The subject of good coffee always comes up when I meet colleagues who travel a lot. Where can I find a good cup of coffee when working around the Metropolitan Art Center area in New York? Where is the best coffee while curating an exhibition at a famous art gallery in Stockholm? Shall I go to this particular café while in Paris? Or that new place close to the Barbican in London everyone is talking about? Well, coffee junkies take these things seriously. I know, I live with one. A coffee junkie that is.
In my experience you find the best coffee at small places only locals know of. If you work with a person you trust (when it comes to coffee) while in a new city for some time, ask them. I have found this lovely place on Nieuwmarkt, more exactly on Kloveniersburgval 16 just off Nieuwmarkt, in Amsterdam. It looks like one of these rather shabby Italian pizza places you went to when you were on holiday as a child. You know, the really cheap ones by the sea with overpriced food that tasted of nothing what-so-ever. With a cheap white, red and green marquee saying things like “Gelato”, “Espresso” and “Panini” it’s a place I would really rather avoid. I was, however, dragged there by a friend when I was in Amsterdam last time. And I tell you, it was heaven! A really good espresso macchiato with a perfect créma. And, nice cups! They serve in glasses as well, which I’m not a big friend of, but they are forgiven because of the quality they serve up. If you’re in Amsterdam and tired of the big coffee house chains, not to mention the coffee shops, try to find this little haven for coffee thirsty eccentrics who really care about their coffee. You wonder what the place is called? It serves coffee under a cheap plastic sign saying “Ijssalon Tofani”.
It’s a great place to sit and enjoy Amsterdam. Like being in Paris, but not.
(also see: http://www.spottedbylocals.com/amsterdam/tofani )