Booming specialty coffee scenes is pusing the quality
Holland has evolved from a nation known for its traditional coffee consumption to a hub of innovation and quality, elevating the country's reputation in the global coffee community and creating an explosion of roasteries around the country.
Dak Coffee Roasters
Founded in the Dutch city of Amsterdam in 2019 and as a city that is a melting pot of cultures, Dak Coffee Roasters caters to many clients all around the world. Originally from Montreal Canada, co-founders Louis and Veronique are partners who call themselves “outsiders who are always trying to discover new things.” They established Dak to maintain their preferred viewpoint of the coffee industry with access to everything from the farms to the cafes.
Dak are a relatively young company but have already established a reputation for having premium yet accessible coffee, ranging from true classics to curious fermentations, “the diverse lineup is part of Dak’s identity”. You can always tell Dak coffee by their distinct coffees and their elegant branding.
Edwin Noreña has developed a different processing technique for each of the special coffees grown at the Finca Campo Hermoso farm, and they are all definitely noteworthy. All profiles Dak are importing this season, follow the same process and include 2 fermentations. For this coffee, cherry is picked by hand and selected at maximum ripeness. After it’s floated for density, the remaining cherry is placed in sealed drums for a 120-hour anaerobic fermentation phase. After this stage, the coffee is dry pulped (removing outer skin, allowing mucilage to remain) and injected with a mixture of hops and malt before it’s placed back in the drums for another 96 hours of anaerobic fermentation. In its final stage, the coffee is slow dried on raised, shaded beds for a period of 20-25 days until it reaches the desired moisture percentage.
After exploring coffee culture from New Zealand all the way to African origins, Jereon and Lusan opened the doors to their first coffee bar 'Coffee Bru' in Amsterdam in 2011. From an independent coffee bar they shifted to roasting coffee themselves and started Rum Baba Coffee Roasters.
With Lusan’s graphic design background, Rum Baba is all about something fun. They’re delivering somewhat serious coffee in a playful way to their local customers. They also spent a lot of time sourcing really experimental coffees and now are focusing on deepening their relationships with producers.
Over the past years, farmers have adopted new ways of processing their coffee crop to control and increase their quality. Not in the last part as a tool to elevate their farming business by creating increased value. Jhoan Vergara took a fermentation approach for this Red Bourbon lot by blending ripe and under ripe cherries (90% vs 10%), fermenting within a sealed plastic bag for 60 hours at a controlled temperature of 20C. After this phase, the cherries are pulped and left to oxidate for 3 hours followed by another 48hour anaerobic fermentation in plastic bags. At the end, before a two week drying, the beans are washed to remove the remaining mucilage. The applied fermentation process brings increased complexity and intensity of aroma and results in a flavourful character in the cup.
A Matter of Concrete
After working in coffee for a decade and winning multiple competitions, Rob Carijs founded A Matter of Concrete in Rotterdam in 2021, different to Amsterdam, Rotterdam is a major port city famed for its modern architecture. The name comes from the iconic UNESCO World Heritage monument where his roastery is located and was built in the 1920’s, it was one of the first buildings (ever) that was constructed in the New Objective architectural movement using ‘concrete’.
A.M.O.C., still at the early stage, already have their coffees recognised globally and are being served in high profile establishments across Europe and as far away as Asia and US.
The cherries were processed by 24 hours of fermentation in Grain Pro bags before pulping. After this the pulped beans are fermented for 70 hours in tanks. Then the coffee was dried in the dryer for 12 hours after washing and further dried on raised beds in greenhouse.
The Ají variety is genetically distinct from ancestor seeds carried to the Americas centuries ago and specialists are still unaware of its origin and is a relatively recent discovery in the world of coffee. It is thought that it is a newly discovered Ethiopian Landrace not found in many accessions.
The variety Ají is distinguished by the variety’s gentle spicy pepper character, followed as it cools by red fruit flavors and mild floral undertones, creating a unique and distinctive cup.
Shokunin Coffee Collective
Shokunin Coffee Collective was founded in 2018 by then 24-year-old Jelle van Rossum from Rotterdam. Jelle fell in love with coffee after studying, while he was helping his parents set up a cafe in their home town. The roastery is five years old but Jelle has nearly a decade of experience in the coffee industry.
Already with a reputation for being a passionate coffee innovator, Jelle launched Shokunin with the specific aim to find small and interesting microlots that highlight interesting processing methods, bean varietals or regions that one might not find so easily. He started roasting when it was more of a label for special projects and collaborations, it was only later that it grew into a proper coffee brand.
Rugali washing station have earned a privileged place in specialty coffee roasters around the world for their quality and delicacy on the palate. Founded in 2016, in just a few years it has produced coffees that have been used in competitions around the world.
Anoxic fermentation is a result of very risky exeriments. The coffee is placed in an airtight tank, then covered with a sheet over which cold water is poured creating a pillow of water. This creates a vacuum effect on the cherries that provides an anoxic environment for a 48-hour fermentation. During fermentation, heat is transferred from the coffee to the water pillow above, ensuring a stable environment that can be regulated by adding hot or cold water to the pad as needed.