For once I’m not as ecstatic as I usually am. It’s a shame really, I was expecting more from my visit to Brandmeester’s Koffie on Van Baerlestraat 13. I guess it would be unfair to say that it’s not good since that’s not the case. The coffee is supreme and, well, I was just expecting something more than a shop with a bar desk in the middle where one can sit on uncomfortable chairs. And the staff wasn’t particularly smiley either. Fine, it was a dreadful day with torrential rain but come on, that should not be reflected in the general mood of the staff. That’s just not on, guys.
The coffee then? With a great La Marzocco and a skilled, if a bit overly Dutch, barista and high quality roasted beans it is every inch as good as one might demand from a place like this. Brandmeester’s have shops with café service in Amsterdam, Harlem and Utrecht. I haven’t been to all of them but I can’t imagine anything else than that they are as good as the one I went to in Amsterdam. But beware, it is a shop and not a coffee house. It is a place you go to either to get barista equipment or a take away coffee. Not to sit and enjoy your coffee. And I must say that is a capital mistake from their side. They would, if they were interested, get even more customers and would be talked about in a different way if they made parts of the shops nice and cosy. Since they offer muffin, croissants and the like there is an apparent effort towards hospitality. So the drive is there, if not particularly thought through. A shame, that’s all I can say.
The question I always ask myself after a visit like this is: will I go back? The answer has to be: yes, if I’m in the neighbourhood and want a coffee-to-go when on my way to the van Gogh Museum or Concertgebouw which happens to be in the area. However, I would not go there just to get a coffee. It’s to far off the beaten track and after being supremely disappointed with the interior and the general uncomfortableness of the sitting area I must be a grumpy old sod who says “no, this just isn’t good enough”. As a shop I can see it’s brilliant, but I didn’t go there looking for a barista brush. I went there to sit down with my TLS and a good cappuccino. Next time I’ll enjoy it on a bench in a park nearby. That’ll be nicer and more comfortable.