The Dutch have many names and stereotypes. From being tall wearing clogs with tulips in our hands to having a head of cheese while smoking weed in orange clothes. But we are never called coffee addicts or caffeinators whereas we are one of the biggest coffee drinking nations on earth. We drink an average of 2.4 cups of coffee a day and on average we consume 8.4 kilograms of coffee a year. That’s more than the Italians, even more than the Finnish, hell it’s more than any other country on earth (statistics from Statista 1st of October 2020).

Nonetheless, no one thinks of coffee when they think of the Dutch, or the other way around. In The Netherlands I’m sure that The Hague is the capital of coffee. It’s the only city where the traditional coffee houses are still standing. Traditional coffee houses are tiny homes, often not more than a shed, on the side of the road where workers come to drink a coffee and have some bread. I even made a book about this Dutch phenomenon (Bakkie Pleuâh). But this time I’m not showing you this coffee house, I’m gonna show you a place where we go every week to get one of the best coffees of The Hague.

Bij Fleur

Around the corner of our home is ‘Bij Fleur’, a small very cute coffee house feeling like home. Besides wonderful coffee (from Roast Coffee) Fleur also sells the most delicious home made cakes. Oh and breakfast, lunch and even beer from The Hague. So, before going on this trip to the other side of the world we of course went to have our last cup of coffee at Fleur.

Fleur dreamed of owning her own coffee house. What attracts Fleur the most about owning a coffee house is that it is so much more than just a place where you get coffee. It’s a meeting place where people relax, work, maintain friendships. Besides, it is the stories behind the people who come to get that cup of coffee and you honestly get to know each other. Whenever we go to Fleur we always have a chat and she is very interested in the stories of everyone. That’s why people keep coming day in day out, week in week out. Fleur, and of course her employees, do make this a place not only to get coffee & cake but also a place to share emotions, stories and whatever you want to share.

Especially during the covid-19 lockdown, people are stuck in their homes and often see no one except Fleur. She has become an outing, getting a cup of coffee, talking to someone, having a social connection. It is very important and Fleur is always there and in for a little chat. She sees it when people are feeling a bit down, when someone needs some attention, when a person is emotionally drained. Thus, Fleur’s coffee house becomes a very important place.

Something I really love about Fleur is that she is using products from local businesses. The coffee is from Roast Coffee which is not only a friend of us but honestly does serve the best coffee of the city. The bread is from Lekker Brood, tea from Kali Tengah and cheese from Ed Boele, all local organisations. Fleur takes ‘keep it local’ to a next level. I love that!

Whenever you are in The Hague, do visit Fleur: Van Bylandtstraat 92, 2562 GL Den Haag

Along the road we will visit many coffee houses and will describe them here.