Pram-free coffee cafe

Call me a coffee nazi but you have to admire Ralf Rüller the owner of the Barn Roastery in Berlin.

He has a purist approach to coffee drinking to say the least.

He bans extra milk, spoons (he frowns on sugar), laptops, dogs, mobile phone ringtones and loud phone calls (well with a name that sounds like Ralf the Ruler in English what do you expect?)

But the rule that’s had his approach labelled a “totalitarian coffee regime” is his ban on prams! He built a bollard in the doorway with a “prams not allowed” sign on it to prevent prams being brought into his cafe (it can be lifted for wheelchairs).

Ralf is a coffee connoisseur who believes the brewing process should be respected and that people who go to drink it should also be respected. He claims it’s not about discrimination but specialisation when competing with the big coffee chains.

People are divided: there are those who say children don’t drink coffee anyway and the Green party which says it is “a socially incorrect affront to families”. Some mums appreciate the pushchair ban and there are plenty of other coffee shops which welcome kids in prams.

I’m on his side. Although I have a family member whose child pretty much learned to walk tottering around outside Costa Coffee I hate having to climb over those “off-road” style buggies in smaller cafes.

I’ve previously posted elsewhere about having to forgo my favourite bistro, where my colleague and I would relax on the leather settees enjoying a glass of wine and a cup of coffee whilst catching up on business, after they introduced children’s menus.

Once that happened we had to compete with young mums on their phones competing with their babies’ demands for attention, not to mention food on the floor and sticky fingers on the furniture. Not a productive environment. So all respect to Ralf!