Groningen is a northern university town, right at the end of the railway line from Amsterdam that passes through Assen (another small Dutch town, one we have history with but that’s a separate story). A beautiful and vibrant place with student life upping its youth factor.

Is it any wonder the sole specialty coffee bar here – Black & Bloom – would also be a haven for young people from around the world gathered at the communal table, each chattering in their own languages. You’d think you were in London or Bangkok, by the sheer concentration of different nationalities.

Founded in 2012 by Gerben Engelkes, who was previously with local franchise Coffee United, Black & Bloom offers a house blend called BlackJack and various filter coffees. The beans used in the blend and for the filter coffees never stay the same and depend on what are in season.

Located by the Rijksuniversiteit, Black & Bloom also roasts their own coffees, using a 6kg-capacity Giesen W6A roaster, as well as sourcing beans from Caffenation. There’s bound to be a coffee that’s just right for your palate; just ask the baristas for their recommendation!

This far north in the Netherlands, you’d be forgiven if you feel slightly cut off from the rest of the world. But with excellent cuppas and the dynamic student population to occupy you – with conversation or eye candy – Black & Bloom is a stellar example of why Groningen will surprise and delight you.

格羅寧根是荷蘭北方的大學城,也是北部火車的終點站。
第一次到訪時正值暑假期間的一個禮拜天,
記得當時在這站下車的乘客不多,完全沒有一般終點站的熱鬧景象。
踏出車站后我打開手機,跟著地圖的指示往咖啡館的方向慢慢走去。
一路上行人依不多見,四周靜謐的讓我有一種來到一座空城的錯覺。
到了咖啡館,發現除了我之外就只有其他一位客人。
先在臺前點了一杯手沖衣索比亞,接著找了一個角落坐下,
隨手拍了幾張照片后便翻開未完的小說繼續沉溺下去。
不知過了多久另一位客人也走了,
我放下書本到臺前續點了一杯濃縮咖啡,然後便和咖啡師聊了起來,
那是一個恬靜美好的午後。

第二次到訪時暑假早已過去,咖啡館里坐滿了學生,
有的在聊天,有的在趕作業,熱鬧異常,我差點找不到位子。
看著周遭活力四射的年輕人,我想這才是大學城里平常時的樣子吧,
頓時間,上次到訪的景象變得猶如夢境一樣,寧靜得太不真實了。


Black & Bloom
Oude Kijk in Het Jatstraat 32, 9712 EK Groningen, Netherlands
Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm / Sat 9am-6pm / Sun 11am-5pm
+31-6-13165729
blackandbloom.nl

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November 2, 2016

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