MILAN – Ralf Rueller is back with a new venture that speaks Spanish: THE BARN opens in Palma de Mallorca, and the speciality lands in the Balearic Islands. The new location promises the same level of quality in the drink, raw material and service offered in the brand’s other locations around the world. But to find out more about the details, we asked the man behind the project a few questions.
THE BARN opens in Mallorca: why did you choose this location for the new opening far from Berlin?
“I personally fell in love with Palma de Mallorca. It is an amazing city, like a small Barcelona. With 400,000 inhabitants and many more tourists from Germany, the UK and Spain – three countries where THE BARN is very well known. Thats a home run for us.
Also: I always wanted to be on an island.
The Barista and Specialty Coffee Scene has developed quite a bit over the past few years. It started really slow but accelerated quite a bit since 2017, when we also started to supply more cafés in Spain with our beans in B2B. Good coffee shops are popping up and there is a really nice and friendly barista scene here.
We feel it is the right time to go in, as the first international roastery, to showcase what we do, and to contribute to the Specialty Coffee Scene and Awareness here in Spain: The BARN is a different coffee experience. We stand for total quality and clean flavour profiles. We solely focus on Single Origin Coffees to grow the market with „Farm to Consumer“-Relationships.
Along the way we create true sustainability by elevating our farmers to higher quality levels – and ultimately to pay them very well for it, so they have a sustainable farm operation.
We want to bring fresh impulses to the coffee scene here in Spain.
We are very excited to be part of the Scene here. We know from our experience in Berlin that more great coffee places will create a buzz and every cafe will be more busy. Because more people take an interest, more people will experience great coffees and there are more options in the market. From which everyone will ultimately benefit.”
Why this location?
“We have 10 cafés in Berlin. Last October we opened Dubai which was very exciting for us. We wanted the next café outside of Germany to be in Southern Europe where we feel the energy, interest and market points to continuously go up. People are very curious and we simply want to be part of this energy.
Personally, I love the Spanish Culture and I want to spend more time here.
Our café is located in the centre of the historic city of Palma. We are not on the main commercial streets. We are tucked away, just one minute walk, in a little sideroad: A quiet Oasis where people can relax and slow down. Our location is basically just down the steps at Placa del Cort.
The café is a small space in a historic, classic Mallorqean building. Just 50 sqm. We have a huge window that we can pull down. The bar / barista is in the window. The bar has 4 modular elements, each at different heights. Center stage has our V60 station, as usual. I believe we have some of the best Single Origin Microlots in the market and we want to showcase them.
The space will have a baking area where we bake our own cakes and cookies. We will offer our signature drinks like Shakerato (and a version of it with a twist / Gin), Cold Brew Lemonade or Nitro Brew. A key focus will be on our roasted beans. The café will be a bean point for people to take our beans to their homes or fincas. We will also have brew equipment, grinders and Moccamasters. Of course, our new coffee products for the outdoors will be there: Specialty Instand and Drip Bags.
And we offer our sustainable capsules, made from German woodchips. We want to reach more people with an outstanding coffee experience. Thats why we created those products with our light roast Single Origin Coffees.
We bring Berlin, we bring me, we bring THE BARN to Spain. We are not here to be Spanish. Thats not our DNA. We will also bring our Berlin Coffee Beer (Sour Beer in Collaboration with Mikkeller and Schneeeule Berlin), Coffee Kombucha, Coffee Geist (Spirit) and so on.
And the equipment?
“We always have La Marzocco PBX with built in scales. Its the best machine for us.
Mythos & EK Grinders. RO Water. V60s.
We bring as always our own design and all furniture is build here on Mallorca.”
Have you thought of something special to appeal to the Balearic public? And what do you typically bring to Mallorca from THE BARN?
“We are Berlin and we are THE BARN. However, we will highlight on our menu three items that Mallorca is known for: Lemons, Oranges and Almonds.””
What is the specialty scene like in Mallorca? Is it a saturated or exploding market?
“Great coffee scene here. Six really good coffee shops in Mallorca. The baristas already feel llike family to us. Super friendly and we want to contribute to the community.
The market is far from saturated. In any case: For us there is always space in any market: We are pushing the envelope of quality, we share knowledge and we showcase how great black coffee can taste.
We will support others here and we are here to add to the buzz of the coffee scene in Mallorca. It is attractive because of its diversity. And for that, people want to drink different coffees from different roasters.”
What are the distinctive features of the new establishment? Will there also be a roastery?
“We only roast in Berlin. I am a control freak and I can fully control our quality in Berlin.
We are fully integrated in Berlin, with all our baristas (from 10 shops) giving daily feedback on the performance of our coffees.
We work like German clockwerk. And nothing leaves our roastery that is not 150% Barn quality. The consistency of our roast is part of our strength.
We have an interest to expand our b2b business in Spain. We already have a few customers in all major cities in Spain. Seeing our café being successful on the ground, will give even more people confidence to buy their beans from us. We ship really fast.
All our beans are best of season coffees. Our farmers give us first access because we work closely with them and we pay them well.”
What are your objectives for this new Spanish destination of THE BARN?
“To have a lot of fun. To learn. To contribute to the Specialty Coffee Scene. To excite people for our coffees. And to have a café on a great island in Spain.
ps. I never have a business plan and so I dont have a plan for Spain. I think organically – to me, thats the best. We go step by step and see what comes.”