Rembetis Bike Shop & Bonanza Coffee Heroes – Awarded a Wheel Of Approval
As a fiend for all things cycling and good coffee, I have often dreamed about setting up a small coffee shop that I would jam-pack with old bicycles, play my own music and make simple dishes found from my travels around the world. Perhaps I would call it The Hungry Cyclist Café?
Dreams, dreams dreams…
Well in the back streets of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin they get very close to realizing my fantasy. Bonanza Coffee Heroes is a tidy little café that makes the best coffee in the city, and next door is a bicycle shop so beautiful, even a meat-faced petrol head like Jermey Clarkson would be turned onto the cahrmed pedal powered transport.
The craze for drinking really good coffee (no Starbucks does not count) is now a worldwide movement. There is plenty of good coffee in Berlin, and boy do Berliners drink the stuff, but the people behind Bonanza are perhaps the first to get behind the craze for truly exceptional coffee in the city.
Run by two passionate 'javaholics' in Prenzlauer Berg, the team at Bonanza run their small cafe with passion. Coffee in a café like this is treated like fine wine and everything is done to ensure your coffee is nothing shot of perfection. White walls, chrome fittings, complicated looking gadgets, sacks of beans and glass vessels make this café look more like a scientist’s laboratory than a comfortable coffee shop. But this look has not come about by accident.
It is clear that for The Bonanza Coffee Heroes making a good coffee is nothing short of science.
Their beans are sourced from specialty coffee producers (SCAA); They are roasted on site to perfection and their Synesso Cyncra machine is famed for being über-particular and thermally sensitive, ensuring that the coffee in Bonanza unbeatable!
So you’ve had your specialIst caffeine hit and your sleep addled brain is just starting to buzz into life. Ideas are being formulated, possibilities realized, dreams linked together and now it's time to go next door.
The Rembetis bike shop is nothing short of heaven with every possible space is taken up by the most beautiful bicycles I have ever seen. There is no room for space-aged, carbon-fibre, mass- produced nonsense here. These bikes date from the days when cycle racing really was the most glamour sport on the planet. Machines from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s 50’ 60’ and 70’s sit side by side with pride. There are no prices, no tills and no brand adverts in this shop and ask the clearly passionate proprietor for a price and he will tell you that he doesn't sell his bikes to anyone.
He explains that when he needs to pay the bills he will sell a bike, but not anyone. He needs to know you. He needs to know that one of his beloved machines is going to be treated with the respect it deserves. This shop is more a shrine to one man's passion, more a museum than a place of business and that is what makes this unparalleled collection of bikes so special. It is the culmination of ones man's, passion time and love and shouldn't every business be like that?
Buffed leather saddles fill windows with polished steel cranks, bells glisten in the sun light next to chains and leather shoes and the light smell of oil automatically transport you to another era. Customers all wonder about in silence totally in ore of the works of art and mechanical perfection hanging from the walls and neatly lined up on the floor. For anyone with half an interest in bikes this is what heaven looks like. This is the best bike shop in the world!