People from Amsterdam never want to travel outside the capitol of the lowlands. Everything you need is at a palm's reach. Although the Netherlands is a small, tiny country, everything outside of the ring is far far away land for the Amsterdammers. And so, most coffee places I know in the Netherlands are located in Amsterdam. Of course I can name others, but most I have never seen in real life with my own eyes. And so my friend 'B' and me decided to travel. Take the trains and discover all the lovely coffee spots outside of our hometown.
The fourth stop on our coffee crawl is Rotterdam, the city with the biggest and most important harbour of Europe, where a lot of tanks filled with green coffee beans arrive. It is filled to the rim with cool coffee places and so we could not visit them all. We will be back soon to taste some more at all the question marks on our map.
address: Proveniersstraat 33
espresso machine: La Marzocco Linea
Caffè Booon is a small coffee bar near the central station. The atmosphere and bites are amazing. The coffee is a bit more mainstream though, with the espresso being quite bitter and off balance and the cappuccino very sweet, because of the long-life milk. To be honest, I will probably not be going back.
Man met Bril
address: Vijverhofstraat 70
espresso machine: Slayer and La Marzocco PB
coffee: own roastery
Man met Bril was amazing. This bar has only been open for a few months, but already has the cosy, warm at home feel a lot of bars miss. Both a bar and a roastery you can get a cup of coffee while hanging out at a table, or get a bag of beans to go.
We were lucky enough to enjoy a cupping as well, getting to try some coffees from different suppliers as well as some self sourced beans from El Salvador. Before the cupping we had a lovely Kenya and Rwanda drip coffee. All round awesomeness.
Lokaal Espresso has this beautiful long gold and wood bar that is a real eye catcher. That and a delicious lunch menu made this a lovely place to visit. The coffee roasted by Giraffe coffee was good, but not the best I have had. Not sure if it was machine or roast related, but the shot was a bit thin and the aftertaste a bit roasty and bitter.
Urban Espresso Bar
The Urban Espresso Bar has two locations in Rotterdam. The one we went to was small and loaded. Obviously a place people love to go. The coffee was again provided by Giraffe, and although UEB has their own especially made blend from them, we had the same issue. A bit thin with a dark aftertaste.
The grinder made by La Marzocco was something else though. Grinding and tamping that porta filter all at once. What a unit, and although admittedly sometimes a little hard to adjust, really a joy to look at.
address: Maasboulevard 100
espresso machine: Kees van der Westen Mirage
coffee: own roastery
The Aloha Bar is located in an old swimming pool and it still has that tropical vibe, filled with palm trees, rocks, lovely wood work and cactae. We enjoyed some amazing coffee, both Sidamo coffees, one drip and one espresso based. The drip, with the vibrant red hue, tasted of lemonade, while the espresso was a yummy thick little pot of strawberry jam. It is not often you get coffees this vibrant, fruity and balanced in the Netherlands. And if we were not already so caffeinated, I would have tried every other single coffee on the menu and off.
address: Schiedamse Vest 146
espresso machine: Kees van der Westen Mirage Lever
coffee: own roastery
Hopper, a classic place to go to and one of the first bars in Rotterdam. It is all you want it to be. Good coffee, good milk, tasty food and home baked bread. There is quite a lot of origins to chose from and the staff, despite of the place being filled to the rim, is quick and friendly.
As mentioned before, we would have loved to visit more places in Rotterdam. I am especially sorry for missing Stielman, which we realised too late was just too far to get to in time. So we will definitely have a coffee crawl Rotterdam part two. What other places should not be missed that did not make it on?
Want to see more Coffee Crawl Rotterdam edition? Check out the album on the Coffee Strides Facebook page.
Want to read about the other Coffee Crawls? Check out the other editions.