When it comes to coffee and beer, trends have been moving in the direction of high-quality and individual products from small companies for years now. Handmade products, where all the steps are transparent from the selection of source materials through to production and sales, are particularly popular. This is how small, private breweries – also known as micro-breweries – are increasingly establishing themselves on the market. And more and more cafes are attracting business with the scent of their own roasted coffee. These trends are leaving their mark on Wolfenbüttel’s culinary scene as well.
Treccino: roaster and coffee bar
Ever since Monika Steinig opened the Treccino coffee bar in 2014, her red Piaggio three wheeler with its mobile coffee bar hasn’t been seen on Wolfenbüttel’s market square. Instead, she and her husband now welcome guests to Alten Tore 1a, where they can enjoy great coffee. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy an espresso or filter coffee in the historic old town. The interior of the café is dominated by warm brown and red colours. The most striking fixture in the cafe is the red coffee roaster, which is reminiscent of a cross between a huge coffee grinder and an alchemist’s stove. In this gas-powered drum roaster, pure Arabica green coffees are processed using traditional long-term roasting methods. This is intended to make the coffee taste very flavourful and smooth on the palate.
The couple sources most of the varieties from small importers who are in direct contact with producers in the countries of origin. The ‘direct trade’ principle ensures fair trade and sustainable growing practices. Treccino offers a broad selection: in addition to selected speciality coffees, which are also available lactose-free and to take away, you will find organic tea, chocolate drinks and the whole range of David Rio chai teas on the menu. Seasonal creations such as smoothies, frappés and a summery ‘Eispresso’ (iced espresso) round out the wide array of drinks – making the cafe well worth a visit any time of the year!
Pinocchio – the smallest coffee roaster in Germany
In the heart of Wolfenbüttel, Jo Weigmann runs a cafe with three tables and the smallest coffee roaster in Germany. It can get crowded quickly here, but with a host like Jo you don’t mind squeezing together a bit. The native of the Franconia region exudes the passion and nonchalance of an Italian. And if you strike up a conversation with him, then some of that passion is guaranteed to rub off on you as well. Every cup, every bag of coffee, every picture at Pinocchio has a story. For example, there is a photo of Eva, an elderly barista. Jo learned the art of roasting coffee in the early 2000s from the Italian woman, who is now well over 90 years old. It was his first espresso, which he enjoyed in the 1980s to the south of Brenner Mountain, that got him hooked.
A good twenty years passed before the former joiner, parquet layer and policeman found his way to roasting and selling his own coffee. Today, downstairs from his flat at the old grain market, he offers 14 (!) delicious espressos, cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and filter coffees. And if you want to take the freshly roasted coffee beans home with you, you can do so with Jo’s flavour-preserving valve bag filled with espresso or 100% Arabica beans.
Privatbrauerei Stebner – Wolfenbüttel’s first craft brewery
When Andreas Stebner came across two old family recipes for brewing beer in 2014, the owner of a delicatessen factory developed the idea of founding his own brewery in Wolfenbüttel. After several training courses, he opened the Brauerei Stebner brewery on 22 June 2016 at Okerstraße 16. His first creation was the ‘Stebner Landbier’: reddish-brown in colour, full-bodied, with a unique malt flavour. Pilsner, Indian Pale Ale, top-fermented, dark and fruit beers are now also available at the brewery, which relies on pure handcraft, selected ingredients and a mix of old recipes and new ideas. There is a tasting bar on site. A shop where you can purchase bottles is just a few metres away. Stebner’s special services include brewing courses and ‘custom beer’ – which gives you the opportunity to commission your own creations or to brand existing beers with individual labels.
Mad Dukes Brewery – beer from the region, for the region
The crowdfunding project for Mad Dukes was launched in early 2016. Today, self-declared local patriots Timo Baars, Marcel Hotopp, Patrice Theuring and Christian Thönebe are already looking back on a small success story. They reached their initial goal of 10,500 euros some time ago, and the response within the region has been very encouraging. The young men want to produce an ‘honest’ beer from regional ingredients, unfiltered and without chemicals. The first official ‘Weizenbüttler’ taste tests were very promising – and further exciting creations such as festival wheat beer, pumpkin beer and beer with coffee flavours are in the pipeline. Once all of the crowdfunding supporters have been supplied, the Mad Dukes will look into setting up a distribution network. The beer has been available since September at Tires Grill & Feinkost, Krambuden 18, 38100 Wolfenbüttel. You can find current information regarding purchasing options on the Mad Dukes Facebook Page.