Naked Espresso – Amsterdam (NL)

In Amsterdam’s sleaziest neighbourhood there is now an espresso bar that is slightly rough around the edges and all about great coffee

  • opening times:
    Mon - Sun: 8 - 20
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsite
  • price check:
    Espresso: €2,50 / Flat White: €3,50 / Filter: €2,60
  • machine:
    Slayer Steam Galaxy Black
  • coffees on offer:
    various
  • milk:
    Milk Supply

Sometimes it’s a weird experience taking a trip down memory lane. I recently celebrated my 10 year anniversary in Amsterdam despite having lived in this compact city for more than a decade now, there are still many surprising parts that remain largely unknown or areas that have undergone such a dramatic transformation that I hardly recognize them.

One such area is the red light district that in many ways has really cleaned up its act and attracted a whole bunch of new businesses to streets that were once – and sadly continue in part – to attract the world’s biggest scumbags who come to Amsterdam for little else than getting wasted and doing naughty things. In fact, I spent the first year of my time in this city living on Warmoesstraat, a beautiful pedestrian street that runs alongside the Damrak where one of the city’s newest specialty coffee arrivals has set up camp. These days, the Warmoesstraat is a completely different place from what it was ten years ago and it continues to get better.

Jesper van Stek working behind the bar

Jesper van Stek working behind the bar

Nakes Espresso, a coffee bar run by Jesper van Stek and his brother Niels, is housed inside a former police station and is probably the manliest coffee bar in town. Not that the two owners want to keep girls out, Jesper’s girlfriend is actually the manager, but as Jesper described it: “We wanted to create somewhat of an antidote to the many ultra cutsie, hearts everywhere kind of coffee bars, one that is all about awesome coffee made with bad ass equipment.”

Indeed, the interior uses a lot of metal plating, wood and bricks, giving it a somewhat industrial feel that is then slightly offset by female touches in the bathrooms. Jesper is by no means a newby in the Dutch coffee scene. He has repeatedly participated in the Dutch barista championships and if my intuition is not completely mistaken, this year’s preround won’t be the last time he will give it a shot. Excuse the pun.

Seating area

Seating area

One thing that Jesper was keen to point out, which has been incorrectly published by some other blogs, is that Naked Espresso is not co-owned or wholly owned by Stooker Roasing Co. While Florian, Onno and Yuri are key partners in the sense that they roast all of Naked’s handpicked coffees, they do not have a stake in the business. It seems absurd that people would make this up and refuse to correct their mistakes despite having been asked to do so several times. You know who you are.

What’s great about Naked is that they stepped into a part of town that has recently been abandoned by other coffee bars in the area, which is sad in its own right but offers Naked a chance to fill the void left by Koko and Quartier Putain. The only other specialty coffee bar left in the vicinity is Black Gold. Hooray to them!

View of the Slayer

View of the Slayer

Maybe not surpring given where they’re located, Naked Espresso has a largely touristic customer base but for someone who used to live a few doors down, its presence would have been a blessing. Naked have great coffees prepared with currently (09-11-2017) the only Slayer Steam Galaxy Black in town and Jesper & co also have a selection of pastries, toasted sandwiches and teas.

Right there next to the candy store

Right there next to the candy store

Naked Espresso is part of a continuous transformation of the once very sleazy red light district that is now home to the likes of Comme de Garçons, Stüssy, Patta and many more fashion brands who have taken up residence on Zeedijk and are helping to bring a touch of class to these beautiful little streets.

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