Have you ever worried about the amount of food that is wasted in restaurants and cafes? The guys behind Isla coffee, Philipp Reichel and Peter Duran, surely have. They set a goal for their business to minimize their food wastage. Conscious consumerism, respect for the environment and sustainability in general, are becoming more popular every day, yet, it is quite hard to find places with such an honest approach and consistent effort as at Isla.
To achieve their objectives they use a lot of process analysis. Processes can be anything, from the making of a dish to the delivery of baking goods. All of them are analyzed, they measure what comes in and goes out during the process, what can be used for other purposes, and how much work and effort they take. This helps to optimize and, then, reduce the wastage to a minimum. This scientific approach has to do with Peter’s background—his work with system design—and it is applied to every possible aspect, from food to furniture. It also includes collaborations with other like-minded businesses, such as Albatross & Kaffeebar.
Apart from having a really interesting approach, their food and drink offer also tastes very good. During the week, you can have their cookies (the chocolate ones are to die for), cakes, Albatross‘ delicious pastries, sandwiches, and salads. And on the weekends you can enjoy their yummy brunch dishes, prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. My favorite dish is their spinach ricotta pancakes with ricotta cheese—made with leftover milk that did not get used at the bar. Their espresso coffee comes from Philipp’s roastery at MH9, their filter coffee fromFive Elephant and their tea from Companion Coffee & Tea, with almost everything delivered in reusable tins and served in Kaffeform cups, which are made with used coffee grounds.
A sunny oasis in Hermanstraße
To be honest, the place caught our eye at first because of its look. On a street filled with stores with flashy signs, Isla’s front stands out because of the opposite—a really clean and simple look. Big windows, a cute sign with waves and a name that sounds like holidays and sunny days. Its interior is modern, yet warm and cozy. The furniture is not only pretty but also has a story. Some of the pieces have been built with materials from the previous cafe furniture, and others are upcycled pieces of diverse origins (some of them made by Studio U).
Last time we visited Isla we had a chat with Peter and asked him for some recommendations. He told us that one of his favorite places is Lode & Stijn, in Kreuzberg, because of their approach to food, quality, and seasonality. Besides, he also mentioned a dinner that Isla, Kaffeebar and Levain (Kathe Kaczmarzyk’s fermentation based project) are throwing together at the beginning of May, based on waste products from Isla and Kaffeebar.
Our recommendation, now that the weather is getting nicer, is that you go for a walk around Tempelhof and then get a sunny seat at Isla, have a delicious coffee, and a wholesome breakfast.
Where? Hermannstraße 37, 12049 Berlin, Alemania – U8 Boddinstraße
When? Mon to Fri 8 to 19h, Sat & Sun 9 to 19h (brunch from 10 to 14h on weekends)
How much? €. Drinks from 2 to 4 €. Brunch 5 to 10 €
What else? Really good music