Berlin’s Best Coffee

My recent trip to Berlin, like my life, was coffee fuelled. I’d heard about how good the coffee scene is in Berlin so I was really excited to check out the local’s top picks and we found A LOT of amazing places that I want to share with you.

The Barn

Oh The Barn, I well and truly fell in love with you. As well as being situated across from an independent magazine shop (THE DREAM!), The Barn serves up some fantastic coffee as well as having a really lovely atmosphere, which may be in part thanks to its laptop-free areas. The Barn felt like it really had a feel of Monmouth Coffee by Borough Market in London.

When it comes to coffee, The Barn know what they’re doing and they do it well. They currently have 5 places across Berlin but we visited The Barn Cafe on Auguststrasse. It was the perfect place to enjoy reading our newly bought magazines and try out a beetroot flat white, an experience which I surprisingly would try again.

I’ve also recently found out that they do coffee subscriptions and my birthday is coming up soon if anyone is reading this…

Bonanza Coffee Roasters

Bonanza Coffee Roasters is the ‘cool kid’ of coffee shops, i.e. probably not the one for me. They currently have two coffee shops, Bonanza Coffee Heroes in Prenzlauer Berg and the coffee roasters in Kreuzberg. We visited the one in Kreuzberg, which is hidden away by the side of a petting zoo in a cute little courtyard. The interior is gorgeous, rather minimalist and also has the feel of a coffee shop in a museum, but in a good way.

The coffee was fantastic. My boyfriend gave it a solid 10/10 whereas it was a little citrusy for me, however I do know the taste of a good coffee when I err… taste it. This one just wasn’t my favourite. It’s an almost must for any coffee fans when visiting Berlin.

Röstätte 

We stumbled upon Röstätte completely by accident when we needed a break from all our wandering. We were almost ready to order our classic two flat whites when we spotted Coffee Negronis on the menu and knew we had to try them. We took them outside and sat in the sunshine sipping our cocktails, pondering life and how damn nice it was to be in the middle of Europe, enjoying every second.

After our visit I googled the coffee shop and found that it was a must-visit for coffee drinkers. A wonderful surprise find!

No Fire, No Glory

Potentially the most “German” of the coffee shops we visited was No Fire, No Glory. It had a slightly more European feel to it, rather than the coffee shops that I’m used to in England. The coffee was really good, possibly my favourite of the trip, but the menu was slightly lacking. This was mostly because their brunches weren’t super vegetarian friendly and I am rather picky so more my issue than theirs.

No Fire, No Glory is situated in Prenzlauer Berg and is worth the trip even if you’re the other side of the city.

Rachel x-x-x

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What I Learnt From Veering Off Track

In 2015 I graduated from my languages degree and commenced a degree in Mental Health Nursing. In the last three years I’ve explained myself a thousand times over, why I didn’t pursue languages, why the change from one career path to another, why uproot myself to a new city and start over rather than getting a job in a field I was good at. It felt like people were mystified that I was deviating from ‘the norm,’ or convinced that a nursing degree must be my last resort because I couldn’t get a job in languages. Instead of detailing all of the above, I wanted to lay down what really happens when you do something that everyone is telling you not to do and why it was the best move I could have made.

People will tell you that you’re making a mistake

I listened politely as so many people, friends, lecturers, family members were awed at my decision to do another degree as though I’d just told them I was pregnant with six babies. They tried to convince me that it was easier to carry on the road I was treading and that I could decide to do something later if I still wanted to. But that’s not how life works is it? I work on a basis where you never know what tomorrow is going to bring and putting a passion off until later just isn’t something I want to do for fear of never doing it and regretting it in years to come. Yes, it would have been ‘easier’ to find a job in languages than to pursue something new and in the current climate I would definitely have made more money doing so but money and ease does not compare to happiness.

You have to listen to other’s points of view

One thing I found very difficult when changing course was that I knew I was being extremely single-minded. I had a goal and I was going to get there so to hear others tell me that they didn’t think it was a good course of action was hard. In the end I went with my gut but I do think it’s important to hear people out when they have an opinion even if it’s one you don’t share. But definitely seek out a load of different perspectives before making a big decision, it’s good to hear from people who have different experience and knowledge to you as much as it is to hear from those who have a similar background.

You will learn what you really want 

I think humans spend a lot of time convincing themselves that their current position makes them happy, that they would rather stay where they are then entertain the possibility of success because their anxieties focus on the negatives. What if I don’t succeed? What if I fail and everyone knows about it? What if I take the risk and then realise that it isn’t for me?

But what if you do succeed? What if the risk you’ve taken pays off and it’s everything you’ve dreamed of? Changing the course of your life is something that only you have the power to do. For me, the fear of regret further down the line is a much bigger driving force these days than the anxiety of failure.

The ability to assess your own position and to change that is a privilege so by not doing it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. However tiny the change is, it might just make your life a million times better, that’s not something I’d want to leave to chance.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever changed track or done the ‘unexpected.’ I’d love to hear your stories!

Rachel x-x-x

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I Want To Talk About Shane Dawson

Firstly, let me tell you that I never thought I’d be writing a post about Shane Dawson. Until about six months ago he’d never featured on my radar although I knew little tidbits about him from watching other Youtubers back in the day.

Anyway, unless you’ve been living under a rock or living an actual life outside of the internet you’ll know that Shane is currently making a documentary about Jake Paul, an internet sensation known for making outlandish Youtube videos. We’re at the halfway point of the documentary videos so I feel that now is a good time to let out some of the feelings I’ve had whilst watching.

The documentary is a good watch. Shane knows how to keep people invested, he knows what he’s doing with the spooky music, the editing and the general hype around the videos. But what I’m not cool with is what I deem to be a total disregard for his responsibility as an “influencer.”

In some ways, what I’m writing here is totally futile, because I do believe that no one really has a responsibility for anyone and people can act however they want to. And by no means do I think that Shane is the only person lacking responsibility in the celebrity (can I call him that?) realm. But in this instance I’m particularly riled up. Shane has 17 million subscribers on Youtube, 6.9 million on Twitter and his first Jake Paul video has had an unbelievable 18 million views.

That’s 18 million people who saw Shane and Kati Morton (a qualified therapist) call Antisocial Personality Disorder “creepy” and “icky.” That’s 18 million people who are now at risk of contributing to stigma of an illness that is already so highly stigmatised. That’s 18 million people who could start self-diagnosing or diagnosing their family and friends as sociopaths. If you would like to read something real about ASPD then check out this story of someone with lived experience of ASPD.

I’ve noticed that since the first video went up, Shane has added a disclaimer to the start of his videos telling viewers not to diagnose others and he has also talked about the way he and Kati approached mental illness. I’m just not sure how sincere it is coming from someone whose livelihood comes from racking up those views.

For me, as a mental health professional, it’s important to use your influence responsibly but if I were an entertainer I don’t know if I’d feel the same. Although in theory I’m against the way the disorder is being portrayed, in practice, Shane is doing his job, hyping up the audience, and dramatising for the sake of the content. I’m truly torn between what is definitely a well curated piece of work and something that just doesn’t sit quite right with me as a professional.

Do you think influencers have a responsibility to be truthful and careful with what they put out into the world? Let me know!

Rachel x-x-x

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Embracing Autumn as an Anti-Autumner

I hate Autumn. I know that uttering those dirty words is akin to saying you’re not that bothered about Christmas or that you don’t like Mean Girls but hear me out for a sec, okay?

There are lots of things I do like about Autumn. Jumpers? Love ’em. Cosy nights in? Always. Stomping through leaves like I am 5 years old? You’d better believe I still do that. But then there’s THE DARK. It’s dark when I leave wake up, it’s still dark when I leave the house and you guessed it, it’s already got dark by the time I’m home again. Autumn is a just a pit of dreariness and on top of THE DARK, there is also THE COLD. When I was younger I always wondered why my Mum had a thousand jumpers or was constantly asking my Dad if he could put the heating on. Now I understand, because thanks to genetics I am also always cold. I recently learned that there is a Spanish word for a woman that’s always cold and it’s friolera so even if being cold all the time sucks, at least there’s a funky word for it. However, I did translate that back into English and apparently it means trifle, so maybe not one to use if you’re learning Spanish. The third and final reason for disliking Autumn so intensely is HALLOWEEN. It just isn’t my thing. I love love love Tim Burton and horror films and general spookiness but people dressed up with blood running down their faces? NO THANK YOU.

Anyway, the point of this post is that although I don’t like Autumn, this year I am trying to embrace it. You may be forgiven for thinking otherwise from the above paragraph.

How are you embracing it I hear you cry? Well, let me tell you.

Firstly I have pulled out the chunky knits and I am wearing them with gusto. I’m also learning to crochet so maybe later in the season I’ll be wearing my own creations (unlikely).

Secondly, I’m focusing on the things I do like about Autumn, rather than the things I don’t. My list so far is going pretty well and I’m adding to my bullet journal page daily: hot chocolate, walks in the cold air, crunchy leaves, beautiful sunsets, orange and red trees, stews, soup, pumpkin spice lattes, cosy film nights, boots, scarves, hats.

And finally, I’m trying to make the whole month of October that little bit more positive. My boyfriend and I aren’t always the most positive of people. Although we like to think our cynicism and misanthropy are cute character traits, somewhere deep inside, we know they’re not so we’ve started Postober. At the end of each day we ask each other 3 questions: What is something nice that happened today? What did you do for someone else today? And what are you looking forward to tomorrow? It might seem super simplistic but I’m finding that it’s a really nice way to bring a bit of positivity to a normally rubbish month.

Do you enjoy Autumn? What do you love about it? Let me know!

Rachel x-x-x

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Reader, I’ve Moved…

I live in the South of England now. Shamefully, it’s been at least a month since I updated here with a ‘real’ blog post. Not that book posts aren’t ‘real,’ but we all know you’re here for the nitty gritty and constant drama that I bring to the blogging world (I joke).

Blogging has taken a major backseat for me recently, not least because I’ve been busy with ~life things~ but also I’ve just not been feeling it, you know? Social media has felt like a chore and while I have been writing, I’ve had zero inspiration for blog posts.

The fabulous Amy wrote this post last week which couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I had already been planning a similar post but Amy got there first so that’s one less job for me to do.

But like Amy, I want to get back to basics with my blog. I want you to see the things I love and I want to continue to write these rambling stream of consciousness posts because 1) they seem to do well and 2) more importantly, they’re my favourite to write.

Having also moved to a totally new part of the country, I have so many things to share about the wonderful places (read: coffee shops) I’m visiting. I’ve also taken up a couple of new hobbies that I want you to see a lot more of on here so watch this space.

Until later,

Rachel

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