19grams Alex – Roastery & Lab

Details from a sticker on the espresso machine at 19grams Alex in Berlin. A flat white, seen from above, with the words "Can you handle the Süss?" written around the rim of the saucer.The first place I wrote about when I visited Berlin in May was 19grams Schlesi in Kreuzberg. As I’m approaching the end of my collection of Berlin Coffee Spots from the trip, it’s fitting that 19grams features again. This time it’s the turn of 19grams Alex, the roastery & lab in Mitte, located on Karl-Liebknecht-straße in the shadow of the famous Berliner Fernsehturn on Alexanderplatz.

This is where the magic happens, the roastery, visible through glass doors to the left, producing all of 19grams coffee. Along with a conference/training room, this occupies one half of the space, while the rest of 19grams Alex is given over to a spacious coffee shop, with plenty of outdoor seating on the broad, paved expanse in front of the shop.

Although the setting is very different from 19grams Schlesi, the offering is the same, with the Wild at Heart blend on espresso (for milk-based drinks) along with a single-origin (default for espresso and Americano) and decaf, plus a single-origin on batch brew filter. The single-origins change on a regular basis, as does the food menu, which is the same across all four 19grams locations, offering innovative brunch options and sharing plates cooked to order.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • 19grams Alex Roastery & Lab, seen here approaching from the heart of Mitte.
  • That was actually my second visit. This is the same view the day before with blue skies.
  • The famous Berliner Fernsehturn soars upwards on the other side of Karl-Liebknecht-straße.
  • Talking of which, this is the view if you approach from Karl-Liebknecht-straße.
  • There's plenty of seating outside on the broad, paved expanse in front of 19grams.
  • These four-person tables are arranged in two rows, one by the windows and the other...
  • ... further out. There are three in each row to the right of the door and two to the left.
  • The wide double doors bring you into the left-hand side of the coffee shop.
  • The bulk of the seating is off to the right. Note the water station is the right of the door.
  • It's table service here, so a member of staff with grab a bottle & glasses before showing...
  • ... you to a table, which means you don't have to go to the counter at the back to order.
  • The seating starts with a row of three booth-like four-person tables in the windows.
  • There are more tables behind these in the rather irregularly-shaped interior.
  • There are seven two-person tables, two of which are pushed together to form a set of four.
  • The last of the two-person tables in the window down the right-hand side.
  • The kitchen, where all the food is prepared, is back here on the right-hand side.
  • The view looking back to the other side of 19grams, where there's more seating...
  • ... in the form of this row of three tables along the left-hand side.
  • There's more beyond the windows that separate the two sides of 19grams. I never did...
  • ... find out what this was for, but I'm guessing conference room/training/overspill seating.
  • Further back on the left is the roastery and lab which you can see...
  • ... through the glass doors...
  • ... where the Probat roaster is clearly visible.
  • Back to the seating on the left-hand side of 19grams. There are two two-person tables...
  • ... and another of the booth-like tables for four in the window.
  • The last of the seating is behind the island counter where these tables nestle...
  • ... at the top of the stairs. Sadly there's no basement seating, just toilets and storage...
  • ... while 19grams' core values are displayed on the way down the stairs.
  • Just to prove that it's an island counter, here's a view of the seating from the other side.
  • Naturally, there's a fully stocked set of retail shelves. There's some coffee kit, but it's...
  • ... mostly bags and bags of coffee with 19grams' colourful packaging.
  • The pictures on the front are designed to give an idea of the flavours of the coffee.
  • Although you don't need to come up to the counter to order, it is worth a visit.
  • For example, you can check out the cakes in their display case.
  • You can also see what's on espresso, the beans displayed next to the modest slogan.
  • The Wild at Heart blend is a constant and is the default for milk-based drinks...
  • ... while this was the single-origin option, used as default for all other espresso drinks.
  • There's also batch brew filter...
  • ... which, during my visit, was this Bombe from Ethiopia. A neat feature of the island...
  • ... counter is that you can stand at the back and watch the espresso extracting.
  • However, since it's table service, you get a menu, which is accessible via QR code.
  • On my first visit, I had the Sonara single-origin espresso, served in an over-sized cup...
  • ... which I paired with a slice of banana bread.
  • On my return the following day, I'd come for a late brunch.
  • I had the Bubble & Squeak Benedict with brocolli (instead of bacon)...
  • ... and a side of country loaf toast...
  • ... which I paired with a decaf oat milk flat white.
  • Before I left, I gave the staff a gift of this Paltaypampa from George Howell in Boston.
  • In return, I bought a bag of the Don Martin as a gift for Bank Street Social in Wrexham.
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Although located in Mitte, the heart of Berlin’s speciality coffee scene, 19grams Alex isn’t necessarily somewhere you’ll wander past, although if you do, the striking façade, proudly proclaiming “Bloody Good Coffee” (a slogan which betrays 19grams’ Aussie roots) is hard to miss. The reason is its location. Although the address is Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, this is the busy dual carriageway which runs along the northern side of Alexanderplatz. In contrast, 19grams is tucked away in a pedestrianised section next to the railway tracks which run by on tall, brick arches on their way to Hackescher Markt and onwards to Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

19grams is on the ground floor of a very modern building, facing the railway arches, which are home to, amongst other things, the East German Motorcycle Museum. The front is almost all glass, with wide, tall, steel-framed windows running floor-to-ceiling, while there’s a similarly large window down the right-hand side. The (very) broad front is split into two, with the roastery and lab on the left and the coffee shop on the right (under the “Bloody Good Coffee” slogan).

There’s plenty of seating outside in front of the coffee shop half, with 10 four-person tables in two rows of five, one next to windows and the other a little further out. Three of the tables in each row are to the right of the door, with two to the left. Talking of which, the door brings you into the left-hand side of the coffee shop, which stretches away to the right. Since 19grams offers table service, you’ll be greeted at the door and shown to a table.

There’s a row of three booth-like tables, each seating four, running along the windows to the right of the door. Next comes a pair of two-person square tables, with a four-person table beyond that and a final two-person table in the window at the right-hand end. Meanwhile, at the back on the right, another pair of two-person tables sit in front of the kitchen, visible through a large serving hatch.

To the left of the door is another of the four-person booths, followed by a pair of square, two-person tables which run along the left-hand side of the coffee shop space, marked by a floor-to-ceiling window/door combination which separates it from the training/conference room. Towards the back is another window/door combination which looks into the roastery, the large Probat roaster clearly visible. Finally, at the back, stairs lead down to the basement (sadly storerooms and toilets only), starting in the left-hand corner and running across the back wall. The large island counter stands in front of the stairs, two pairs of four-person tables behind it, tucked overlooking the staircase.

I visited twice, once late on Friday, just before closing time, and again the following day for brunch (the kitchen closes at three o’clock). On my first visit, I had the Sonora, a naturally-processed coffee from Costa Rica, as an espresso. This was a beautiful, well-rounded, well-balanced shot, which I paired with that Australian classic, banana bread, served cold without any adornment. Not, of course, that it needed any since it was very fine as it was.

On my return, I was excited to try the new menu, which had come on that day. I had the Bubble & Squeak Benedict with broccoli (instead of bacon) and country loaf toast. The Benedict was amazing, such a riot of flavours with a rich Hollandaise sauce, while the toast was also awesome. After a busy day visiting coffee shops, I turned to a decaf oat flat white, which was rich and creamy, with just a hint of oat.


Before I left, I gave the staff a gift of a bag of coffee from George Howell, which I’d picked up in Boston (it was the Paltaypampa, a washed coffee from Peru). In return, the staff insisted I have a cup of the batch brew filter, the excellent Bombe, naturally-processed coffee from Ethiopia. I also bought a bag of the Don Martin, a double anaerobic natural from Costa Rica, which I brought home for the folks at Bank Street Social in Wrexham).

KARL-LIEBKNECHT-STRAßE 7 • 10178 BERLIN • GERMANY
https://19grams.coffee +49 (0) 30 2757 7809
Monday 09:00 – 18:00 Roaster 19grams (espresso + batch brew)
Tuesday 09:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 18:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 18:00 Service Table
Friday 09:00 – 18:00 Payment Card Only
Saturday 09:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 13th, 14th May 2022

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Berlin’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Berlin.


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