We have now been to the Netherlands on three separate occasions and what we have realised is that the coffee culture here is big – actually bigger than big…huge. Pretty much each area throughout the Netherlands has at least one specialty cafe and/or roastery. The love for coffee is incredible there and the understanding of coffee and all its complexities is something that the Dutch seem to take very seriously. Most cafes have baristas who have a more extensive knowledge about coffee than most and we realised this in The Hague.
The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) is a coastal city, about an hour south west of Amsterdam and is the third largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Hague held the worlds first peace conference – so I guess you can say the its the “City of Peace”. We prefer to think of it as the “City of Delicious coffee and cake”. Ok, maybe that name is a bit long and doesn’t quite roll of the tongue but it’s pretty accurate. As much as we have been going on about how big the coffee culture in the Netherlands is, The Hague has relatively few cafes – especially compared to Amsterdam. Even though there are much less cafes in The Hague doesn’t mean it lacks in passion. We were lucky enough to meet the owners of a few different cafes and their love and enthusiasm for coffee is nothing short of magnificent. These are our three favourite cafes we came across while in The Hague.
1. The House of Tribes
The House of Tribes was created by the Jones Brothers Coffee Company, situated in Amsterdam. That’s actually how we found out about the cafe – we went to visit the Jones Brothers Coffee Company and met the amazing people the and they invited us to come visit them at The House of Tribes. Best invitation ever! The House of Tribes is a pretty big corner cafe with great coffee born from a rich knowledge of coffee and years of experience. I couldn’t tell you how many coffees we enjoyed there but it was a lot!
We managed to meet the owner, Richard Jones, and what great guy. Full of love for coffee and happy to share his love and knowledge of coffee with us. We sat chatting to him for hours learning about his coffee journey, about his plans for coffee at House of Tribes as well as Jones Brothers and his understanding of the coffee industry. He shared his favourite coffee with us and we shared ours with him. House of Tribes fits many moulds – you can work there, hang out with mates, relax with a book – it really is a great cafe with stunning coffee and definitely a must while in The Hague.
Our top recommendation: Pour Over
2. Kaafi Coffee Company
Again, another cafe in The Hague that caters to more than one group of people. The cafe seems to be split into three sections. A well lit workspace area with a good internet connection as well as plug points and loads of desk space to work from. A small intimate area with comfy chairs surrounding small coffee tables and a full wall of leaves as a backdrop. And an area with restaurant type tables and chairs. It gave us the feeling that if you were there to work – you could but if you were there to hangout with your mates, well you could do that too. It is a cafe that has a peaceful atmosphere – comfortable and stylish decor, light background music and sensational coffee.
We managed to have a quick chat (a very quick chat because he was working and the cafe was busy) to Zeeshan Malik, the founder and his love affair with coffee was evident. And even though we didn’t manage to sit down and really chat to him, it was apparent that he loves sharing his adoration for good coffee with others and is adamant that every cup of coffee Kaafi serves is delicious.
Our top recommendation: Cappuccino
3. Filtro Coffee
What a beautiful shop. A very spacious cafe with one fairly big table at the front of the shop and a few smaller tables and a long bench down the side. The coffee bar is situated in the middle of the shop and behind the counter stood Jack. Jack had spent some time in Portugal at Copenhagen Coffee Lab which we too had visited and a conversation between us brewed. We chatted about coffee, travel, photography and design. The discussion continued until we realised that we still hadn’t even got our order in and after finding out that he uses coffee from some incredible coffee roasters from all over Europe, we were eager for a delicious coffee or two.
While many speciality cafes in The Netherlands seem to lean towards using Dutch coffee roasters to acquire their beans, Filtro uses beans from a few different roasters throughout Europe. Roasters like April, The Barn and Drop have all supply Filtro with coffee beans. Jack has put a lot of effort into making the shop as comfortable as he can for digital nomads to sit and work for hours.
Our top recommendation: The Sandwiches
Visit The Hague for coffee – it won’t disappoint
We learnt a lot about coffee on our visits to The Hague – in particular, that love for what you do is the key to success. Each one of these owners we met have passion for coffee and weren’t out to make money from opening a cafe – they opened their respective cafes to share their love of coffee with the world. As we said before, coffee in The Hague isn’t as huge as it is in Amsterdam but the coffee that is coming out of this beautiful city is great.
If you love coffee and are ever anywhere near The Hague, then these three cafes will delight you. They all have something unique about them and each coffee you sip on will put a smile on your face. If you have been to The Hague and experienced the coffee at these or any other cafes, share it with us. We love hearing from people and sharing their stories with us is amazing.