It was really exciting to find this place. It was a djungle. The weather was great, and
spring had really begun working on the plants. I was the only one there and from the looks of it, even graffiti "artists", homeless people and vandals hadn't been there for quite some
After I got out of there, I met a couple of senior citizens that appeared to be "natives", so I went up to them and asked them if they knew what this factory used to produce.
They immediately said that it used to be a coffee roastery.
So much, so good.
When I checked to find this "coffee roastery" on the internet, I found...nothing. Then it hit me! This was East Germany - they didn't really have coffee, they had coffee substitute!
So I checked for malt roasting companies and Bingo!
This was a malt roastery which manufactured coffee substitute for a large German company since 1906.
The original company, from which later the malt roasting businesses would emerge, was
founded in 1829 as a company that produced fuel oils.
From 1842, the company specialized in trading spices, colors and colonial goods and became one of the foremost traders in Munich.
In the second half of the 19th century, the company grew to be one of the biggest food trading companies in Germany. The products in stock ranged from Champagne and wine, chocolate and preserved foods to candles and tea. The most important branch, however, was the import of coffee beans.
The main production facility in Munich included a coffee roastery, a winery, a jam factory, a cannery and it had an own railway connection.
The head office of the company was located right next to the Munich town hall.
In 1889, the company developed a new system to produce malt coffee, and the malt coffee production branch was separated from the other production lines with its own brand in 1892.
The photos you see here are from one of the eight production facilities of the malt coffee company that were built between 1895 and 1910.
In 1906, the company was appointed "Purveyor of His Holiness the Pope Pius X. and the Holy Apostolic Popes".
In the 1990s, the company went bankrupt.