Minimalist coffee shop prohibits sugar, milk and strollers

Gourmet coffee shops have been popular for the past two decades, but I notice that more people than ever are paying attention to the quality of the coffee these days and looking for more unique beans that taste better when brewed well and served black. Some people, however, are always happy to load up a cup of whatever coffee is in front of them (even if it is a great one) with sugar and cream until they can’t taste the coffee anymore. One coffee shop in Berlin, The Barn Roastery, has decided to put the quality of the coffee first – no exceptions. The coffee shop has issued a policy putting coffee first. They won’t add water to espresso shots and they won’t add milk to handbrewed coffee. The milk that they steam for lattes is only organic.

In addition to the coffee restrictions, they also emphasized that the cafe is “catered towards adults” and offers space where customers can talk in peace or spend time reading, relaxing or listening to the store’s background music like Muzak. They are prohibiting strollers (which can be quite large in many European cities where residents do a lot of walking) and urging customers to keep a close eye on babies and children if they bring them inside, partly to minimize crowding in the cafe and partly to keep the atmosphere cool.

I have a feeling that this would not a popular move if a coffee shop in the US issued similar statements. The coffee restrictions might be well-received if they had a loyal base of coffee-lovers already, but people do like their freedom to make their coffee to their own tastes. And the stroller statement is the kind of thing that always gets people riled up, even if it was meant with good intentions.