Speciality Coffee in Amsterdam

Once you start buying beans from a speciality coffee roaster, there is no turning back. For some people the taste of speciality coffee is not like coffee and more like some aromatic tea. Some might not enjoy with this. Because the big coffee chains(hint: Starbucks) and supermarkets coded that burned taste into our tongues. They do this because they cannot sell as fresh as local roasters do and they have to sell the same consistent taste which is the burned coffee taste in this case.

But coffee can have multiple different flavors. There could be multiple factors that affects flavor of the beans such as where the bean grown, other plants around the coffee farm, drying methods and roasting processes. That’s why you can see different tasting notes on the packaging of a speciality coffee product. Which is something great. Losing all these with over roasting is a huge shame.

(Source: www.moyeecoffee.com)

Coffee Is Getting Expensive

It’s not cheap. We should admit that. Coffee is an expensive commodity and getting expensive each year. Due to that we can see the reflection on the prices. If you compare a cup of filter coffee or latte price at a speciality coffee house with the big coffee chain, you can see it’s much more expensive at coffee roasters. Or if you compare 500g bag of coffee bean at a supermarket with the bag at roasters, again you can see the price differences. That comes from the quality and the effort that put into quality grown coffee. Those roasters cannot access coffee with cheap prices like big chains. Because of that they have to reflect it into prices. And the coffee farmers are the ones that suffer the most and earn the least in this equation. According to Moyee Coffee, 90% of the total coffee value disappears into the pockets of a handful of large multinationals, which we call Big Coffee. This means that the coffee farmers are left with only 10% of the value. It’s even worse, because there is nothing is added to this value– only 2% of that amount is actual profit. So if you consider all, it’s actually not that expensive.

It’s Not Coffeeshop, It’s Coffee House

Netherlands ruined the word “coffeeshop” for me. It is used to be one of my favorite word. “Going to coffeeshop”, “working from coffeeshop”, “getting a takeaway latte from a coffeeshop”. I was using the word excessively. But “coffeeshop” means “drug store” in the Netherlands. If you ask anyone on the road for the nearest coffeeshop, they will show you the place where you can smoke some weed and get high. So now it’s “coffee house”. Or with a bit more hipster way, “coffee roaster”. I’m getting used to it. If you are visiting Netherlands, especially Amsterdam and if your intention is not the drugs, keep that it in mind 😉

My Favorite Coffee Houses

Amsterdam has a really good coffee scene. There are many good quality coffee roasters and coffee houses around. I think it’s one of the two best speciality coffee cities in Europe. The other one is definitely Berlin. During my last two years in the Netherlands I created a list of my favorite coffee houses and roasters. Of course these are not all of them. It’s impossible to list all but these are mostly the ones that I visited and bought coffee. The ones that I enjoy and suggest with wholeheartedly.

Bocca Coffee

I’m a bit biased with Bocca to be honest. It’s my first coffee roaster that I met in Amsterdam and the first one that I buy coffee beans. Even before moving to the Netherlands I bought beans from them. But objectively, they are one of the top coffee roasters in Amsterdam. Coffee is great and their store has a great atmosphere in the heart of the Netherlands. They also have great workshops for people who wants to dive into coffee brewing or making latte art. I took one of them and it was a great experience. Bocca is also selling many coffee making equipments. Even some unique tools like GINA Smart Brewer.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/tuQaThyreSvg8scU8

Lot61 Coffee Roasters

Even though I haven’t sit and drunk coffee that much at the store, Lot61 is the roaster that I buy most of my beans for home brewing alongside with Bocca. I like the taste of roasting profile and also I found it the best value for money. Their regular blend coffee beans are perfect match for my daily filter coffee machine routine and espresso beans have rich, and bold taste.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/zSjNP1L5kDxkAgqd7

Toki

I cannot stress enough how much I like this place. They don’t have their own roasted beans as far as I know. Last time I checked beans were coming from Berlin. But this cafe has small, cozy and warm vibe. Located very close to my favorite street Haarlemmerdijk. With good coffee, nice desserts, foods and hipster people profile, it’s a lovely place. If you are around, definitely stop by Toki.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/8yfFc2qDWeH8vbWf7

Friedhats FUKU Cafe

Shining star of Bos en Lommerweg. This cafe was one minute walking distance away from my old house in Amsterdam. It was a great location for me to go and takeaway a coffee then walk in Westerpark. I always loved the vibe of FUKU. Nice cafe, good latte and tasty bites. And I know the name sounds like the F@$! word.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/EjcU18pEVL4hZ56V8

White Label Coffee

Another place where you can find good coffee at west. In between two beautiful parks of Amsterdam, Erasmus and Rembrandt park. I haven’t bought coffee online from them for a while but I was happy with the coffee when I do. What I also like is the cozy interior space.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Xt7CKBn6xQZPiF1CA

Back to Black

I’ve been into the store where located in Weteringstraat. Although I don’t have strong opinions about the coffee at Back to Black, I liked the interior. Nice place to hang with friends. Take a cup of latte, eat a croissant, read your book and give some love to the cat that sleeps on the chair.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/a1LoUeBMcAknSyam7

Rum Baba

Usually I search on maps before finding a new coffee roaster. But sometimes I just come across a cafe while walking on the streets of Amsterdam. Rum Baba is one of them. I was so happy when I find this roaster. Their colorful interior and delicious beans makes this place a great coffee house. There was not enough space to sit but since it’s located on beautiful Elandsgracht, it’s even better to take a cup coffee from there and walk in Amsterdam. I also recently learned that they have walk-in workshops. Keep following for new ones.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/B92xfJ3PSAYDQ81HA

Scandinavian Embassy

Do you want Fika in Amsterdam? Then Scandinavian Embassy can be a right place for you. It has spacious and cozy interior. As you might imagine delicious Swedish desserts like cinnamon rolls and cakes. Combine it with coffee and relax. Location is also great. Near Sarphatipark and close to Albert Cuypmarkt.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/WmLKS5T6ZvTEWxvg8

Monks Coffee Roasters

This is another coffee house that I discovered randomly while riding my bike on the crazy traffic of bike lanes. Immediately loved the place. During my visit I enjoyed reading one of the Standart magazine on the shelf and drank my coffee. I remember that I liked the “pastel de nata” tart that they serve. Good coffee companion.
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/G6zpFncywpMj8RWU9

Buying Online

Almost every month, there is a transaction on my bank account for coffee beans. It’s one of my fixed costs. Since it’s an expensive purchase, I look for the best value for my money. Along with coffee quality, the smooth online shop experience is also important for me. After trying multiple online stores, I decided on these four roasters for now. Bocca Coffee, Lot61, Wakuli, Manhattan Coffee Roasters. All have good online stores and delivery options. In terms of coffee, I can’t say one is way better than the other but if you want me to pick two favorites, Bocca Coffee and Manhattan Coffee Roasters are the best. But also the most expensive ones. So not every month I can buy from them. I usually distribute my purchases amongst all four of these stores. By the way, I need to mention that Manhattan Coffee Roasters is not from Amsterdam. They are based in Rotterdam. Even though this guide is about Amsterdam, I have to mentioned their excellent quality beans. They are only online store and no cafe to visit so it suits my online buying section. I strongly advise to try.

Among those four, Wakuli is a bit different. They have the best subscription model and best price to be honest. You can easily start your subscription based on your preferred frequency. Weekly, bi-weekly or monthly it’s up to you. If you have too much coffee at home, just skip next delivery. Or suddenly you ran out of coffee, then request for an emergency batch. And if you want to pause your delivery for a while, it’s very easy and convenient to do that. Beautiful online shop, smooth experience. And it combined with good coffee. I highly suggest if you are looking for a coffee subscription service that you can manage based on your budget and schedule.

There Are More

Of course there are more coffee houses and roasters in Amsterdam. Also in other cities like Utrecht, Rotterdam or Den Haag in the Netherlands. But these are just the ones I experienced and suggest without any hesitation. Please let me know if you know other coffee roasters in the Netherlands. Maybe we can update the guide next year.

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