A review of the specialty cafe Happy Baristas in Friedrichshain, East Berlin. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability.

berlin espresso specialty coffee

Cappuccino — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

Friedrichshain independent cafe

A sleepy, sunny Sunday morning in Friedrichshain — Photo by Athena Lam

I ended up in Happy Baristas because it was one of the few cafes open at 10am on a Sunday. I strolled down Boxhagenerstrase on a sleepy morning with a gentle breeze to the cafe.

Friedrichshain Kreuzberg cafe

Happy Barista’s shelf of independent coffee roasters — Photo by Athena Lam

About a third of the cafe’s seating is outside on the sidewalk, which is as deep as any other street in Berlin. Even though it’s on a main road, the traffic is light and partially cordoned off by the trees.

I made my breakfast and coffee order at the counter before choosing an individual table beside the window.

specialty coffee berlin

— Photo by Athena Lam

Wi-Fi is available and I saw about 2 plugs for remote work. Note that people with laptops are requested to use a designated high-table.

For people coming just to enjoy coffee, you will not be disappointed with the selection. Happy Baristas serves a rotating selection of roasters from Europe and frequently stocks Workshop Coffee and Colonna Coffee from the UK, Doubleshot from Prague and The Barn from Berlin. They sell retail and bulk beans on their shelf, so this is a good place to stock up if you’re missing your favourite roaster.

berlin latte art

Cappuccino was silky smooth, but the coffee profile wasn’t as clear with all the milk — Photo by Athena Lam

Their Story / What I like About Them:

happy baristas Friedrichshain

Natural light and fresh air without the glare of the sun — Photo by Athena Lam

While I didn’t find the coffee mind blowing, I would definitely come back to try the other roasters that they serve since I hadn’t tried many of them. I think everyone has a different philosophy on optimal flavour window for beans, but I generally stick to the 2-week from roasting date and within a month for sure. Because Happy Baristas imports, it’s understandable they would want to keep their stock for longer (and I agree with the founder of Minedrip Coffee in Tokyo, that some roasts seem to last longer than others).

berlin digital nomad remote work

Like many Berlin cafes, laptop users have a designated spot — Photo by Athena Lam

In addition to the coffee, I would definitely come back for the food and other drinks. I found out they don’t serve bottled drinks and make them all in-house (including nitro coffee and tea, if that’s your thing).

berlin vegetarian food

My first time trying baked berry oatmeal with homemade cottage cheese — Photo by Athena Lam

I ordered breakfast (my second for the day) because I had time and the menu items intrigued me. Many were vegetarian or vegan-friendly, which always appeal even though I’m an omnivore. I finally settled on a baked oatmeal out of curiosity. The dish I got was a hearty consistency that kept its shape while remaining soft and moist. The berry juice was aromatic and sweet with a light, crisp sourness. The fresh pieces on top added a pop that added textural contrast and the cottage cheese on the side was subtle, light, and refreshing with the hint of mint from the leaf on top. A vegan option is available for the cheese as well!

And to top it all off, the cafe tries to have a closed loop system that creates minimal wastage. How could a West Coast hippie not be charmed?

vegetarian vegan food berlin

Vegetarian baked oatmeal can come as vegan! — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour over (their specialty is aged coffee)
  • Food: Pastries, cakes
  • Cafe Space: About 40 seats. Smoking friendly.
  • Friends: Hangouts, catching up, readings
  • Workspace: counter table, big group round table, individual tables
  • Remote Work: Bring your own pocket WiFi, plugs available
Address:   Neue Bahnhofstraße 32, 10245 Berlin
Website:  Website
Hours: Weekdays: 8:30-17:00
Saturday: 9:30-19:00
Sunday: 8:30-17:00

If you liked this post, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes.

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