One has to be careful when asking for a coffee shop recommendation in Amsterdam. But there’s a lot more to the Dutch capital than just legal weed and the red light district. A growing number of local roasters and cafés are making Amsterdam a premier European coffee destination. One of the microroasteries leading the way is White Label Coffee.
Conveniently located by the Mercatorplein tram stop, White Label is a short, scenic tram ride from Amsterdam Centraal. Whether it’s the bags of green coffee that double as couches or the long communal tables, the interior at White Label is simultaneously eclectic and homey. It manages to occupy a middle ground between the grungy coffee shop of the 90s and today’s stark, if not sterile, café. The café itself is a showroom of Dutch engineering and design. All of the coffee is roasted on a Giesen and the espresso pulled on a Kees van der Westen Spirit.
The omni-roaster trend may be sweeping North America, but espresso roast profiles are alive and well in the Netherlands. I ordered a shot of the Ethiopia, Chelbessa which was strong and sweet. Dark chocolate notes dominated the palate, but citrus and floral notes rounded out the cup to make for a dynamic, balanced espresso. I also stole a few sips of my friend’s siphon of the Ethiopia, Rocko. This bright and juicy coffee was the sort of fruit bomb that fans of naturally processed coffees dream about. The fact that it was served in a handsome old fashioned glass didn’t hurt either.
If you’re looking for a Dutch microroaster, you would do well to try White Label Coffee. We found the café to have friendly service, a fun atmosphere, and tasty coffee. Tourists in search of anything other than a caffeine buzz, however, should probably look elsewhere.