In this week’s Unpacking Coffee, Kandace and Ray chat with Ralf Rüller of The Barn, which has achieved a devoted following among consumers and wholesale clients throughout much of Europe from its Berlin, Germany, roastery.
While sipping a Barn-roasted coffee sourced from the M’Birizi washing station in Burundi — apologies in advance to you Commodores fans for the “M’Birizi like Sunday morning” edits — Kandace and Ray note how the simple, hand-drawn Barn logo so nicely reflects Rüller’s own description of the roastery and retail environment. The space is music- and laptop-free, encouraging interaction between guests and with staff, some of whom make a practice of taking notes from customers to share with the roasting team at the end of the day.
Rüller also describes how the quality-centric sourcing approach has somewhat incidentally increased value throughout the chain. “We didn’t start this to make the world better,” he said of the roastery. “We do this because we are really greedy and we want this fantastic product, but at the same time we can only achieve that if we give the farmer more money and more knowledge, and empower them.”
Unpacking Coffee is a weekly show discovering new coffee roasters one episode at a time led by Kandace and Ray of the Portland-based studio Needmore Designs, which specializes in coffee, wine and lifestyle brands.