New in our hometown Amsterdam: the biggest Starbucks store in Europe. The historic vault of the Amsterdamsche Bank transformed in a coffee theatre where the counter functions as the stage, and visitors can choose their own performance.
It will officially open its doors on Friday morning, but we had a look and a chat with the Director of Concept Design of the Starbucks-The Bank conceptstore in Amsterdam, Liz Muller. She and her colleague took us on a little tour through this coffee-heaven.
The historical building was very raw, but the design team managed to make it cosy with the use of sustainable and local materials. Liz says: “With this store I was inspired not only by the role 17th century Dutch traders played in bringing coffee to the world, but also by the place The Netherlands holds today as a design and creative capital. My vision was to bring the space to life by celebrating local history and tradition while looking to the future by giving it a sense of theatre and discovery.”
Big windows -left and right of the entry- are alcoves decorated with big cushions made of typical jute bags in which the coffeebeans are usually transported. A cosy corner in front of the walls next to them, is made of many ‘speculaas’ plates, gathered from people all over the country. Despite being a global brand, Starbucks aims to develop new concepts intertwined with local, cultural aspects of where they’re located.
Seats were found at recycling shops in Amsterdam, others were especially designed with a reference to bike saddles. Repurposed Dutch oak was used throughout the space. Some typical Dutch details are the Delft-blue tiles behind the counter, an old stone sink found in the Jordaan (famous old working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam-TD), and a wall made of recycled bicycle inner tubes.
Starbucks -The Bank also houses a unique and innovating brewing system; the Clover ®. People can taste a premium line of single-origin coffees -featuring some of the world’s rarest, most exotic and exquisite coffees- in a Slow Coffee Theater. Three ways of making ‘slow’ coffee are used; pour-over, cafetière or Clover ®. We experienced a tasting with sundried Ethiopian Harrar. One cup served from the pour-over technique, and another cup with the Clover. Something definitely worth the try, since the barista will also give you a proper explanation of the used techniques en the effect it has on the taste of the Reserve coffees. Tastings are organized daily at 11:30 am.
Starbucks -The Bank
Images © Elisah Jacobs