Bean in Progress Specialty Coffee Basel

Bean in Progress Pop-up Café

A visit with Cenk at the Bean in Progress pop-up café

The Pop-up Café

It is Saturday morning, shortly before 9 am. Basel city centre is still quiet, there are hardly any passers-by. That's exactly why I arranged to meet Cenk from Bean in Progress so early in the morning. "All the neighbouring shops open at 10 am, only then do the first guests start to arrive. Before that, we have time to drink coffee and talk," Cenk told me. And he really does seem to be right. 

So I wait alone in front of the pop-up café of Bean in Progress at Gebergässlein 10 and only have to watch out that the cleaning machine of the city cleaning service doesn't unwillingly clean my shoes. After a few minutes, Cenk appears, a little rushed, on his bike. The queue in front of the Kult bakery was a bit long, but now there are fresh croissants. I'm happy to wait a few minutes for that, I think, and follow Cenk inside his pop-up café.

The house is around 600 years old and used to be an interior design shop, which can still be seen wonderfully inside. When Cenk heard about the possibility of a temporary use of the shop space for three months, he immediately jumped at the chance. So far, he has mainly sold his home-roasted coffee at various markets in the city. You can find out exactly where and in which shops you can buy Bean in Progress coffee here:

Specialty Coffee

Bean in Progress roasts Specialty Coffee at the Aktienmühle in Basel. But what exactly is Specialty Coffee?

In short, it's the best coffee you can buy. And that is not the subjective assessment of Stadtgenuss, no. Because there is the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), which rates coffees, on a scale of 1 - 100 points. The better a green coffee is, the higher the score. Of course, the taste is evaluated, but also, for example, how many defects a coffee has, i.e. impurities, broken beans or pests, etc. To be considered a Specialty Coffee, the green coffee must score at least 80 out of 100 points.

Bean in Progress Specialty Coffee Basel
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Bean in Progress Specialty Coffee Basel

Specialty coffees are often roasted comparatively light to bring out the facets of the coffee that make up the specialty. These are fragile and can be lost if the roast is too dark. That is why many of these coffees are offered as filter coffees. This is also the case with Bean in Progress: "El Volcán Barva" and "Frauen Power" are primarily intended as filter coffees.

But of course you can also make a darker espresso roast from Specialty Coffees, like the "Sonho Amarelo", the first coffee that Bean in Progress had in its range. The "African Green", on the other hand, is brand new.

At Cenk, every coffee has its own story. The green coffee must meet the highest sensory standards, while being grown in a socially and ecologically compatible way. 

El Volcán Barva, for example, contains old, very robust Arabica varieties that get by with less water and are thus well prepared for global warming. Women Power coffee comes from a coffee cooperative in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is run exclusively by women.

Back at the café

Well... it wasn't a quiet morning, on the contrary.
No sooner had Cenk parked his Vélo and heated up the coffee machine than the first customers arrived. "Flat White with oat milk", "Double espresso to go", "Cappucino and a croissant" and "Two Women Power, please". It goes on like this all morning. Cenk scurries back and forth between the coffee grinder, the coffee machine and the cash register. In between, I pester him with my questions. 

"What does bean in progress actually mean?". "Coffee roasting is a process. There are so many factors that can influence the perfect result, the perfect roast or the perfect coffee in the cup. That's where you have to constantly evolve, adapt and learn new things. There is never an end, there is no destination. But there is a way, the progression. Bean in Progress," Cenk tells me and pours me a cup of "African Green" filter coffee.

After about two hours, a few coffees and many unanswered questions, I decide to move on. Cenk should be able to take care of the many customers and we agree that I will visit him in the roastery next time.

I'm really looking forward to the continuation of the conversation, the smell of freshly roasted coffee and then I'll also tell you how Bean in Progress makes excellent decaffeinated specialty coffee. Because yes, it really does exist.

Bean in Progress Pop-up Café

Specialty Coffee
April - June 2022
Gerbergässlein 10, Basel
Tues. - Fri. 8.15 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sat. 9.00 - 17 h

Bean in Progress Specialty Coffee Basel
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