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My Favorite Coffee Roasters in the Netherlands

Roasting coffee beans is easy. You just need a metal pan and fire.

Roasting coffee beans well is slightly harder. You need to pay close attention.

Roasting coffee beans excellently and consistently is both art, talent and science. It requires great skills and experience.

When you roast the coffee beans, the Maillard reaction creates a multitude of chemical compounds from around 145 C and caramelizes sugars present in the bean.

Roasting specialty coffee beans is on another level because they are of higher quality and you are trying to highlight, enhance or bring out certain flavors and tones that make that particular (micro)lot or harvest shine. Do it once and that’s luck. Do it twice and you are good! Do it more than twice and you are a true artist.

coffee roaster
Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

In light of celebrating those true coffee artisans and artists out there, here is my highly subjective list of the best coffee bean roasters in the Netherlands:

In alphabetical order:

  • Black and Bloom, Groningen
  • Boot Koffie, Baarn
  • Capriole, Den Haag
  • Giraffe Coffee Roasters, Rotterdam
  • Lot61, Amsterdam
  • Man met bril, Rotterdam
  • Manhattan Coffee Roasters, Rotterdam
  • Nordkapp Coffee, Utrecht
  • Single Estate, Den Haag

Why are they the best? Because they procure excellent beans and are able to create a roast profile that brings out the best of the bean.

They make great every day blends that are always outstanding, but also produce time-limited special editions of simply brilliant and out-of-this-world (micro)lots from somewhere special that just blow your mind.

Drinking those is more like enjoying a fabulous bottle of wine than drinking coffee…

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coffee news

Running out of beans

After having finished the amazing reserves of coffee beans I’ve had brought to me by visitors, the sad time arrives when they run out… This happened last week so now I am resorting once again to supermarket coffee from St Maarten.

Which coffee do you drink?” is a question I get asked regularly. Well, I don’t make it a secret but bean selection on St Maarten is pretty poor and limited. I’ve tried all the coffees, both ground and whole bean, and my favorites are the house brands from either SuperU or Carrefour. Value/price is super. They both have the same supplier that packages the coffee in custom packages for both, but the coffee is identical as far as I have been able to test and taste.

They come in different “flavors”: Peru, Colombia, Brasil, Ethiopia and Mexico. The Peru and Ethiopia match the best with my tastes. Bold, strong smells and flavors, full bodied strong coffee with enough balance and sweetness not to make it too bitter. They are blends from 100% Arabica beans. Both of them.

Normal recipes call for 30 gr of coffee for 500 ml of water (at 92-96 Celsius) but since this is an espresso grind and not a filter grind (much finer than would should be used), I either use colder water than prescribed (82-86 C) or I reduce the amount of coffee by 10% (3 grams here).

My favorite brew methods are Aeropress in the morning (it makes a more bitter espresso-style cup) and Hario V60 in the afternoon (smoother, milder, less bitter oils)