December 17, 2014
When Alex Kitain launched his specialty coffee blog The Coffeevine back in 2012, he was right on time to document the astronomic rise of Amsterdam as a coffee lovers haven: “The city has undergone an astonishing transformation and it is developing into a truly innovative global city on a tiny surface area”. These days, him and co-founder and fellow coffee addict Erica Armistead also run Europe’s most bespoke coffee subscription service and they couldn’t wish to be in a better place.
Until recently, when you thought of great coffee you didn’t think of Amsterdam. You’d think of Melbourne, Seattle, London or Oslo. But in recent years the small Dutch capital has undergone an astonishing transformation that extends well beyond the realm of coffee.
Alex: It’s true. Amsterdam is a chameleon. It changes so fast that it’s actually hard to keep up with its pace. Since I moved here seven years ago the city has undergone an astonishing transformation. Whether we’re talking about futuristic architecture (Eye Institute), reclaimed monuments (De Hallen), fabulous shopping (9 streets) or simply incredibly good coffee (too many to list), the Dutch capital is developing into a truly innovative global city on a tiny surface area.
Erica: I agree. I have only been here four years but what’s happened here recently is just incredible. I just love how the city’s massive expat population is bringing so many wonderful influences to Amsterdam, which are then manifested in some of the most curious food places, shops and events. There’s always something happening here, even in winter the city’s cultural program is packed. There’s something for everyone here.
Alex: With regards to the coffee revolution that we’ve witnessed here, this was actually also largely kicked off by the city’s expat community. A load of Aussies, Kiwis, Brits and Americans who have had amazing coffee back home for decades have helped to transform the rather bland Dutch way of drinking coffee into something that is always surprising, full of incredible flavours and overall fast raising the general quality of coffee across the entire country.
Erica: Yeah, just look at all the reviews that Alex has written from places as far away as Groningen and Breda. The whole nation is becoming crazy for great coffee, which is obviously great for us because we don’t just help people find great coffee in their own cities but now we also deliver the best beans straight to their homes. For us this is a very welcome development and it was a great factor when we decided to launch our own coffee subscription service. But our aim was to be a true and true European service right from the get go, which is also reflected in our customer base. Only about 45% of our subscribers are actually based in The Netherlands.
Alex: Anyone who comes to Amsterdam and loves coffee needs to go on a little coffee tour around the city. Just get yourself a bike, open our handy map on your phone and go get caffeinated. And if that’s not enough, just sign up for our coffee subscription and we’ll deliver Europe’s finest beans right to where you are.