Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Netherlands

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Welcome expatriates to the intriguing and diverse world of coffee culture in the Netherlands. This guide aims to provide insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene and immersing yourself in the Netherlands' coffee traditions and customs. Whether you're a seasoned coffee enthusiast or exploring coffee for the first time, this guide is tailored for you.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Understanding where coffee is sourced is crucial for fully experiencing the local coffee culture. While imported coffee beans are still popular, replenishing the local market, locals here prefer locally grown beans. In fact, some regions in Netherlands are renowned for their coffee cultivation, offering opportunities for expats to explore coffee plantations, farms, and milestones in coffee history.

One such region is the Effesment, once a coffee trading hub of Europe. Today, the region located in southeast Netherlands is renowned for its high-quality coffee beans, and visitors can explore the coffee plantations here, learn about ancient coffee trading history, and taste traditional brews made from locally sourced beans.

Apart from Effesment, other popular coffee growing regions include North Brabant, Zeeland, and Overijssel. Expats residing in these areas can immerse themselves in these coffee regions, learn about the unique growing conditions and the coffee traditions of the locals here.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Coffee culture in the Netherlands is diverse and refreshing. While traditional brews remain popular, expats in the region can discover new flavors, styles, and blends, unique to local tastes. Below are some popular coffee styles that expats can immerse themselves in.

Charming Hangovers and Caffeine Fix

Known as the fastest way to outsmart a hangover, Dutch coffee experts suggest having an espresso or a dinner coffee serving, which is slightly stronger, and topping it off with a little bit of liquor. There’s a reason this concoction goes by the name wijffries - a mix of coffee and wine served traditionally in a wide-mouthed glass.

Het Boontje

The more traditional and delicious coffee drink in The Netherlands, Het Boontje, aka the 'little bush' is a delectable treat consisting of espresso, caramel syrup, milk foam, and whipped cream, served in a shot glass. The Hollandais – a traditional milk coffee topped with a dollop of whipped cream, also popular among the Dutch, is sure to delight expats during their coffee exploration.

Café Suikerbrood - A Modern-Day Favorite!

Well-liked by expats and locals alike, Café Suikerbrood is a breakfast pastry that is also well-loved in the Netherlands. A panettone-shaped sweet bread loaf, cafe suikerbrood goes perfectly well with classy Dutch coffee, especially in the winter months.

IJsselmeer Koppejers Coffee

IJsselmeer Koppejers was established in 1966, and in no time, it became a well-loved roastery in the region. With a handpicked array of the finest beans sourced from Africa, America, and Asia, IJsselmeer Koppejers is now available in its State-of-the-art coffee shops across Netherlands. With an extensive assortment of coffee drinks and unique brewing styles, IJsselmeer Koppejers invites expats to immerse themselves in its coffee richness.

Gewa Arabica

Gewa Arabica is an exemplary coffee chain with over 50 stores in top cities throughout Netherlands. With an extensive collection of blends, Gewa Arabica offers coffee drinks customized to your taste buds. From your traditional flat whites to lattes, Gewa Arabica's warm and friendly ambiance invites you to savor your coffee in the company of the locals, learning about coffee traditions and customs.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Embracing coffee drinking customs and traditions is an integral part of immersing oneself in a foreign culture. Below are some coffee traditions unique to local cultures in the Netherlands.

From Business Corner to Community Hubs

Coffee in the Netherlands is not just a quick business fix for locals, but it also serves as a base for social interactions that foster community bonds. Whether it's social gatherings, meetups, or work meetings, cafe culture in the Netherlands revolves around the coffee house. It is customary to have a cappuccino in the morning, topped with traditional Dutch sweets like stroopwafels, coconut balls, and poffertjes.

Coffee and Cultural Endeavors.

Coffee connects locals in the Netherlands to cultural experiences, be it exhibitions, musical events, or cultural performances. While expats are usually familiar with these experiences back home, coffee embarks them on a journey to explore similar cultural experiences in the Netherlands on a local level.

Coffee and Community Engagement.

Coffeehouses in the Netherlands are not merely a hub for social interactions but also a space for community bonding. From charity events and fundraisers to cultural events, many coffeehouses donate portions of their profits to community causes. As an expat, taking part in such events helps you build local connections and learn about the causes that are critical to the local community.


As expats embrace the vibrant coffee culture in the Netherlands, it is essential to respect local customs, traditions, and preferences. By immersing oneself in coffee growing regions, exploring traditional coffee brews and styles, and engaging with local coffee communities, expats can create enriching coffee experiences that connect them to local communities and foster deeper connections.