In the cosy streets surrounding the University Library, you can find several coffee shops – the kinds that sell actual coffee. Well known places are Simon Lévelt, Coffee, Art & Chocolate and Douwe Egberts. Since the summer of 2012 ‘Black & Bloom’ was added to this list. It is also known as the hipster cafe. Not that there are that many hipsters, but the atmosphere is very relaxed and authentic with an alternative twist. What distinguishes Black & Bloom is that they go beyond serving you a simple cup of coffee. They actually live for the coffee.
The aim of the owner, Gerben Engelkes is simple: making really good coffee. To achieve this goal he is prepared to do things the hard way, as long as it can improve the coffee at least a bit. The coffee is bought every season from exotic places like Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda, so you will always have the best coffee, which will always taste slightly different. The real coffee-lover will feel truly at home here! This is also the place for the coffee-amateurs to learn to drink this holy liquid. You could start with the sweet coffees such as the Toblerone Latte, Caramel Macchiato or the Vanilla Latte with real French Vanilla. Mark my words: if you start now, you might reach the highest level this summer, which is the ‘Cold Drip Coffee’. This coffee is prepared in laboratory-like tubes, from which drip by drip a cup of coffee appears. This combined with a bit of ginger ale and an ice cube makes the perfect summer drink.
Next to the coffee, you need something edible. Luckily, Gerben’s got a girlfriend, Karin, who happens to be a confectioner. Thanks to her, the entire shop is always filled with homemade creations, such as passion fruit cheesecake, red velvet cake and ‘raffaello pie’ – no, you don’t need to know what that is. Just know that it’s incredibly delicious. Since a big part of the ‘guests’ are students, Black & Bloom came up with the ‘UB-special’: a couple of brownies in a bag for during studying. This is extremely convenient, as you will be able to continue the hard work for at least a couple of days with those dark delicacies. The owner himself recommends eating them at the moment of your studying-dip. Take a brownie in order to get the ‘Oh-that’s-why-I’m-doing-this-feeling’. Additionally, for the non-chocolate-lovers, there’s the oatmeal-cranberries version. There’s even a solution for the non-chocolate-and-non-oatmeal-cranberries-lovers: the fruitcookies with marmalade.
To pass his love for coffee on, the owner also organises workshops to potential baristas and coffee-freaks. Furthermore, during Eurosonic you can enjoy the sound of different bands here. Sometimes, there’s ‘Coffee and Games,’ an event organised in cooperation with toys store ‘Wirwar’. Everyone who’s truly eager to improve his Study Avoiding Behaviour (SAB), can drop by to play all kinds of odd games, while sipping a lovely Monkey Balls hot chocolate.
So if you want to drink truly well made coffee in a cosy atmosphere, visit Black & Bloom. Don’t hesitate to talk to the owner, so he can make you fall in love with coffee too. Life is too short for bad coffee!
By Lucia Grijpink