Who is Panos Chasapis? He is a storyteller. He likes to tell stories (mainly fantastic). He was born in Greece, lived in Switzerland for several years and today he writes you from Amsterdam where he lives. He teaches his students to be in good contact with their feelings and to express themselves through painting, singing, playing, talking clearly and without shame. Sometimes he fantasizes being «super Rufus» who eliminates fascism and drugs from the world by replacing fascists & drug dealers with manilas and coffee trees. Oh, what a beautiful world! What is your favorite childhood memory? For no bizarre reason, all my beautiful childhood memories are connected mainly with fragrances and plants. I remember every detail of the following scene. I am hardly 9 years old. It is summer, midday, just outside Nafplio (the most beautiful city in Greece!). The sea is dark blue and very rough… the wind blows hard and there is a scent of salt and reeds. My godfather has already made his famous American coffee and we have it along with …
Brunch isn’t really a thing in Amsterdam. But it is in Melbourne. So Little Collins‘ Australian-born owners brought a slice Melbourne to Amsterdam’s De Pijp neighbourhood. I could write a book about how good my breakfast waffle was. And turn that book into a best seller by including images of my perfectly prepared flat white. Instead I’ll leave you with this – the most important piece of advice you’ll ever hear about this spot: Go early.
My only regret about my visit to Scandinavian Embassy is that I took an Uber. Hidden away in Sarphatipark in De Pijp, it took my driver ages to get there. But like all of life’s great adventures, it was worth the trip. The shop is run by the owner / operator duo of Rikard Andersson and Nicolas Castagno. Rikard is a chef. Nicolas is a champion coffee maker. My expectations were high. Every blog post I read recommended the freshly baked cinnamon rolls. So I ordered poached eggs with salmon on toast. I washed it down with a perfectly prepared flat white. And then I had a freshly baked cinnamon roll. I recommend it.
Screaming Beans‘ Singel 276 shop is a cosy gem. As usual I settled into a table at the back. From there I watched locals pop in for what seemed to be their daily fix. Greetings were warm. Conversations were meaningful. Recollections were fond. It made me wish I lived in Amsterdam.
Many great businesses started in a garage. Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. And Bocca. Menno & Tewis Simons first started roasting coffee in a garage in the Jordaan neighbourhood in 2001. And today they’ve come a long way. A kilometer to be exact. To their flagship store in Spiegelkwartier. It was a busy day in Amsterdam. The sun was out. And so were all the tourists. I needed a break. And was happy that I found myself near Bocca. The space is surprisingly big. For Amsterdam. For any European city. Well, for any city that’s been around since the 12th century. Finding a spot to sit, charge my iPhone and hop on the wifi was easy. Coffee was awesome. Service even more so. And, as you’ll see from my photographs, easily one of my favourite spaces in Amsterdam.
Housed inside a 19th century gas works is Espressofabriek. It was one of the first venues to open inside what is now a culture park. And is the first speciality coffee shop to open in the Netherlands. I made my way past the roasting machine at the entrance and the big open bar to find a seat in the back. And settled in to review my less then exceptional photographs while sipping a more than exceptional flat white. Add it to your list.
When I arrived at Lot Sixty One both the outside benches were occupied. By locals. Always a good sign. Two of them had dogs. An even better sign. I walked inside and perched myself at the bar. The heat outside inspired an iced coffee. Which tasted like friendship. It had me at hello. Which is how Claye introduced himself. He told me about the shop, the coffee and himself. I liked all three. And you will too.
It’s the driftwood, the succulents and the adorable basset hound that make you feel like you’re in Lisa Rooimans and Paul van Duuren’s living room. And that’s exactly what they were going for. A warm inviting space where customers would receive personal attention. It’s not often you find a speciality coffee shop (and microroastery) that promotes pourovers over espresso-based drinks. Sweet Cup is that shop. And after I tasted my V60, which Lisa recommended I let cool before my first sip, I understood why. If you’re in a rush, head buried in your phone, you’ll easily miss Sweet Cup’s discreet but beautiful storefront on Lange Leidsedwarsstraat. And you’ll completely miss one of the best coffee experiences in Amsterdam. There’s a lesson in that.
Who is Simone Hawlisch? In Ayurveda I am a so called “tri dosha” (vata-pitta-kapha type), which is very rare. It gives me a very sturdy constitution and well balanced personality. People say that my presence makes them feel relaxed. I can also feel those different components inside of me and sometimes the fight between letting the mind or letting the heart decide. The last ten years I have been living in Berlin/Germany, however feeling home at many places in the world. I try to live a slow life, which does not necessarily mean going slower but making more intentional decisions about my life and what I want to do with it. What is your best childhood memory? As my aunt and uncle lived in the country side, I think I spent most of my childhood there. Strolling through the woods & fields, swimming and hanging out with the local kids and of course ice skating in the winter. We also had some horses, dogs, geese and a sheep called Robert. I am still so grateful that …