I’m a cafe person, and hardly a day goes by without paying a visit to one of my hangouts of choice. Usually, the process of deciding which cafe to head to is quite simple: I know my favourites, and I am well-acquainted with their dynamics, their menu, their baristas. I do happen to have conditioned myself to work in public spaces, where the cacophony of conversations and crockery, and the smell of coffee being brewed have this magical property of making me focus. I’m a sort of pavlovian dog, specialty coffee being my trigger.
From time to time, however, this exploratory gene urges me to try somewhere new. So I hop on my bike on a quest to find the perfect location to work on the computer at, or just read my book, in a relatively quiet, cosy atmosphere. To be completely honest, if I divert from my usual places, chances are I am going to end up unsatisfied. Whether I find it too loud, the coffee not that great, or there’s no proper place to sit. I have gotten picky, and the crowdier it is, the more that characteristic tends to manifest. For the record: on the weekends all the good places in Amsterdam are packed. I usually write in the mornings and avoid busy hours, but it might be that I have this article I really need to finish.
Ana cycles thus, in hunting mode, passes by different cafes, stops in none, cycles forward, risks that new one they say it is pleasant (guess what, I was not the only one who heard the rumor), grows impatient, and worst case scenario: it will be raining as hell, and she gets completely soaked in the meanwhile. Like today, for instance. Reaching this stage, the solution appears bright and shiny upon me: reverting to one my ‘shelters’, where however busy it might be, trustworthy coffee, kind people, and sweet local atmosphere, always rescue me back to a state of contentment. This is the ground on which I get work done. All these places deserve a blog post of their own, which will eventually happen ( I already wrote about Rum Baba and Koffie ende Koeck). For now, here is the short list of my all-time favourite cafes in Amsterdam, where I spend more time than it is socially acceptable, and from where most of this blog came to life.