The Barn, Sony Center

Detail from the A-board outside The Barn in the Sony Center, Berlin (in chalk, the wods "The Barn Coffee Roasters, Berlin" along with The Barn's logo.Although you can find good coffee all across Berlin, it’s still quite rare in tourist areas, which makes The Barn’s coffee shop in the Sony Center, around the corner from Potsdamer Platz, such a good find. The Barn, which boasts 10 Berlin coffee shops and two more overseas (Mallorca, Dubai), needs no introduction with its international reputation for roasting excellent coffee. The Barn, which began life in the Mitte district of Berlin, has a certain look and feel to the majority of its coffee shops, although the one in the Sony Center bucks this trend, with its modern, clean lines. There’s a handful of tables outside on the quiet street, while there’s plenty more seating in the L-shaped interior.

Despite the atypical appearance, you can be sure of the same warm welcome, along with the usual range of coffee, which is common to all The Barn’s Berlin locations. This includes a concise espresso-based menu (available online via QR Code), two options on pour-over through the V60, plus cold brew, tea, hot chocolate and a range of cakes. The specific beans (all single-origins) vary by location, chosen by the baristas every few days, while the full range is available in retail bags.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • A welcome sign near Potsdamer Platz, pointing the way to The Barn.
  • In fact, there are quite a few signs dotted around...
  • ... while on the other side, they let you know if you've gone too far!
  • The Barn is in the Sony Center, which has this handy floor plan...
  • ... which you can also use to help locate The Barn.
  • And here we are!
  • The front of The Barn is all glass, with tables outside on either side of the door.
  • To the left, a pair of two-person round tables and a picnic table...
  • ... while on the right there are two larger, round tables, each seating four.
  • One of the larger tables in more detail.
  • It's quite pleasant out here, set well back from the road, with a tree-lined view.
  • Let's go in.
  • The counter greets you as you step inside.
  • The counter runs along the back of The Barn, stretching off to the right.
  • There's a smaller extension to the left: this is the counter's full length.
  • Heading down to the right-hand end, there's a little bit of seating...
  • ... in the shape of these two window-bars, one two-person and one solitary one.
  • The espresso machine and its grinders are also down here...
  • ... along with a small retail shelf.
  • Going the other way, there's a small amount of seating at the left-hand end of the counter.
  • However, the bulk of the seating is beyond this.
  • Let's start at the front, where there's a pair of window-bars to the left of the door.
  • The Barn is L-shaped, with an extension heading back beyond the end of the counter.
  • A low bench runs around the wall, lined with small round tables, each with a chair.
  • The bench runs along the left-hand wall...
  • ... then across the back walll...
  • ... before coming up a little way, stopping short of the counter.
  • The view from the back, looking towards the windows.
  • And, of course, there has to be the obligatory lighting shot.
  • To business. The (very tempting) cakes greet you as you enter, with the till to the right.
  • There's plenty of retail about the place, including the tasting box at the back.
  • THere's more on top of the cake display: instant coffee, single-use coffee bags...
  • ... and, on the shelf behind, standard retail bags of coffee.
  • In fact, where ever you look, there seems to be bags of coffee for sale!
  • There's a handy price list on the counter...
  • ... along with a list of coffee kit and merchandising.
  • These two bags by the till aren't for sale: they are the day's pour-over choices.
  • There's also a concise menu and a QR Code for the more extensive online menu.
  • Carrying on down the counter, there's the pour-over station with its V60s and scales...
  • ... while at the end is the La Marzocco espresso machine and its grinders.
  • I started with a pour-over, the Gitwe from Rwanda, served in a carafe with the cup...
  • ... on the side, all presented on a little wooden tray.
  • My pour-over, seen from above. I returned for an espresso...
  • ... which was the Fasya from Brazil, served in a classic black cup.
  • However, I'll leave you with my filter coffee enjoying the view from outside The Barn.
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The Barn at the Sony Center is a recent addition to the area, although it’s not that easy to find, being on the northern side of the Sony Center on the quiet Bellevuestraße, just to the northeast of Potsdamer Platz. In fact, The Barn has another coffee shop nearby on the opposite side of Potsdamer Straße on Alte Potsdamer Straße, and since this is easier to find (and it’s more likely that you’ll wander past), it’s perpetually busy, whereas the one in the Sony Center is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area.

Occupying a ground floor spot in the modern building, The Barn looks out over Henriette-Herz-Park, providing a pleasant, green backdrop for your coffee. If you want to sit outside on the broad pavement, then there are a pair of round, four-person tables (one front, one back) to the right of the door, while to the left, there are a pair of round, two-person tables at the front and a four-person picnic-style table at the back.

The front of The Barn is all glass, with central, glass door, making for a very bright interior. Stepping inside, the space is long and thin, with the counter is directly ahead of you, running all the way to the wall at the right-hand end. There’s limited seating down here, with a two-person window-bar to the right of the door, followed by a single-person one, both with stools.

The bulk of the seating is to the left, where the counter stops short just after the door, extending just enough to fit in three low stools, with a fourth tucked around the corner at the end of the counter. There are three more stools, tall ones this time, at a pair of window-bars to the left of the door, while beyond the counter, space extends towards the back, giving it an L shape. There’s lots more seating here, with a bench running down the left-hand wall and along the back wall, while there’s a shorter bench running from the back wall up to the counter. In all, there are ten small, round tables, with addition seating provided by chairs.

You order at the counter, the till slightly off to the right as you enter, leaving you standing face-to-face with the cake display, which itself is surrounded by retail bags of coffee and coffee-related kit. The counter to the left, beyond the cakes, is kept clear, while to the right is the pour-over station and then the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine.

Unlike some of The Barn’s locations, which have no printed menus, there are menus here on the counter, along with a QR Code to take you to the more extensive online menu. There’s a single-origin plus decaf on espresso, along with two single-origins on pour-over through the V60. These change every day or two, with the baristas getting to choose what they want to serve.

During my visit, the pour-over choices were the El Obraje Colibri from Colombia and the Gitwe from Rwanda, which is what I went for. Served in a carafe with the cup on the side, this was a very fine coffee. Subtle and smooth, it was at the perfect drinking temperature, with a touch of citric acidity coming out as it cooled. I went back for an espresso, the Fasya from Brazil, which produced a classic, strong well-balanced shot which brought a fine end to my coffee shop explorations that day (you can also see what I made of the Fasya when I tried it in a cortado at The Barn at Café Kranzler).

Monday 09:00 – 17:00 Roaster The Barn (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 09:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Window-bar, Counter; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 17:00 Food Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 17:00 Service Counter
Friday 09:00 – 17:00 Payment Cards Only
Saturday 12:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 12:00 – 17:00 Power Yes
Chain International Visits 7th May 2022

Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Berlin’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Berlin.

You can also see what I made of two more of The Barn’s coffee shops, the original coffee shop/roastery on Schönhauser Allee and the other at the iconic Café Kranzler.

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