Brauhaus by Koffie Leute – Utrecht (NL)

Former festival coffee concept Koffie Leute sets up shop in creative hub Druk in one of Utrecht’s most happening neighbourhoods.

  • opening times:
    Mo - Fr: 8 - 18, Sa: 9 - 18, Su: 10 - 18
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsiteTwitter
  • price check:
    Espresso: €1,75 / Flat White: €3
  • machine:
    La Marzocco Linea
  • coffees on offer:
    various espresso and filter roasts from different roasters
  • milk:
    Zaanse Hoeve

There are countless examples of great businesses that started out in the founder’s garage or were first tested as pop ups or festival stands. A lot of my most favourite coffee roasters in the U.S. started out just like that. Hell, Microsoft and Apple started in their founders’ garages too! For us mortals who live in Amsterdam and who tie up our bikes to anything that’s bolted down and only ever sit in cars when we’re ubering from A to B, a garage is more a luxury concept. Our idea for The Coffeevine didn’t start in a garage. It started in a coffee bar. How’s that for some realness?

Porch and entrance

Porch and entrance

When Martijn, Olivier and Dirk first launched Koffie Leute they only ever appeared at festivals with a portable filter coffee brew bar. The set up was quite hilarious (see video) but it was a big hit with people because caffeine-lovers had to grind their own coffee before it was brewed.

Still, this was only the beginning. The three friends really wanted to take their idea to a more permanent base and went around their native Utrecht looking for the perfect space. Utrecht is in fact a great city for coffee (and shopping and food and hanging out) because it has an excellent mix of students, professionals and locals who are always in need of a caffeine boost.

The place they finally settled on is a refurbished print works that celebrates its hertiage by playing host to a number of different companies that make things by hand. Druk, which stands for print and pressure in Dutch, houses Werftzeep who make vegan soap, Immer Urlaub, who create fun illustrations and a few others. But to get to them you first have to pass Brauhaus, Koffie Leute’s first coffee bar.

Founders Olivier, Martijn and Dirk

Founders Olivier, Martijn and Dirk

The set up is homely and cozy. A cute porch that leads up to the entrance makes you feel you’re visiting someone’s house and the set up of the coffee bars, one for espresso and one for filter, is open to allow guests to look over the baristas’ shoulders as it were.

Espresso drinks are pulled using a La Marzocco Linea two group with the beans coming from Kees Kraakman’s Stadsbranderijn Noord in Amsterdam, while the brew bar offers every slow coffee brew method imaginable. Well almost, the only one I didn’t see was the Kalita (hint, hint boys!).

Olivier at work behind the brew bar

Olivier at work behind the brew bar

To my great surprise (in a positive way) Martijn, Olivier and Dirk told me that 50% of their sales result from filter coffee orders, a great development in my view. This is particularly true if you consider that most other coffee bars and roasters are more used to a 90 / 10 split when it comes to espresso vs. filter. For the duration of this summer we tried to introduce more and more people to the wonders of filter coffee at our filter coffee bar in Amsterdam, which was indeed the first filter coffee only bar in The Netherlands.

Coffee perfection

Coffee perfection

Another great thing about Brauhaus is that the guys allow you to bring your own lunch, something that’s technically unheard of here. They do of course also have their own food options such as locally baked bread with homemade spreads, including peanut butter and a chocolate espresso. Also their fruit crumble is quite a hit amongst customers. Worth a try!

For their coffees, Koffie Leute, not unlike us with our monthly tasting box themes, have different sets of coffees every month. This allows them to regularly work with different roasters and thereby present different kinds of coffees. This month they had Rotterdam as their theme, next month will be a Panamaand (focus on Panama).

Vintage feel retail corner

Vintage feel retail corner

For a small city like Utrecht, there’s quite a lot of great stuff happening at the moment, as I discovered during my visit to the new Village Coffee & Music restaurant & roastery. Find this review and more on The Coffeevine soon.


 

Looking for more great coffee in Utrecht? Check out our reviews section for more personally written café recommendations. 

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