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Berlin Coffee Shop Quest: Lancia Lifestyle Lounge

Date & Time: Today, Wednesday, 8 September, 2010, 09:45

Where: Berlin’s Car-Dealer and Coffee-Shop in One

Lancia Lifestyle Lounge
Friedrichstrasse, “Quartier 110”
(Corner of Friedrichstrasse & Mohrenstrasse, see below)

Lancia Lifestyle LoungeActually, it’s more than a car dealership and coffee shop in one, it is a “lifestyle lounge” — which means that, at least inside, the seating is designed for lounging, not sitting, and the big-ass coffee tables are relatively low. This makes sitting and working difficult, if not back-pain inducing. Plus there are spotlights in the ceiling that reflect off of the super shiny surface of the coffee table, making it tough to work using the coffee table as the surface reflects light directly into your eyes.

Outside tables are of a better height but given today’s weather and the fact that outdoor tables are, in general, often surrounded by smokers, this is not really an attractive option.

The ambiance includes music which is forgettable, but as I usually like to plug into my own iPod, sometimes background music can bleed past my headphones. I didn’t try because the music seemed a bit loud but not so loud as to inhibit vapid conversation between beautiful people lounging about.

I was the only customer who stayed, while I was there one man came in looking for a light for his cigarette (the barista kindly gave him the light, but only once outside the front door), plus two women came in and ordered two coffees to go.

Coffee Notes: The “lifestyle lounge” serves Illy coffees, which are famous and loved by many. It’s actually the brand that the Weimar Office served, but in general I think it is usually on the bitter side. I wanted a Cafe Latte, but they do not have lactose-free milk, so I went with a large Kaffee Americano (2.30€), which was adequate.

Car Notes: How many people drive Lancias? Seriously? I don’t remember ever having seen one on the road in Germany. The only place I remember having seen them is on the BBC’s Top Gear. I don’t know if the baristas do double duty serving customers for both coffee and car, but it could be fun to find out.

Location: This one is hard to find. If you’re standing the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Mohrenstrasse, go to the north-west corner, then walk north past the clothing shop on your left. There will be an opening at ground level where you can walk through to an inner-courtyard. Go through to the inner-courtyard. It’s not really easily visible from the street.

Summary: I might go again if I were going to be talking to somebody, but as a place to work, forget it.

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