Embassies exist not only for foreign governments to accomplish their political agendas, but also for the free exchange of cultural customs and values. In that sense, Amsterdam’s Scandinavian Embassy is very appropriately named. The Nordic countries have long been a pace-setter in the specialty coffee industry and this café serves as a satellite of Scandinavian coffee culture. Featuring an array of Nordic-roasted coffees and innovative food pairings, Scandinavian Embassy is one of the more intriguing cafés in a booming Amsterdam coffee scene.
With lots of natural light and wood grain accents, the interior at Scandinavian Embassy is decidedly Nordic. But it’s not just the aesthetics that are inspired by Holland’s neighbors to the North. The rotating selection of coffee is roasted exclusively by Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish coffee companies. The third wave movement is marked by a preference for lighter roasts, but the coffees at Scandinavian Embassy are on another roast level. We’re talking cinnamon-colored coffee that’s barely kissed first crack. Admittedly, we prefer more sugar-browning notes in our coffee, but we’re not so dogmatic as to categorically reject these ultra-light roasts.
Scandinavian Embassy takes the interesting approach of recommending certain coffees based off your food selection. Since we opted to try the goat milk yoghurt with gluten-free museli, we followed the barista’s recommendation and got a pour-over of the El Limon, Guatemala roasted by Stockholm’s Drop Coffee. Normally I’ld expect a coffee from Guatemala to have lots of chocolate or caramel notes, but this coffee was bright and delicate, with a pronounced green apple note. It was thoughtfully served in a glass teapot with a cupping bowl: an elegant presentation for a surprising coffee.
Many baristas dream of visiting the Nordic countries. With Scandinavian Embassy, one only needs to go as far as Amsterdam. In addition to its innovative food menu, the café adds a welcome diversity to a coffee scene largely dominated by very capable local roasters. In our humble opinion, Amsterdam joins Berlin and Paris as one of the most exciting coffee destinations on the European continent.