The Barn – Café Kanzler

Two rolled into one, the minimalist logo of The Barn overlaid on the red and white stripped awning of Café Kanzler.To make a change from my American road trip, today’s Coffee Spot takes us all the way back to early May and my trip to Berlin, when I visited a rather unique establishment, Café Kranzler. This Berlin institution can trace its roots back to 1825 and is easily recognisable in its current incarnation, in a rotunda on top of the Kranzler-Eck shopping complex on Kurfürstendamm. In 2016, The Barn took over the running of the iconic coffee shop, thus keeping the Café Kranzler name alive.

Access is via a lift, with a choice of seating inside the rotunda itself, outside on the 360° wrap-around balcony or on a rooftop terrace (accessed via a flight of stairs from the balcony). Although the setting is quite different from The Barn’s usual third-wave style coffee shops (or, indeed, the ultra-modern Sony Center coffee shop), the offering is very familiar, with the standard seasonal menu which you’ll find across all The Barn’s Berlin locations. This includes a concise espresso-based menu, 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.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

Café Kranzler, on the roof of the Kranzler-Eck shopping complex, is hard to miss, with its distinctive red-and-white striped awning. Standing on the corner of Kurfürstendamm and Joachimsthaler Straße to the west of the Zoologischer Gatren, it has views south across the modern Berlin skyline. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the Zoologischer Gatren train station, while the entrance to the Kurfürstendamm U-bahn station is right outside.

While hard to miss, it’s not so easy to find the entrance, which is tucked away halfway down a passageway connecting Kurfürstendamm with the building’s interior courtyard. You can also get to it via the courtyard which has a broad entrance on Joachimsthaler Straße. In The Barn’s defence, there are multiple signs so, just like the ultra-modern Sony Center coffee shop, while you’re unlike to stumble across the entrance, you can find it with a little application.

However you get there, a small lift will take you up the three floors to the circular rotunda that is home to Café Kranzler. The rotunda is arranged around a spiral staircase right in the centre which leads down to the floors below, although sadly it’s no longer in use. The interior seating is a little sparse, with window bars running around the rotunda’s circumference, plus a pair of high tables to the left of the lift as you exit. There’s also a low, wooden platform next to the tables where you can sit on the step-style seating.

The counter is immediately to your right as you exit the lift, where you order and collect your coffee and cake. This is followed by a door to the balcony, a row of six single-person window-bars and then a second retail counter, with bags of coffee and coffee equipment for sale. The wooden platform follows this second counter and then come the tables before you’re back to the lift.

If the weather is nice, I recommend the balcony over the interior (unless you want power for your laptop/phone, in which case, stay inside). The balcony runs all the way around the rotunda and is protected by the aforementioned red-and-white striped awning. Wooden benches line the outside of the windows, with small, round tables and stools at regular intervals.

There’s one last seating area, a broad, wooden, roof-top patio, one level lower than the rotunda, accessed from the balcony via a metal staircase. Two long, communal tables run down the centre, seating provided by benches, while around 20 small, round tables, each seating between two and four people, line the edges. Note that there is no shade/protection from the rain down here.

Although Café Kranzler was a relatively short walk from my hotel, it doesn’t open until 11 o’clock and it was just far enough away to make it impractical as a coffee break venue. As a result, I only visited it once, just after opening on a quiet Sunday morning, when I practically had the place to myself (which, the baristas assured me, was a very rare occurrence).

Since it was my first coffee of the day, I went with a cortado, made with the same Brazilian single-origin beans (the Fasya) that I’d had as an espresso the day before at the Sony Center. While I enjoyed it on its own, in milk it was gorgeous, combining to produce a rich, sweet drink which I sipped while sitting on the balcony. I paired this with a slice of The Barn’s famous cheesecake, a classic European-style baked cheesecake that was the perfect accompaniment to my coffee and the ideal start to my Sunday.

Monday 11:00 – 18:00 Roaster The Barn (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 11:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Window-bars; Benches, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 11:00 – 18:00 Food Cake
Thursday 11:00 – 18:00 Service Counter
Friday 11:00 – 18:00 Payment Card Only
Saturday 11:00 – 18:00 Wifi No
Sunday 11:00 – 18:00 Power Yes (inside only)
Chain International Visits 8th May 2022

If you 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 in the Sony Center.

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2 thoughts on “The Barn – Café Kanzler

  1. Pingback: 2022 Awards – Best Outdoor Seating | Brian's Coffee Spot

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