Karlsruhe – A city where diversity and uniqueness come together as one. The city has a lively cultural landscape and houses over 50 museums, theatres and galleries waiting to be visited. Just outside the city centre of this enjoyable place-to-be, you can come to rest at Kronen Kaffee, a cafe where industrial and modern atmospheres blend in together.
Featuring over 30 different kinds of coffee, Kronen Kaffee is also home to a beautiful and custom made W60A. This is the second-largest Giesen coffee roaster. An industrial roastery combined with a café and coffee bar sets the tone for a wonderful lunch experience.
The brick walls, the steel accents, the high ceiling with wooden beams and the touch of vintage give you the feeling that you are having lunch in Manhattan. In this article, we’re checking out Kronen Kaffee in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Like father like son
Kronen Kaffee is a company that exists for nearly 60 years. It all started with Hans Karl Hornung. He worked for the company and finally became managing director. In 1988 he and his wife Rosemarie took over the coffee roasting in Hagsfeld. After three years, the roastery moved to Stutensee.
Christian Hornung joined the company in 2010 and has been managing director together with his father since 2014 – a genuine family business.
«An attribute that sets Kronen Kaffee apart is its values and eye for quality. We are very flexible to our customers and their needs»
Since 1961, the family business has been offering top-quality coffee from all over the world. Even before coffees were advertised, the name Kronen Kaffee stood for honest products and down-to-earth quality from the region.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this family business. We are stronger together as a family and community. We challenge each other to keep bringing out the best of ourselves, the coffee and the cafe. Keep innovating and keep developing”.
Christian is the CEO of Kronen Kaffee and has the ambition to take the coffee quality in Karlsruhe to the next level.
«We think along with our customers, from beginning to end, without missing a step.»
All in one concept at Kronen Kaffee
However, a change had to be made because they noticed they were perhaps a little bit too old school. At the beginning of 2019, Kronen Kaffee moved to a new building with a totally new way of working. It took around three years to renovate the building. Now the place combines the roastery and a café. Christian’s sister Catharina and her husband Dennis are managing the café both with restaurant experience of more than 10 years.
«We wanted to take the next step, create a totally new concept.» – Michael, the head roaster mentions. «Customers are a part of our roasting sessions because our coffee roaster is placed in the middle of the cafe.». There has been an increased demand for transparency across all aspects of the supply chain. People want to know the story behind their cup of coffee. Kronen Kaffee has responded well to this knowledge by placing their W60A in the same space as their cafe.
«The favourite spot for our customers is to sit right next to the W60A». He points at a small table, with great natural lighting. To combine the roastery and the cafe atmosphere, they had to order a coffee roaster that has special tailored solutions.
Custom made W60A
«Giesen completely isolated the roaster to reduce the noise as much as possible.» This was done so that the customers can still enjoy a cup of coffee while a roasting session is happening.
One of the other customizations that Giesen did for Kronen Kaffee is to make a destoner with a scale underneath it. The destoner effectively removes foreign objects and leaves you with nothing but coffee beans. Adding a scale gives you a clear overview of how many kilograms of roasted beans are in the destoner at the moment.
Visiting Kronen Kaffee
The Kronen Kaffee experience doesn’t end with drinking a cup of coffee and watching Michael roast. «You can buy the coffee you just enjoyed, and we regularly open our doors to other coffee enthusiasts by hosting workshops and small courses. They can experience the whole process with us.».
When asked how customers have to feel when they visit Kronen Kaffee, Christian explains this with a lot of passion: «We want customers to feel like they are a part of this family and can always rely on us to give them great quality at an honest price.»
Family, quality and community are all part of the bigger picture at Kronen Kaffee.
Roasting on a W60A
Michael, the head roaster at Kronen Kaffee needed a few months to get used to the different settings of the W60A. He is in the roasting business for five years. He started out as the apprentice of the roaster that worked here at the time.
«But then I discovered my passion for coffee roasting. I wanted to keep improving and eventually started working here full time.»
At the time he roasted on a 60-year-old manual roaster. They had to manually register all roasts and take lots of notes. Since Kronen Kaffee was growing so much, it was time to roast consistently and to be able to replay profiles was the perfect way to do so.
«It was very exciting roasting on a Giesen! It felt like a totally new experience because before we roasted more on feeling. Now everything we roast becomes measurable and we are able to maintain a very high consistency.».
Michael mentions they currently don’t have a sample roaster, so they use their W60A to experiment and try out new coffees. «The W60A works really good for small batch sizes, it’s not like a sample roaster but it’s great to check the colours and the taste».
Whole new twist
Kronen Kaffee made customers very happy by changing the venue and upgrading to a Giesen roaster.
«Sometimes I delete the old profiles and start over again and think ‘this profile is even better!’ I am still learning and optimizing existing taste profiles. We even have some classic coffees, which have been in the assortment for over 30 years. Tasting these beans in a new profile is a really great learning process.»
Michael mentions it’s also very valuable to talk to other people who are also using Giesen. A great opportunity to do that is at the World of Coffee. «I started learning by experimenting but also by staying in contact with these people. I think it’s a great way to share knowledge and keep improving yourself.»
«My advice to starting roasters would be to never give up. I am still discovering new things after five years of experience. Find you a coffee roaster that works for you and just keep on trying.»
Want to know what Giesen can mean for your business? Contact us and start roasting soon!
You can visit Kronen Kaffee at Bannwaldallee 38b, 76185, Karlsruhe in Germany or follow them on Instagram.