Amsterdam isn’t all about canals and “coffee shops” where tourists congregate for their cannabis kicks. About a 15-minute bus ride from the Amsterdam Central bus station is an almost bucolic urban park. Westerpark used to house one of the Dutch capital’s gas extraction facilities but today has a new life as a cultural centre with markets, festivals and young businesses thriving.
One of these new enterprises is Espressofabriek, founded in 2005 by Rick Woertman with a mission of bringing specialty coffee to Amsterdammers. It’s housed in a two-storey red-bricked building, the top floor a roastery and the café on the ground floor. Outside wooden picnic benches offer an al fresco experience when the weather is fine. The best furnishing they have is intangible, of course: the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
We order a cappuccino and a filter coffee. Our cappuccino looks ordinary, perhaps due to its under-frothed milk, but the coffee beneath has an intense flavour that deeply impresses. Never judge a coffee by its foam, yes?
The filter is an Ethiopian Konga; notes of wild fruits and sublime acidity here. So tasty. On an earlier visit, the iced coffee was refreshing and subtly aromatic. Outside yogis and yoginis practice on the open green until the rain comes. We watch as they scatter and run, picking up their mats, limbs flinging out of pose.
They should come have some coffee at Espressofabriek. There’s nothing more calming.
Gosschalklaan 7, 1014 DC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mon-Fri 9:30am-6pm / Sat-Sun 10am-6pm