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Keeping Good Coffee Simple

Popped into… Coffee and Juices in Amsterdam Baarsjes

Day before 2016 and getting my last few hours in behind the laptop before getting the festivities started.

Coffee & Juices

Baarsjesweg 302 | Amsterdam | www.coffeeandjuices.nl
— 3/5 —

This spot has all the ingredients necessary for success. A neighbourhood booming with young families, two super markets next door, solid foot and bike traffic out front, and a welcoming, if not simple, motif.
Coffee & Juices carries Amsterdam’s own BrandMeesters coffee. Which is great for a cafe, with a broader scope than just coffee.

I had a Colombian filter, iced. This was served in a Ball Jar. I ended up ordering a second one while my companion ordered a flat white. Served right.

This cafe is a local gem. I recommend visiting any of the two locations. One on the Baarsjesweg and the other on the Hugo de Grootplein.

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Popped into… White Label Coffee in Amsterdam West

White Label Coffee

Jan Evertsenstraat 136
1056 Amsterdam | www.whitelabelcoffee.nl

Popped into White Label Coffee to get some work done this morning. To my pleasant surprise, found an old acquaintance and talented local artist Tom Kraanen behind the bar.

White Label is a minimalist yet cozy establishment that has a wonderful selection of pressure and filter coffees. I went for my standard double espresso, this time from Kenya, followed by a Colombian filter.

What I LOVED was that my filter coffee was served in a crystal whiskey glass, which was robust in size and allowed me to see the light muddy color of the brew.

Pay them a visit or visit them online. We will definitely be contacting them to partner up on BeanDealers.

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Popped into… Lot Sixty One in Amsterdam Kinkerbuurt

Great start of the holidays! Had an insane amount of time off left to be used so I started my vacation on a Tuesday.

Lunch at Molenpad, coffee at Lot Sixty One.

Lot Sixty One

Kinkerstraat 112,
1053 ED Amsterdam | lotsixtyonecoffee.com

Located in the booming old west of Amsterdam (Oud West), is Lot Sixty One. Owned by an Aussie named Adam. I won’t spend too much time reviewing this one because there are other more elaborate articles about this awesome establishment.

The coffees are spot on, the vibe is perfect for the location and while there might be an initial perception of pretentiousness, it fades quickly with the friendly service.

I’ll be trying to work at least twice a week for a few hours in my time off here and will review specific blends from this in-shop roastery.

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Hamburg: Grime and Grinds

 

Hanging at Public Roasters

Hamburg is the first city on the BeanDealers roadtrip where we were both together (this time we also took our buddy from Amsterdam, Martijn). While we’d all heard great things about Hamburg and it’s burgeoning coffee scene, none of us had ever been there.

We arrived late on Friday night, the night after I’d had my Christmas party, so I was a little worse for wear. As we got our bearings in search of some dinner, we realised our apartment was well placed to some great areas. After a lamb and beer dinner at a cosy little Turkish restaurant, I crashed out while Martijn and Max took full advantage of the Hamburg clubbing scene at Golem.

Saturday was the day of roasters, and, while I was well rested, it was Max and Martijn’s turn to feel the wrath of a big night out. I got up early in search of a pick-me-up for my fellow weekend warriors and I.

Planning out our visits for the day, I decided on:

  • Elbgold
  • Less Political
  • Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei
  • Public Coffee Roasters

The place we were staying was a short walk from Elbgold. When I got there around 11:00 it was already packed. Located in an old train yard building a little way from the Schanzenstraße shopping district, there was clearly a loyal local fan base for Elbgold.

Elbgold take their bean sales as seriously as their café, evinced by the two bars set up; one serving coffee, the other offering up no fewer than eleven different roasts. After taking a few happy snaps to show the boys I grabbed a cappuccino with their easy-drinking house blend and a black coffee for Martijn with their fruity, slightly acidic monthly feature coffee.

After grabbing the guys from the apartment, we headed back to the Schanzenstraße area, stopping by Elbgold one more time and having a cheeky IPA at the Altes Mädchen brewery.

We then walked to Less Political, a small but popular café which stocks a wide range of beans from over Germany including Five Elephants (Berlin). They also have a branded blend roasted by Quijote Kaffee. Less Political is a café that donates 1 euro for every kilo of coffee sold to a wide variety of organisations covering youth support and anti-political extremism among others.

LP truly fits into a freethinking neighbourhood reminiscent of some of the bohemian areas of Berlin.

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Jumping on the metro, we made our way to Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei, a far more commercial roaster located in an old converted warehouse in the main harbour area. The place was jammed with people and tastefully decorated with antique roasters and other coffee apparatus. It had the feel of a very German Starbucks, but with good coffee. Non-pretentious, not expensive and super friendly, we were fortunate to have a huge bag of sample beans waiting for us behind the counter from Felix (Speicherstadt Sales & Marketing).

As the sun was setting we headed to Public Coffee Roasters just as they were cleaning up for the day. The guys were nice enough to serve us anyway, giving us our final espresso. Public is another place riding the 3rd wave of coffee and leading the transformation of the Hamburg coffee scene.

In the evening we checked out the sites around town, with dinner at the homely and local Erika’s Eck. We got there around 22:30, but that’s ok right (?), things in Hamburg tend to stay open pretty late and Erika’s is open for food until 02:00. After a great (& cheap), hearty German meal, Max drove us around town so we could see the sites.

Keen to ramp up the night again, we dropped in at Hate Harry, a typical Hamburg bar not too far from where we had dinner in St Pauli. Hate Harry is an ode to music, and Rock ‘n’ Roll in particular. After a couple of beers and a free “mystery” shot from the bartender we were ready to hit PAL to get our German techno on.

We rounded off the weekend with a Sunday morning coffee around the corner from Hate Harry at Deathpresso. Besides an extensive coffee menu with a huge variety of their own beans, deathpresso have great merchandise and Max and I had to get ourselves some espresso cups.

After a great weekend we were heading back to Amsterdam having truly experienced a great coffee culture. Hamburg is grime and hip in equal measures, with a charm that makes it one of our favourite cities in Europe.

Daniel (& Max)

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Spiercherstadt Rostery
Elbgold Dan
Elbgold
Elbgold Interior
Elbgold
Max at Bar Near Elbgold
Braugasthaus Altes Mädchen
Less Political
Less Political

In Amsterdam, Saturday’s are for Coffee!

In the coming months, Daniel and I will be traveling all across Europe in search of great coffee, great stories, interesting people and valuable insight into how we can make BeanDealers not only a success, but a real value add to both Roasters and coffee lovers alike.

Our first stop in this journey was spread out over two Saturday’s in our hometown of Amsterdam.

CT’s Coffee & Coconuts

Ceintuurbaan 282 | Amsterdam | +31 020 354 1104 | www.ctamsterdam.nl

Imagine if there was a three story shrine to the hip, young and libertine of our day. Coffee & Coconuts is such a place. Situated in a tastefully renovated art-deco theater (Ceintuur Theater) on the Ceintuurbaan a few steps from the heart of the Pijp district. Walking inside, the ground floor has a cozy, warm, intimate feeling with an integrated open kitchen and funky bar. Coffee is in full display next to the mountains of fresh exotic and local fruits that comprise a seriously stacked drink menu.

Running alongside the left of the room is a set of stairs running up to the main sitting and dining areas. Plural. Spread over three separate lofts, complete with its own coffee station, burlap beanbags and (what looks like) reclaimed furniture makes for a great setting. If you are staying for a meal, there is seated dining in two of the large areas, with really awesome, subtle, lighting fixtures.

C&C do not roast their own coffee, but they sure can brew a great cup. I tried a filter iced coffee (did I mention that it was kind of warm inside?), Daniel had a cappuccino and Brittney had the same. I must have had 3 of the coffees before realizing that the coffee was, actually, quite great.
Started this year, Coffee & Coconuts adds a very nice option for larger groups or loners looking to go somewhere expansive. The interior is inspiring and I recommend a visit. Stay posted here for an interview with the team behind C&C to hear their take on how the new cafe on the scene is doing.

Coffee & Coconuts get their coffee from our next stop, Bocca Coffee, located off the Kerkstraat in Amsterdam’s canal belt.

Bocca Coffee

Kerkstraat 96HS, 1017 GP Amsterdam | www.bocca.nl

Let me start by saying that someday I hope to run an establishment as well thought out as Bocca Coffee. Located on a quiet, unassuming, street in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s canal belt. A short walk from Leidseplein, Rijksmuseam or Rembrandtplein.

To elaborate on my bold statement above, only having opened several weeks ago the order process encourages you to have a seat, strike up a conversation, or examine the handy reference card explaining the origin, flavors, varietal, farm and elevation of your chosen coffee. I’ve provided some examples in the pictures below.

What makes Bocca so nice is thee fold: their story, which you can find here, the expertise of the baristas, and its interior. They had the balls to convert a vintage Probat roaster into a water tap, which looks really cool. They offer free sparkling water (from an auto compressed tap), they have outlets EVERYWHERE and great little nooks for people to be productive or completely not. For a drizzling Saturday, the place had great foot traffic for a recently opened coffee store on a quaint street.

While I was waiting for Daniel to arrive, I had a double espresso. The coffee came from Kenya and was strong, nicely bitter with a sweet, round aftertaste. Daniel arrived and had a cappuccino, which was prepared in artistic fashion. Our real surprise, and my favorite part about Bocca, was our next order.

Poured from the classical copper kettle, into Japanese glass pots with Japanese filters, we ordered two pots. The coffees were complex, nicely roasted, and the barista seemed to know the exact journey that our mouths would be undertaking. Described to a tee.

Daniel’s was from Suke Quto in Sidamo region Ethiopia. See the left card below for a very well description of the flavor. I had a Honey Processed filter coffee from Costa Rican farm Del Diamante.

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Mine was intense. Smokey. Wasn’t a huge fan of the peanut notes, they were less roasted and more char-grilled. But the after taste and uplift made it an overall positive experience.

After rinsing, I tried the Suke Quto. First thing that hits the tongue is FRUIT. Namely, berries (as accurately described in the card below). A basketful. Then comes a subtle roasty, tannin that makes the sides of your mouth water a bit. Strangely, the sweetness was tempered by the richness of the coffee and the fact that it made different parts of my mouth react differently, all at once.

Be sure to check out Bocca Coffee. We will definitely be reaching out to them for a tour of their roasting facilities and an interview in our upcoming roaster spotlight series.

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