So, with the only other time I visited Amsterdam being a stag do – this trip a different light was shed on the city. I had another extremely productive trip but also some great times and lovely coffee, so here goes…
1st stop: Bocca
On first impressions you are met with class and cleanliness. It looks pristine and the equipment is top class. I immediately had high expectations. Don’t go asking for large sizes people. We get bad reviews for having 'small sizes' and being 'overpriced' by certain uneducated people, but this is another level.
It pleased and excited me though. I started with a full blend espresso. Like ours a mix of Brazil, Columbia and Ethiopia. – This has a delicious sweet caramel tone to it with a velvety chocolate base. It was a brilliant start to the coffee experience. The Single Origin espresso was Ethiopian. Also a beautifully pulled shot, the vibrant taste of blackberries and lemon hit came to the fore with a creamy finish. For a first coffee of the day would stick with their house blend but both are exquisite.
Next were a couple of alternatives – their large white (cappuccino style in terms of Coopers) was made using their Full Blend. Well executed with smooth milk, though unlike Lacey’s, yet again I am still thrilled we use our local milk and have not found a place that rivals it. The similar flavours of the espresso came our but of course, sweetened by the milk. Perfect for those not into black coffee or espressos.
Alongside this I tried a pour over. Kenyan this time. Their filter stations are amazing, with scales, kettles and jugs all in place. But this is where for me it slightly dropped in quality. It was very tasty, and I happily drank it but when everything here is so at the top of its game, and the aesthetics completely reach for the stars, I expected the world again but it just fell short. Care was taken making it, and I am sure it was ideally made, but something didn’t quite work. It may just be the actual coffee is not something that excites me as a pour over. The cupping notes seemed ideal – plumb, citrus, cane sugar. For me there was more dried fruit flavour lacking in the brightness often found in a Kenyan coffee. I am sure many would love this but I love a bright, floral or fruity slightly on the acidic pour over.
The décor is very fresh and clean. Maybe not conducive as a working environment, but a lot of care and consideration clearly went into it. They love their coffee and you will not go wrong here if you want a beautifully made coffee. Staff are knowledgeable, and there was even a four legged visitor while I was enjoying a coffee – always a welcome sight and brings any place up a level in my opinion.
Monday-Friday 08:00 – 18:00
Saturday/Sunday 09:00 – 18:00
Kerkstraat 96HS, 1017 GP Amsterdam, Netherlands
2nd stop: Lot Sixty One
Almost the opposite of Bocca, with is rustic wood and tiled flooring. Probatone 12 roasted down the stairs in full sight when walking in. As you enter you are faced with a Kees Van Der Westen Spirit. A lot of similar features to Coopers. It was a fair bit more cramped though. A tad awkward as soon as 3 or 4 people start queueing.
Here tests of Cortados were done. And cake 😊
The coffee was an ideal morning hit. Would suit a lot of people with it’s milk chocolate flavour, but there wasn’t any additional depth to it. I think is was pure Brazilian, but I could be wrong. As I keep saying, I am partial to a hit of brightness or spice to add depth. This will be most enjoyable for many people, and it was well executed. The milk also stretched nicely making it thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable. The staff we also attentive and friendly in a very relaxed and casual way. Very much enjoyed sitting here in the window, one can happily people watch from this seat.
On the cake front, the brownie was lovely. A rich chocolate with plenty of nuts. I would get this again for sure. Sadly the carrot loaf cake was a tad dry, the coffee washed it down nicely. The two went very well together in terms of flavour. Worth a stop if near by.
Monday – Friday 08:00 – 18:00
Saturday 09:00 – 18:00
Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
Kinkerstraat 112, 1053 ED Amsterdam, Netherlands
3rd Stop: Bakers & Roasters
What a vibrant and buzzing place. This is definitely a brunch hang out. I probably should have eaten here but there is not enough time in the day! There was a wait to get seated, I opted just for a coffee and perched on a bench outside. The food going past was looking amazing and possibly what people are there for.
The coffee was rather like Lot Sixty One. Tasty but lacking in depth. Of course thoroughly enjoyable and a massive step up from big chains a lot of people love, and definitely firmly into the specialty coffee sector. It was a rich dark chocolate-like flavour, with a well pulled shot and nicely textured milk. The whole atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. It was highly efficient considering how busy it was. If I visit again I will be going back and eating breakfast. The atmosphere was ideal for a little creativity, not far from the museums and art galleries. I sat a drew the Single Origin coffee labels here. Yes they are a bit odd. Questionable to some but love to keep people guessing.
Open everyday 08:30 – 16:00
Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, 1072 BH Amsterdam, Netherlands
4th Stop: CT Coffee & Coconuts
This place is big, but creatively decorated. It has a very natural feel. Honestly, on this occasion it was a little awkward when walking in. I headed to the coffee machine – also a Kees Van Der Westen Spirit, but felt a tad lost. So walked to the bar and sat. The barman was friendly as was the waitress. They were also rather busy heading into lunch. I ordered my go-to Cortado to test the coffee. Again, relatively one-dimensional but full of chocolate flavour. Well poured and finished with well stretched milk. Would be a great start to the day. I should have ordered some sort of coconut based item!
The food was sublime. I had a croissant with butter and jam. It was on the smaller side, which is ideal. Crispy and flaky on the outside, with layers and layers of buttery goodness on the inside. I followed this with a stunning Sourdough, topped with fresh roasted cherry vine tomatoes, burrata, rocket and herb oil plus a few amazing toasted smoked almonds. Amazing, fresh and perfect for a warm day when wanting a lighter snack. I was very happy by the time I left. I would more than recommend this place for food and drink. I imagine the other drink are delicious and the evening great fun. Everything was looking very freshly made flavourful.
Open all week 08:00 – 23:00
Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 LR Amsterdam, Netherlands