While I was in Berlin I visited Nora Smahelova, co-owner of Chapter One Coffee. I couldn’t meet the other owner – Boern Koepke, but that’s just another reason to stop by again right?
I drank a fruity Ethiopian filter, took some photos and couldn’t help but to ask Nora questions (just to keep her busy between customers). I have to admit I was a bit thrilled to see her working behind the bar, because till now I have only seen her judging at competitions.
As I found out, back in the days she has never considered having a career in coffee. It had been 1999 when she had started working as a barista in one of the first German coffee shop chains called Einstein. Back then it had been only part time, but eventually it had led to a full-time job and to the inevitable 1st place at the German Barista Championships in 2002.
Chapter One is a place with a personality – nothing big and flashy, but a small space where except for the usual espresso beverages (courtesy of the La Marzocco Strada patiently waiting on the counter) you can find almost all brewing methods available, some typical German baked goods, selection of different beans as well as guest coffees, and also some brewing gear and beans for sale.
For my biggest surprise Nora just had hired a new staff member, who was, as I found out towards the end of my visit – Bulgarian. I’m always happy to see Bulgarians in the specialty coffee industry. Talking in Bulgarian about coffee feels weird though 😀