Screaming Beans is a well-known name in Amsterdam’s speciality coffee scene, having been roasting in the city for over 10 years. However, its coffee shop on Amstelstraat, a stone’s throw from the famous Rembrandtplein, is a relative newcomer, having only opened at the start of the year, joining the original on Runstraat and a more recent addition on the nearby Utrechtsestraat.
The coffee shop occupies part of the ground floor of a non-descript concrete building, its broad front consisting almost entirely of windows. Inside, it’s a surprisingly cosy spot, enlivened by multiple potted plants, with the counter at one end and the seating arranged around a central communal table at the other.
When it comes to coffee, Screaming Beans’ Whisper blend is in the hopper, joined by a single-origin option, currently the Ocotepeque, a naturally-processed organic coffee from Honduras. These are served from a concise menu, all the shots pulled on the iconic Kees van der Westen Spirit espresso machine, while for filter, there are single-origins on batch brew and pour-over via the V60. If you’re hungry, there’s a range of cakes and pastries, along with a small savoury selection, all in a display cabinet facing you as you enter.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
In a city where many coffee shops don’t open until nine or ten o’clock in the morning, Screaming Beans on Amstelstraat is an exception, opening its doors at 08:00. This made it a natural stopping off point for a first flat white of the day on my way from my hotel to the office, even if this did turn a 15-minute walk into a 30-minute one. Such is the power of good coffee.
Screaming Beans is just to the east of Rembrandtplein, on the northern side of the street, which is conveniently served by the Number 14 tram route. It has a wide front, with two sets of floor-to-ceiling windows flanking a central, concrete pillar. A pair of glass double doors are embedded in the windows to the pillar’s right, while a similar set of doors on the left are out of use, suggesting that this was once two separate units.
Stepping inside, Screaming Beans is perhaps twice as wide as it is deep, with the counter at the right-hand end, set back slightly from the windows, which leaves space for a two-person window-bar to the right of the door. This is matched by two more two-person window-bars on the other side of the pillar. Meanwhile, the middle of the room is occupied by an eight-person communal table which runs from left-to-right, with four chairs on each side. There’s more seating at the far end, where three round, two-person tables line a bench along the left-hand wall. Finally, Screaming Beans has a pair of cosy options on the back wall, either side of second concrete pillar. To the left is a two-person sofa with a small, round coffee table, while to the right, a round three-person table is partially hidden by the pillar.
All the coffee is roasted by Screaming Beans, served from a concise espresso-based menu (with a choice of blend or single-origin), backed up with batch brew filter made with the ubiquitous Moccamaster and pour-over via the V60. However, I stuck with espresso, all the shots pulled on the lovely Kees van der Westen Spirit espresso machine that takes pride of place on the counter. There’s also a small selection of retail bags of beans for sale.
My first visit was on Monday morning, when I kept things simple, ordering a flat white to go in my KeepCup. Made with the Whisper blend, a combination of beans from Colombia and two different regions of Ethiopia, it was a classic flat white, smooth and full-bodied, which went down very nicely on my way to the office.
I repeated this on Tuesday, but after a late start on Wednesday which saw me heading directly to the office, I went for the single-origin on Thursday morning. This changes every month or so and, during my visit, Screaming Beans had the Ocotepeque, a naturally-processed organic coffee from Honduras, in the second hopper. This was a little lighter and fruitier than the Whisper and while I enjoyed both, I preferred the Ocotepeque, having it again on Friday.
However, I wasn’t done, returning to Screaming Beans on Monday morning on my way to the station, where I had a more leisurely stay on the sofa. This time, I tried the Ocotepeque as an espresso, which turned out to be very fine, rich and well-rounded espresso, the perfect way to say goodbye to Screaming Beans.
|AMSTELSTRAAT 5 • 1017 DA AMSTERDAM • NETHERLANDS|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Screaming Beans (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Sofa, Window Bar|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 17:00||Food||Cake + Savoury|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 17:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||6th – 13th March 2023|
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