At Daily Dose of Denim, except for our photographer Dennis, we all love coffee. And if you are passionate about something, you want to write about it as often as possible. That’s why we are introducing Refinery Coffee in Berlin’s Mitte district, run by Tansel and Bora Özbek.
Tansel and Bora have been hooked on for ages. They decided to put their knowledge to good use in 2015, when they opened the high end coffee shop Refinery Coffee. Located in Berlin Mitte district, it is the perfect stop when you are sightseeing without having to leave the city’s area with the most landmarks.
When stepping into the bar, you will notice that the interior is a nice mix of industrial elements and Scandinavian design. The high ceilings make and tables in the back are an open invitation to hang out and enjoy a top notch coffee. Or two.
We had a lovely chat with the people behind Refinery.
Could you tell us something more about how it all started?
Berlin has always been a unique place which connects people from all over the globe: the travellers, the ones who search and find and the people that search but do not find. We grew up in this multicultural ever-changing environment and wanted to transmit our experience via something meaningful and welcoming for those lost and found. The story of Refinery is like a 21st century fairytale. The idea of bringing to life our own concept, a hip specialty café in the heart of Berlin, started in 2015. It turned out to be bigger and better than we ever expected.
What sets you apart from other coffee shops? Is it the concept, the location, the coffee, the staff? Or all of this combined?
It’s a balanced combination of different ingredients: the enthusiastic and professional team, third wave coffee selection from the local roasters such as Bonanza, The Barn and Fjord coffee as well as the unique design and welcoming atmosphere. We celebrate the next level in coffee tasting by bringing the novelties closer to the community. Our exceptional angle is Turkish specialty coffee made in cezve and served in high-quality cups produced in Istanbul. We are something in between a Berlin hipster café and a coffee professional’s atelier.
What is your background?
We did not learn about coffee in any special schools, we got a university degree in Economics to make sure we had a strong foundation to start our own business. Of course, we keep on training ourselves in multiple directions: from specialty coffee to innovations in retail, design and so on.
What does ‘high end coffee’ mean?
Have you ever attended Couture Fashion Week? Ever thought how couture differs from the mass produced stuff? It’s pretty easy to explain high end coffee concept in comparison with fashion.
We keep a close eye on the farming conditions, sourcing and production of our coffee beans. All our coffee is organic and fairtrade certified. But there is a lot more to it. We also offer high-quality beverages and homemade delights and our interior is entirely made of sustainable materials.
How would you describe the coffee scene in Berlin?
Berlin is changing incredibly fast and has become Germany’s hotspot for founders and the new venture capital. Entrepreneurs find exactly the right environment to implement their business ideas here. We do see this as an advantage. It means that products and services improve and these changes have their impact on the coffee scene as well. We honestly can’t remember the time when people didn’t really care about coffee and got their ‘morning glory’ in a kiosk for a euro while waiting for their bus to come. Luckily this has changed and we now have a great specialty coffee scene, impowered by international coffee enrepreneurs.
Where is your coffee sourced from?
We do not roast coffee ourselves but we work closely with lovely and highly professional local roasters from Berlin. We have high standards and expectations and want to be informed about everything from the moment the beans are picked until we serve our coffee at Refinery. The coffees we serve are sourced from different areas such as Brazil, Rwanda, Colombia, Ethiopia, Panama and Costa Rica. You can literally taste the world from our shop in Berlin.