Say No to Tik-Tok Lines! 5 Coffee Cafes in Amsterdam that are Quality Minus the Hype

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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If you're like me, before traveling to a new city, I like to get the lay of the land and pin new spots to try on my Google Map or I have a list of places written down in a note on my iphone. Lately, there is a trend in Amsterdam called "Tik-tok lines" where people stand in line for sometimes over an hour to experience a cafe or particular food that they've seen someone post a video about, or dance outside of. 

No one wants to spend their precious vacation time waiting in a line on the sidewalk in the rain while locals pass by on their bikes and scoff at the ridiculousness of waiting an hour for a piece of pie and a coffee. (I'm looking at you Winkel 43!) 

I'm here to help. 

As a person who lives and breathes coffee, and also lives in Amsterdam, I have compiled a list of 5 alternatives to the coffee cafes that are splattered across social media. The city's coffee scene has been brewing up a storm in recent years, with a surge in specialty coffee shops that offer unique and delectable experiences. In this article, we'll take you on a journey to explore some of the nicest coffee spots in Amsterdam, each with its own unique offerings.

1. Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters

If you're a coffee purist, Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters is your go-to destination. Situated in the heart of the city, this café prides itself on its commitment to sourcing high-quality beans from around the world and roasting them to perfection. The minimalist interior and the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans create an inviting atmosphere for coffee aficionados. Try their pour-over coffee, which showcases the nuanced flavors of their beans, and don't forget to explore their selection of beans and equipment for home brewing!

2. Coffee and Coconuts

Located in a former cinema, Coffee and Coconuts offers a unique and spacious atmosphere. The café's interior is a harmonious blend of cozy nooks and open spaces, adorned with lush greenery. Their menu boasts a delightful variety of coffee drinks, but what truly sets them apart is their inventive use of coconut. Try the Coconut Coffee, a tropical twist on the classic cappuccino, and savor delicious coconut-infused treats while you're there.

3. Scandinavian Embassy

If you're seeking the authentic Scandinavian coffee experience in the heart of Amsterdam, look no further than the Scandinavian Embassy. Known for its dedication to quality and simplicity, this café offers a carefully curated selection of coffee beans, typically featuring Nordic roasters. Their baristas are skilled in the art of pour-over brewing, and the menu includes scrumptious Scandinavian pastries and light bites, making it an excellent spot for a peaceful coffee break.

4. Back to Black

For those who appreciate the art of brewing and the origin of coffee beans, Back to Black is a must-visit destination. This charming café sources its beans from micro-lot coffee producers, offering customers the opportunity to explore the diverse flavor profiles of different regions. The knowledgeable baristas are happy to guide you through the coffee journey, and their coffee tasting sessions are an enriching experience. Don't forget to enjoy a slice of their delectable homemade cake with your cup of joe.

5. Moods Coffee 

About a 5 minute bike ride from Back to Black, we go deeper into the Jordaan - a beautiful bustling historically working class neighborhood that has become a beacon for the hip young and hungry. At Moods, you can order coffee and brunch and sit on their balcony for great people watching opportunities. The service is attentive and its easy to lose an hour or two sitting down with a quality cup of coffee in between visits to Amsterdam hotspots. 

6. The Coffee Virus

The Coffee Virus, nestled in Amsterdam's thriving business district, is more than just a coffee shop. It's a co-working space that's designed to boost your productivity while offering top-notch coffee. You can rent a workspace by the hour, day, or month and enjoy a variety of espresso-based beverages, specialty teas, and light bites while you work. The friendly atmosphere and beautiful canal views make it an ideal spot for remote workers and freelancers.

7. White Label Coffee

White Label Coffee is a micro-roastery that's passionate about the entire coffee process, from sourcing to roasting and brewing. The café's minimalist and industrial interior complements their focus on coffee craftsmanship. They roast their beans on-site, ensuring freshness and consistency. Try their signature espresso blend or one of their single-origin pour-over coffees. You can also purchase freshly roasted beans to take home.

Amsterdam's coffee scene has evolved into a vast landscape for coffee enthusiasts, offering an array of options to suit every taste and preference. Whether you're in search of an unassuming place for solitude, a bustling social hub, or a co-working space with a caffeine kick, Amsterdam's coffee spots have something unique and inviting to offer. So, the next time you find yourself in this beautiful city, be sure to take some time to explore its coffee culture and indulge in the rich flavors and unique experiences it has in store for you.

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10 Cozy Cabin options near Loch Lomond, Scotland

Thursday, October 26, 2023

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This summer my partner and I took a 3 week road trip around Scotland, starting in Edinburgh and ending in Glasgow, and one of my favourite stops along the way was Loch Lomond. Situated right on the West Highland Way, each night we welcomed weary walkers into our camp which had a community fire pit and a community kitchen to cook in. The views every morning as we peaked our head out of our cabin onto the mountains was incredible and something I would like to suggest to anyone considering a few nights away from the big cities along the Scottish road trip circle. 
Below, I've suggested 6 cozy cabin options that range in budget, but are each below 200 pounds a night so that you're not breaking the bank on accommodation. 

1. Bothy at Loch Lomond: This old school house bothy, turned into an Airbnb is ready to wow you with it's charm and cozy atmosphere. Prices start at around 165 pounds per night.

2. Garrison of Inversnaid Farm with Hot Tub: Okay, yes this is technically a farm, but the studios are cozy and are set in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The farm provides nightly dinner of meat or vegetable stew sourced straight from the farm. 

3. Straithtfillian Wigwams: My personal favourite and where we stayed for 3 days! The cabins were cozy, had options for a heater, fire pits outside the door and were situated right next to a hidden waterfall in the woods. 

Strathfillian Wigwams 

4. Benview Lodges:  These cabin lodges near Aberfoyle are nestled in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and are perfect for nature lovers. Prices start at approximately 175 pounds per night.

5. Ardmay Luxury Cabins: Close to Loch Lomond, these are beautiful self-catering cabins sitting on the banks of Loch Long, enjoying breathtaking views of the Arrochar Alps. Average nightly rate 150.

6. Cabin in Luss, Loch Lomond: Great getaway cabin on the Banks of Loch Lomond, fantastic views of the loch and surrounding mountains. A great base for enjoying the many water sports available on the loch, hill walking or simply a relaxing break.

Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the time of year, so it's a good idea to check availability and book in advance. Some cabins offer flexibility in the low season (November, December, January, February) so it's worth contacting directly via the direct booking link to see if there is an off peak discount. Loch Lomond is a popular destination, so booking early can help you secure the best deals for your stay in one of these cozy cabins.

Share some cabin options if you have one to add to the list! 

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