Warmondstraat 120, 1058 KZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
As a tourist, little might have pulled you into Amsterdam’s south-west, to the residential neighbourhood known as Hoofddorppleinbuurt. Or so was the case until late 2014, when Caffènation opened. This destination-worthy cafe is a slice of Flemish culture in the Dutch capital. Owner Bert van Wassenhove long worked as a barista and a roaster at Caffènation Antwerp, Belgium’s leading specialty roaster, cafe and, in a sense, finest preparatory school for Belgian baristas.
Caffènation Amsterdam fully embraces its roots and flaunts them in Flemish touches: retro furnishings, surrealist-pop knickknacks, help-yourself cookie jars, a relaxed attitude about bringing in outside food (yes, do pull out that sandwich to accompany your lunch-break espresso) and Van Wassenhove’s zany yet genteel hospitality. All the coffee comes from the roastery in Antwerp. A BUNN brews black for the grab-and-go set; those with more time and caloric leeway might order a cappuccino with white chocolate and ginger powder or, if that still feels too earnest, the one with caramel and Maltesers.
Review: Karina Hof
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