Sunday, October 5, 2008

Amsterdam Espresso

Small picture from a small bar in a small street in Amsterdam city.

Second cup is a surprisingly cosy espresso bar in a city where people drink lots and lots of coffee, but with a quality level that's below everything. Here at the Heisteeg 5 they try to do things differently. They work together with the Golden Coffee Box, which is a major specialty coffee player, located in Baarn, the Netherlands. This company is promoting their Brazil Fazenda Santa Terezinha Organic fiercely. I can understand. It's, although very expensive, a recommendable and nice coffee, but I can't understand why Second Cup takes this one as their main bean, to prepare all drinks with. For me the espresso was ok, but not very memorable. The price (€ 1,60!), size, temperature and type of cup was perfect, but the taste was boring, too bitter and not very detailed. Of course there could have been a lot of reasons for this. Mostly it's the (too dark) roast, lack of freshness, a dirty machine or warm grinder burrs that's shows this kinds of taste. This morning it was very quiet and the bar just opened....
Unfortunately I didn't see his milk texturing. That's for next time. Or for you, dear reader .... let me know.

The milk texturing at the Coffee Company is known for me since long. This market leader did a decent job years ago, but there where we know day by day better how to control our extractions and pour sweet latte art, the CC's quality seems to go downhill day after day after day.
At the Berenstraat the espresso was barely drinkable. Very bitter and a fucked up aftertaste.
But that's nothing compared to the cappuccino Isabel ordered. For every drink they take the same pitcher over and over again. This dirty 1 liter pitcher got some warm milk left overs on which to pour a bit of cold milk. And then they start to stretch it all up again, and stretch, and stretch .... till it reaches 80 degrees or something!!
Hello!?? This is 2008 in a market leading espresso bar in a big city. Are they copying Starbucks? It looks like.
We knew they have the strange habit to make all cappuccino's dry. For me a cappuccino is the perfect marriage between coffee and milk. Here at the Coffee Company they first pull two of those bitter espresso's in a big glass and scoop some warm foam on top. Basta. The result was a disaster. Sorry, but this was totally undrinkable.
Isabel thought the percolator coffee at the breakfast table in our hotel this morning was superior to the CC one. How do these people stay in business?

Time for Inspire Coffee or someone else to attack the city. From my part ; I'm ready to help. I have some successful food and beverage expertise in this city and find it very painful to see that this nice and international city, 8 years after I left, is not making any progress quality wise.

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