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To learn German, I spent the first month using Pimsleur (my old fallback) language cds, the “Step by Step German” book (the step-by-step series is GREAT), duoLingo, and Memrise. Being the obsessive linguaphile that I am, I’ve probably tried at least 50 different language apps for specific languages over the years and at least that many language-learning podcasts. These two apps are the only two I’ve ever stuck with. DuoLingo was great for some basic German (I prefer it for learning survival phrases and brushing up on Spanish) but the Memrise A1 German course has been FABULOUS.

*** I also follow a couple of “learn German” Instagram accounts: Lerne Deutsch, Basic German Words, and Hallo German Words.

A month and a half ago, I reached out to the German department at UW to see about finding a German teacher to work with this Summer. I now have a wonderful German teacher that I really like but I learned on my own for about a month, first. She was pleased that I already knew a fairly good amount when we started. My only problem now is that I prefer to sit at home and use Memrise every day but I really need to be following the lessons in my book from the teacher. (Fortunately, I’ve found some topics to follow along in A1 German – like this week I’m learning about die Familie. No body parts in Memrise A1 German though. Bummer.) I could just learn with Memrise and practice with her what I learn there, but my purpose in having a teacher through my university is that I want to work through the University’s 101 course so that I can not only practice in Berlin but also test into level 102 or above when I get back from study abroad.

Anyway – today, through Memrise, I learned my very most important phrase:

Ich möchte gerne einen Caffè Latte bitte. 

*grin* Ok, maybe not “important” in the traditional sense but I live in Seattle and coffee is very, very important to me. Through Instagram, I have already identified several swanky, “locally roasted”, organic hipster coffee shops in Berlin that I expect to frequent. For (a small) example:

The Barn Coffee Roasters | Disktrikt CoffeeHan Coffee | Yellow Star Coffee | Companion Coffee | Refinery Coffee Berlin | Silo Coffee

(I am terribly disappointed to be missing the Berlin Coffee Festival by a couple of weeks!)

THE BARN Water Project This is an exciting time for coffee and water plays such a big role! For us as roasters we wanted to find out how our customers perceive our coffees across the globe. Are there regional differences and how big is the range in terms of water quality and the resulting tastes of our coffees. Would it warrant adopting our roast style towards different regions or is this nonsense? The result of our water project delivered a pretty close taste range and most waters we tasted and cupped were actually not too far apart. The way forward here at THE BARN is to calibrate our cupping water towards the middle ground that we observed. With that all our customers should have pretty good coffee quality in their cups! Our project covered 24 shops in 8 countries from around the world and where possible we split the countries up into different cities / regions. Read more on our FB page.

A photo posted by THE BARN COFFEE ROASTERS (@thebarnberlin) on

It’s that time of year again! #distriktcoffee

A photo posted by Distrikt Coffee (@distriktcoffee) on

But first Coffee! #hancoffee #specialtycoffee #coffee #barista #roasters #coffeeroasters #hancoffeejourney #firstcoffee #specialtycoffe

A photo posted by CA PHE PASSION FROM BERLIN (@hancoffeeroasters) on

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