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Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee

Black On Black

The combination of Coffee and Vinyl is a surprisingly natural fit. As soon as you enter this particular place, however, you quickly realize that it has even more on offer than it says on the tin.

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee

Maoz Barda never really felt at home in the world of ordinary 9-to-5 jobs – not that he had a bad time there: In his native Israel, the electronics engineer worked in semiconductor technology, and his employers included Intel and Motorola. Even after he moved to Germany ten years ago when his wife changed employers, his career continued more or less seamlessly. However, already in Israel it had become apparent to Maoz that he was too driven by his hobbies to earn his living from his desk for the rest of his days. He had tried his hand at photography, even accepting jobs from acquaintances as an event photographer at weddings, he was enthusiastic about restoring vintage furniture, he also tinkered with classic hi-fi equipment with a passion.

In Germany, he barely lasted more than two years in his traditional industry before he decided to take the plunge and turn not one, but several of his hobbies into a business model. This is how “Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee” came into being at the end of 2014, a small store in Munich’s prestigious Maxvorstadt district where, like many other record stores, you can browse through a diverse collection of vinyl records. Unlike in other record stores, however, you’re encouraged to first treat yourself to an espresso in the entrance room and marvel at the furnishings.

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee
Barista Häppy pours us a nice cup of coffee

At first, it feels more like a café than a record store: as we enter, barista Häppy greets us from the counter and immediately offers us a cup, which we enjoy while chatting with Maoz and admiring the photo prints that adorn the walls. Maoz’s own works are seamlessly juxtaposed with bought-in pictures showing motifs from Robert Lebeck’s portfolio, among others. Some of the vintage furniture on which the equipment is stylishly arranged has been restored by Maoz himself, while other pieces were bought on the open market.

Right next to the entrance there are a few boxes of records, but they don’t hold our attention for long, as our gazes are quickly drawn to the sound equipment strategically placed in every nook and cranny. Whereas in more typical record stores, the record players sitting in the corners are clearly intended purely as test tools, here the room is populated by a number of turntables, amplifiers and speakers from audiophile brands: a Rega P3 provides background sound via a pair of Blumenhofer speakers, while a system with a MoFi turntable and a pair of KLH Model Three is set up ready to play in a cozy corner of the room. If you take a closer look, you will also find a number of components from Pro-Ject, DALI, Grado and numerous other manufacturers.

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee

The purpose of the exercise is by no means to present customers with the black gold in the best possible light – in fact, you can buy your complete hi-fi system here, record collection included. Even though there is no dedicated listening room, the concept is amazingly sound: with a selection of vinyl under your arm, you sit down with a coffee, listen through the records on the system of your choice in an absolutely lifelike environment and decide what you’d like to keep. As Maoz explains to us, the sale of hi-fi components initially came about organically as a side gig of sorts, but increasingly developed into a central pillar. “If you come back in a year’s time, it may well be that hi-fi will be the main business and I’ll only be selling records here on the side,” he predicts.

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee
Maoz Barda explaining his store concept

A few steps lead up to the actual store floor, where everything revolves around records: from jazz and classical music to electronica and world music, everything is represented here. The selection is not gigantic due to the lack of space, but it is easily large enough so that taking your time to sift through the selection is almost guaranteed to yield a good handful of gems. The reason for the gradual reorientation towards hi-fi is, as so often, the Internet: Not only does Maoz have to compete with online dealers who have a lower overhead – buyer behavior has changed as well. At a time when you can get all the information you want with two clicks, many people don’t even think of browsing, but know exactly what they want before they enter the store – and it’s obviously quite likely that a conventional record store doesn’t happen to have the exact record they want in stock.

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Häppy is confident that the gradual return to normality after the state of emergency with the big bad “C” will also see the return of the browsing mentality – after all, it’s hard to think of a better way to discover new stuff that wasn’t even on your radar. In any case, Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee seems well prepared to develop in either direction as required. First of all, however, people need to get used to getting out of the house again. And Maoz already has a plan to help with that: he wants to organize a live concert here once a quarter, as he did before the pandemic. That’s right: every three months or so, he takes the trouble to completely clear out the front store area and invite a band. The only thing he asks of them is that they hold back on the size of the drum kit – then there’s probably room for 30 to 40 guests. So Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee should definitely be worth a visit by the time the next concert comes around at the latest.

Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee


The stated retail price of the reviewed device is valid as of the time of the review and is subject to change.