Monday morning, 10:30 am. Coffee smell is in the air in a small place with yellow tiles and a pink wall. A bit tired looking people enter the room and order a flat-white, a cappuccino or a filter coffee. Most of them for take away. Here at the Detlev Bremer Straße 21 in the district St. Pauli has opened a new spot for friends of quality beans since the beginning of March: Playground Coffee. A café recommendation, which I would like to introduce to you more precisely.
Veljko Tatalović, the guy from the upper right picture, made himself self-employed a few years ago with Playground Coffee. Before he began to take the filter holder regularly, there was a camera. He used to work as a photographer for various publishers and agencies.
His passion for photography had somehow been lost by the industry. Veljko wanted to build up a second mainstay, when he discovered coffee. The first excursion to this area followed as barista and roaster at the Hamburg roastery Elbgold. In 2014 he finally becomes independent with Playground Coffee. In addition to a small corner of the shop-in-shop café in a burger restaurant in the district Grindelviertel (at Otto’s Burger), from the outset he also roasted coffee on his own.
The coffees of the roastery have creative names as Skywalker, Dirty Berry or King Kongo and their beans come from independent plantations from countries like Brazil, the Congo or Zimbabwe. Already due to the fancy design the filter coffees and espresso blends in their cardboard boxes attract attention. Those playful worlds are from graphic designer Andreas Teichmann, a friend of Veljko.
But also because of the taste I can recommend you the Playground Coffee. The Kenya West through the hand filter is party of my coffee ceremony at home often. It is a filter roasting with the flavour nuances sweet plum, dark berry and caramel. I also like Playground Love – a sweet Espressoblend, which taste like nougat and cherry. Soon, the roastery goes to Wilhelmsburg in a former waterworks.
There have been a lot of other things happened at Playground since opening. At the beginning of 2016 the team, which now consists of seven persons, has opened a second shop in the Rathauspassage. A coffee kiosk is located there, which now provides for good coffee in the middle of Hamburgs city center. And this year was followed by a real own store – the one at St. Pauli. Veljko himself calls him “the new Playground headquarter“. In addition to the great coffee enjoyment, there is also a small selection of cakes.
The fact that the Roastery is so successful is also due to the people who support Veljko on his playground. His friends Marc and Matze were there from the start. Others, such as Sebastian Benzin, who described himself as a digital content producer, followed soon after the founding. Sebastian has also launched the latest project from Playground: it’s own bicycle club, which regularly organizes bike tours. Before and after the tours, which often consist of 30 to 40 people and go to Hamburgs surrounding area on a Sunday, the Playground Cycle Club drinks coffee in the new café. Things to do differently than many other coffee roasters and cafés, is the clear motto.
Veljko himself drinks by the way most preferably Filter coffee or Flat White. For the latter stands in the café on St. Pauli a chic Victoria Arduino, VA358 White Eagle, espresso machine. The interior around is colorful and complemented by many plants, but the small space does not feel like overcharge.
Before I said goodbye at the Monday morning I ask – because of personal curiosity – whether Veljko still photographed from time to time. “Scarcely,” he replied, “but I’ve been really enjoying it again since a short time.” The fact that he knows to combine the visual and good coffee taste on his playground is definitely obvious.