Last spring Jane Nye and Paul Milne packed up lives in Wellington to set down roots in Berlin. Inspired by wanderlust and a desire to leave behind a traumatic attack Jane suffered while living in Cambodia a few years prior, they travelled light; that is apart from pretty much all of Jane’s coffee shop in New Zealand, including the counter, made of brightly coloured packing crate planks, bespoke metal-and-wood chairs and other recycled-deco-elements.
They reassembled it all in a tiny, cozy space on a side street off Schönhauser Allee, giving birth to Antipodes, a coffee shop and snack bar they’ve enthused with Kiwi affability, a blessing in this graying, cold city.
What they serve is rather pleasing too: great coffee imported by a Berlin-based coffee dealer and fellow New Zealander. The flavour of their roast is top-notch compared to bog-standard Segafredo and their java menu includes NZ novelties such as the ‘Flat White’ made from “pouring textured (though not frothy) milk over espresso” and ‘Long Black’, made by “pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water leaving a crema on top”. Reasonably priced and expertly made, this coffee speaks for itself – the owners are no novices.
Foodwise, these Antipodeans have got their heads screwed on right. Refreshingly ciabatta-free, their menu is simple: soup of the day and toasted sandwiches. We had a piping hot bowl of hearty, puréed vegetable (potato, leek, carrots, celery etc) spiced up with paprika and served with a bread roll and butter (yes!) for €3.50.
The toasties, lovingly named after the surrounding streets, range from the simple Fehrbelliner (ham, tomato, Edam, corn and mustard) to the Choriner (roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, feta and capers), and are served with a generous side of homemade coleslaw topped with walnuts (or Krautsalat if you prefer speaking native!) – all for €4.
Your sweet-tooth gets tickled too: cookies, shortbread and brownies are all homemade and superb if slightly artery-clogging. And there’s an all-day €4.50 Frühstück that includes muesli and eggs.