Tucked away off the beaten tracks of Torstrasse and Invalidenstrasse is one of the city’s newest, and cosiest cafés, Distrikt Coffee. It’s warm, inviting interior, coupled with its fantastic coffee and breakfast menu make it the perfect place to comfortably while-away a few hours on your own, or with friends.
Equally as delightful as the café is the delightful owner, Sophie Hardy. Like many coffee-loving Londoners, Sophie moved to Berlin for a life change and to be part of the city’s exciting and evolving coffee scene. I grabbed a few minutes with Sophie to ask her a few classic Lucy vs. The Globe questions.
Here’s how that went down
DANÉE: How did you come to be in the café/coffee industry?
SOPHIE: I’m actually a biology and chemistry teacher, but I have wanted to open a café in Berlin for a really long time. After years of talking about it non-stop, the time for me was right, both financially and mentally, to take the leap and open my own place – a café that I would like to sit and have coffee in.
My boyfriend, Hannes Haake, is also a part of this venture. He looks after the German side of the biz and worked closely with me on the design of the space, which I love. He’s also been working on the floor everyday since we opened!
D: Why Berlin? What is it about this city you love so much?
S: It all happened four years ago when I was looking for a change of scenery. As much as I love London, I fell in love with Berlin’s relaxed vibe, the music and the growing coffee scene. To me, Berlin feels like a real city. It’s a place where different types of people can live together harmoniously. There’s definitely less animosity here.
D: Why is coffee the best thing since I guess coffee?
S: Coffee is something that everyone enjoys but it’s not just about the taste. It’s ceremony like. People want something they can’t make at home. Even our tea is brewed with care and consideration. Before I opened Distrikt, I planned my day around where I was going to have a coffee.
D: If you were a coffee, what would you be?
S: I’d be a full bodied, Ethiopian blended with a Guatemalan. Sweet but punchy.
D: What would you be doing if you weren’t making coffee?
S: I’d be a music reviewer. I’m not a muso by any stretch but reviewing djs, bands etc and photographing them would be cool.
D: So when you’re not at the café, what would we find you doing?
S: Catching up on TV shows like Breaking Bad, Homelands, The Good Wife and The Fall. And when I’m not in front of the box, you’ll find me at The Ponch on Ackerstrasse in Mitte. They make the most authentic Thai food in the city. Though it doesn’t happen very often these days as I’m still juggling teaching and the new café.
D: So who is Sophie’s spirit animal?
S: I’d definitely be an animal, like a cat. A nice one, that’s strong and confident.
D: And finally, it’s 1999, what’s the soundtrack of your year?
S: I was in my final year of High School and I turned 18 at the end of that year. Lots of things were changing and moving for me. I would have to say it was Changes by Bowie.