Blackboard Canteen, one of my favourite wine bars in Amsterdam, has sadly gone. The good news is that it has been replaced by cult American coffee company Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
Founded by Duane Sorensen in Portland in 1999, the company has several branches in the US. Amsterdam is the first branch in Europe.
The short list of caffeinated beverages chalked up on the blackboard walls - yes, those are still there – are prepared with beans from Stumptown’s own roaster in Brooklyn by baristas flown in from the US.
My mocha was made from a shot of espresso and Guatemalan chocolate kisses. Under the artfully fashioned foam leaf, it was thick and lightly bitter in the best possible way.
It's not clear why Blackboard Canteen faded away, but Duane Sorensen said he agreed to occupy the premises because he was already familiar with Amsterdam, having stopped here numerous times on coffee-bean runs to Africa.
The pop-up coffee outlet will only be open until the end of July 2010. When I asked the waitress whether Stumptown Coffee had any plans to open a permanent branch in Amsterdam, her response was, “On the record, no.”
Amsterdam has a number of good coffee options, including Screaming Beans and Tazzina. But let's hope Sorensen finds enough demand here to make transatlantic expansion worth his while.
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