This is the third in a series of city-specific café-hopping guides around the world, based on our articles in Sunday Mail’s Crave magazine.

“There is no specialty coffee in Munich.”

This was our initial impression about the Bavarian capital. Being close to Italy, it’s natural that coffee drinkers here would lean towards their neighbour’s robust espressos rather than lighter brews. Also, let’s not forget that Munich is a beer paradise, where Biergartens and Bierstubes (beer gardens and taverns) serve some of the best beers in the world.

Indeed, most avid coffee lovers would tell you to head north to Berlin for a more vibrant Third Wave Coffee scene. However, we discover that there is an underground coffee culture in Munich, if we know where to look.

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We are introduced to Supremo Kaffeerösterei by Klaus Hierer, barista and owner of KiezKantine Neuhausen in Munich. Klaus gets his beans from Supremo, a Bavaria-based coffee roaster, and if his brews are anything to judge by, Supremo does a great job with sourcing and roasting their beans.

Supremo’s Kaffeerösterei (coffee roastery) is located in the quiet suburbs of Unterhaching, that is about half an hour away via the S3 S-Bahn towards Holzkirchen. We are greeted by a nondescript white building that looks not unlike a small factory of sorts. Inside is a different story…

There is a spacious seating area overlooking the gardens of neighbours opposite the streets. There is a store with bags of roasted beans and shelves of brewing equipment. Inside the roastery, the magic happens with freshly roasted direct trade microlot coffees, single origin beans and Cup Of Excellence selections.

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George Clooney stares at us as we enter the café.

The one-time Batman star (the one with the rubber nipples) may hawking Nespresso machines these days but there’s no sign of those multi-coloured capsules here (thankfully). Instead Bald Neu is one of the few coffee bars in Munich that actually serves Third Wave-style brews.

This is no mean feat considering the Bavarian capital is heavily influenced by their southern neighbour (cue copious amounts of bold Italian espressos). Berlin may be the centre of German specialty coffee but Munich is keen on catching up. Cafés like Bald Neu lead this positive trend.

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This sweet little café is run by the husband and wife team of Klaus and Lena Hierer. The bright and simple décor is especially welcoming when coming in from the summer showers outside. The brunch-style food by Lena is straightforward, fresh and delicious — from panini to pancakes, all made to order.

Klaus mans the front of house, and it’s great fun chatting with a fellow coffee geek, especially one as exuberant as this young German. The way his eyes light up as we discuss different brewing methods is infectious. Thanks to him, we discover where to finally get a Karlsbader Kanne (at his beans supplier, Supremo — but more on this in a later post).

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“There is no specialty coffee in Munich.”

This was the conclusion we arrived at when we first contemplated returning to the city where I spent my student days over a decade ago. Being close to Italy, it’s natural that most coffee-drinkers in Bavaria would lean towards the neighbour’s robust espressos rather than lighter brews.

Also, let’s not forget that Munich is a beer haven, where Biergartens and Bierstubes serve some of the best beers in the world. So it is a nice surprise when, after some googling, we discover a Third Wave coffee bar within walking distance of our Airbnb apartment near the city centre.

Continue Reading "Mahlefitz, Munich"