space has been split into multiple areas.

Starting to the right of the door, an L-shaped bench runs along the front of the staircase and down the right-hand wall to the window. Next to that, a pair chairs with a small table between them are built into the left-hand side of the staircase. Meanwhile, to the left of the door, a stub of wall results in a small, almost triangular space with a single bench against the stub.

The rear is mostly given over to the counter and retail area, although there is another bench running along the right-hand wall beyond the staircase, complete with a small table in the middle. Retail shelves for bags/jars of coffee are on the back wall, in the right-hand corner, while there are other shelves on various walls and above the staircase with cups, coffee equipment and tea.

The counter is a semi-open affair running across most of the back wall, starting by the window on the left and ending by the retail shelves on the right. A small table stands in front of it, angled at 45°, holding a display case for cakes and pastries. It’s also where you order/pay. A small kitchen space is tucked behind the wall stub on the left, partially hidden from view by a frosted glass window, beneath which is the pour-over station.

Everything in Blooming Coffee Bar is designed with care. The table, for example, replaces the traditional counter, so as not to form a barrier between customer and barista, while the espresso machines stand against the back wall, where they’re easily visible. If anything, customers are encouraged to watch and ask questions.

Blooming Coffee has three Decent Espresso machines, two of which are in use at any given time, one for each of the espresso options (during my visit, Cafeina, a naturally-processed coffee from Brazil, and Todos Santos, a washed coffee from Guatemala), with a very striking Solo Grinder from Grindie. Meanwhile, there are (typically) four pour-over options, two of which were matched to the V60 during my visit, the other two matched to the Kalita Wave.

I visited twice, first a brief visit for a pour-over (the Uddeyi, a naturally-processed Ethiopian) through the V60, which I paired with a cinnamon bun, followed by a longer visit the next day, when I ironically had the Todos Santos espresso.

My pour-over was lovely, a smooth, fruity coffee which was just as good when cold (it wasn’t that brief a visit), while the cinnamon bun had the pleasing combination of crunchy exterior and chewy interior. The Todos Santos, meanwhile, made for a very interesting espresso, quite different from the chocolate/nuts notes of a typical espresso, which very much made my day.

LEONHARD-TIETZ-STRAßE 4 • 50676 KÖLN • GERMANY
https://bloomingcoffee.de +49 (0) 15 7874 17862
Monday CLOSED Roaster Blooming Coffee (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 09:00 – 17:00 Seating Benches/Tables, Benches/Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 17:00 Food Cakes
Thursday 09:00 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 09:00 – 17:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 10:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power Yes
Chain No Visits 18th, 19th May 2022

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