Karel Rietveld is a Caffenation client and coffee afficionado since a couple of years.
When I first had him in a sunday eve coffee session and he talked about his idea's and ambitions I didn't really know what to think about him, although he showed a strong personality, good brains and serious experience.
Today it feels like our first meetings are maybe more then a couple of lines in lowlands coffee history. This new espresso bar Hopper he opened in Rotterdam is something completely new and shining.
I'm not going to talk about location or design, but coffee.
Karel took the decision to play with all kind of good coffee he finds on his path.
As you can see on the menu board he had a couple of filter roasts from James gourmet coffee. Can't believe I didn't notice this roaster before. Stunning coffees. Perfect roasts and apparentely easy paying and shipping.
I tasted the Guatemala La Laguna on reversed Aeropress Press. Very bright coffee! Delicious cup Karel.
The only minus was the coffee on his impressive Elektra grinder. The Panama Bambito from Ongebrand/Vandeputte was a bit off, but what stroke me was the fact there was no other coffee for espresso. So this single had to carry the heavy load of being the single espresso shot, but also base of all milk drinks.
To my opinion it's way better to have a specialty coffee blend for all these preps and a single on the side to give espresso lovers something extra from time to time.
The espresso machine is a 3-group Mirage idrocompresso lever machine!! And an Uber boiler helps him to make all the pour overs. These are all made with strict procedures. Everything is scaled and timed and that's very smart in a commercial environment with more then one Barista behind the bar.
So, Karel keep up the good work and I hope we can get some of our stuff on your shelf in the future.
For all people who are planning to start up a bar, just one advise : "go Hopper!"