There’s no shortage of great coffee in Berlin. It seems as though when you walk down almost any street, you find cafes lined up within just a few feet of each other—for miles on end. While this is convenient and favorable for most, it can be difficult to uncover true coffee visionaries in the sea of cafes in the city.
Rosa Wolf is one of the newest shops to open in Berlin. Founded summer 2017, it sits on Eberswalder Straße, just a few feet from the busy Schönhauser Allee in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. For Berlin, Rosa Wolf is a rare find—part curated magazine/bookshop, part specialty coffee shop. Berlin cafes shy away from experimentation and all cafes tend to offer the standard experience—coffee, pastries, maybe a food menu. Rosa Wolf is more about the experience of coffee and reading. The book and coffee phenomenon has been covered here before, but most on our radar have been US-based. With the hopeful revival of print, it’s encouraging to see more places like this popping up.
Domenico Gutknecht came up with the idea to open up a space dedicated to coffee and print with his partner João Cidade through their shared love of magazines. “I've always loved magazines and I've always loved coffee,” Gutknecht says. “First I had the plan to open a shop for magazines and books. I wanted to combine it with something else and immediately thought about a cafe. For me, it just makes sense to offer reading material together with drinks. Whenever I bought magazines or books, I headed to the next coffee place to read it there.”
Rosa Wolf’s reading selection is carefully curated. Just like the coffee, the print material is something that’s chosen for a reason. “The focus lies on the magazines,” Gutknecht says. “We try to get a wide selection of titles that are already known to magazine enthusiasts but combine them with new titles from all over the world that we feel passionate about and want people to see. The book selection complements the magazines: we offer beautiful titles with a focus on art, photography, architecture, design, and travel. As our shop is close to Mauerpark, which is very popular with tourists, we also stock some city guides and books about Berlin.”
Visitors at Rosa Wolf will be delighted with both the coffee and print choices. The cafe serves beans from The Visit, located just a few miles away in Kreuzberg. The drinks are made on a La Marzocco Linea Classic and ground on a Mahlkönig. Like the print material and coffee at Rosa Wolf, the cups are also carefully selected. All drinks are served in Kaffeeform mugs—a sustainable company reusing coffee grounds in a novel, beautiful way.
“Kaffeeform collects coffee grounds from local coffee shops and turns them into mugs that look a bit like wood, smell like coffee, and are super light. We really love them!” Gutknecht says.
Gutknecht and Cidade love coffee and the beauty of print. They want to share their passion with locals and curious visitors at Rosa Wolf, which is why they aim to attract more people to their shop with various events. “It would certainly be nice to have some events at Rosa Wolf, like magazine and book launches, readings, exhibitions, etc. We're open to everything and can't wait to see how everything will turn out.”