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Screaming Beans - Amsterdam Cafe Review

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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The Bottom Line

These slow coffee specialists, who also excel in espresso, stand out even in the cafe-dense 9 Straatjes district, a popular place to shop and relax in the Western Canal Belt.

Pros

  • Wide selection of coffee beans and brew methods
  • Expert espresso and espresso-based drinks

Cons

  • Crowded, but cozy

Description

Address: Hartenstraat 12
1016CB Amsterdam
Phone: +31 (0)20 626 09 66
Open Mon - Sat 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Guide Review - Screaming Beans - Amsterdam Cafe Review

True to its name, this cafe in the 9 Straatjes (Streets) district just seemed to scream "Try me!" when I passed it on a crowded Saturday afternoon in this 3 x 3 matrix of fashion boutiques and chic eateries. It was hard to resist the independent cafe which, despite a full house, seemed to draw ever more customers in from the street for a taste of its specialty coffee.

We squeezed into the cafe where, despite the crowd, we were able to place our order at the bar almost immediately, then inched across to the only spare counter space; it was hopeless to look for table space, but the atmosphere was cozy, the baristas chatty and informative. On a shelf behind the counter, we noticed a shelf packed with coffeemakers that represented various brew methods, from the classic French press to a vacuum coffee maker.

It was only after we'd ordered a standard espresso and cappuccino that we peeked at the menu out of curiosity. The cafe, it turns out, offers a unique service: not only are there a multiplicity of coffeemakers for sale (with an emphasis on filter coffee), but customers can also sample coffee brewed with each - from manual drip methods such as pour-over filtercones or the wooden-collared flask that is the Chemex coffeemaker, to the vacuum method that harnesses the power of water vapor and vacuum to produce a smooth cup of coffee. Filter coffees of various provenance, from Brazil to East Africa to Papua New Guinea, fill out the menu. The cafe also offers an assortment of snacks and sandwiches, with bread from the excellent BROOD bakery (which also has several independent locations in Amsterdam, such as at Zeedijk 66 in Chinatown).

As for the plain old espresso machine-pulled drinks we ordered, these were certainly some of the best we'd tasted in Amsterdam - aromatic, with a fresh acidity and bold, bitter taste. With its rare emphasis on slow coffee methods and excellent espresso to match, this is a cafe that will wow even the connoisseurs. No wonder the crowds didn't deter the customers that continued to stream inside.

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