New Perspective on coffeeine filled culture

“People taste and smell the coffee completely differently and that’s the beauty of it. 
Beyond any design and décor, in the end – it is all about coffee,”

Tansel Ozbek lives and breathes the certain philosophy at Refinery High End Coffee,  the café she co-founded in the heart of Berlin in 2015.

Tansel and Bora Özbek have been passionate about coffee culture for ages. However, the truly inspirational journey started in 2015. The couple set up high end coffee shop Refinery which is known for carefully selected coffee from local Berlin roasters and homemade delights. It’s all about Third Wave Coffee. Having the roots in coffee and gastro, business administration, communication and social media, Refinery team understands how consumers behave and what’s relevant for them. We use this knowledge interdisciplinary.

“Perfect cup of coffee in the great design place is like a glory.” 


S&W: Refinery in 3 words? 
Process Of Perfection

S&W: Was there any specific motivation why you knew you need to start this business? How did you get into the coffee industry? 
As a common thing, my professional and personal approach was changing with the time. The aspirations, values, goals, ambitions, visions and idyll of the life in general got a constant form at the certain point when I made a decision to choose a different path in my career. The interest in hospitality in a broad sense got into a perfect mix with a passion for the ultimately high quality specialty coffee and gastro. I see a great link between coffee and people connectivity, development, personal evolvement and important ritual in the daily life routine. The process of preparing and serving a perfect coffee cup of a day – extremely refined and polished – determined the step into the specialty coffee scene and qualitative vision to bring the coffee into the next level. 

S&W: What was the most special moment since you’ve started Refinery Coffee Shop?
The growth, improvement, development, never ending lessons and the achievements. One of the most special moments so far is the engagement of the team in the daily routine: it brings so much excitement and happiness to see the team bringing their passion, knowledge, inspirations and visions. Therefore, it was more than special moment to start working with Norway’s famous specialty coffee roaster Tim Wendelboe whose coffee is stocked and served just in our space in Berlin so far.

S&W: How did you come up with the ideas for the project “female empowerment in coffee business” in first place? 
Leadership, entrepreneurship and business development are commonly perceived as very male dominated fields, however, I am gratefully excited to see, hear and experience the changes. Berlin city is a great place to reverse the situation, challenge the discussions, encourage to redefine the discourse and reorganize the status. Looking at the future of specialty coffee scene more particularly, I am more than sure the caffeine enhanced conversations will turn into some great results sooner or later.

S&W: What do you miss the most in the coffee industry in Berlin / Europe? The people shall compete less and cooperate more. We do work to bring more positive and enjoyable moments for the society and we all have our experiences, strengths and insights to share. Besides that, integration of the other industries into the coffee culture. To my perspective, coffee is a high quality lifestyle attribute just like great design, fashion, architecture, gastro. In order to show connectivity and willingness to cooperate, our team started the collaborations with various companies including Taschen, and Mindspace.

S&W: What were some valuable lessons you learned while managing Refinery?
Always multitasking. It provides a great dose of new discoveries, lessons, knowledge, inspirations and occasions to develop in the various ways: starting from my personality, team work, service and product complexity and balance to design and space merchandising, communication and interpersonal interaction.

S&W: What would be your advice for female entrepreneurs, you’d like to share?
Be humble. Stay focused and goal orientated. Set up your own way. Appreciate what is given. Do not fight – life is not a battle. Rather put the whole energy, mind and love to the aspirations and one day it will pay off.


S&W: Some words that inspired you lately? 
Do not be afraid of changes and challenges. As long as it triggers your individuality and comfort zone – just bravely go for it. I am very lucky to be surrounded by courageous, self – confident, challenging and curious people who inspire me every day.

S&W: What cities are you most bonded to or inspired by? 
London, New York, Barcelona and, obviously, Berlin. In a way, all these places are similar in creative sparkle and melting pot aspect. So many nationalities, cultures, values, attitudes mix and match into the perfect combination. All these cities have great specialty coffee scene which is a necessity!

S&W: Are there some lessons you’ve learned so far that impact you and the way you work?
If you have a clear goal and search for the tools to achieve it – there are no boundaries. It is one of the key lessons I learnt and remind myself in professional and personal terms. Therefore, you cannot make the things alone – the personal connection and interaction brings the highest results. Life is not timeless – just do it now.


Refinery High End Coffee: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Credits: @a_uste / @thomas_k

@a_uste  /  @thomas_k  / Bora and Tansel Özbek, co-owners of Berlin’s Refinery High End Coffee.

@a_uste / @thomas_k / Bora and Tansel Özbek, co-owners of Berlin’s Refinery High End Coffee.