Life feels so great sometimes, in moments like this.I’m in Amsterdam, by one of its many canals, sitting in a hipster café called KOKO.
The place from outside looks like a small, independent, hipster clothing shop, because its windows are filled with mannequins in American Apparel type clothing. At first, I’m not sure if google maps and TripAdvisor took me to the right place, however, when I look through the window, I can see tables and few people sipping on their hot drinks. Since I’ve decided not to pay 10 euro to keep my suitcase at the train station for these 3 hours, my arms have been killing me. I can’t deal with carrying (more like dragging) my suitcase behind me anymore and the idea of sitting down and sipping on the hot magic drink can’t seem to go away, so I boldly jump into the “shop’s” doors.
At first, I think I have entered the Narnia wardrobe or something because the café is filled with clothes hanging from rails and boots neatly laid down on white shelves. The style of the clothes is very hipster, colors dull and simple, but stylish at the same time. All the pieces are in fashion right now; sweater crop tops, wide trousers and simple, pastel-coloured T-shirts.
Love is a Losing game from Amy Winehouse is quietly playing in the background and the smell of freshly ground coffee is spreading across the room like an invisible cloud. If only I could see the other end through all the clothes! Where is the other end of this huge wardrobe?
White walls gained wrinkles and small marks from aging, while one of the side walls is made of red bricks, a favourite type of wall-decorating style in NYC. Everyone looks so calm and relaxed, I’m almost scared to put my foot on the wooden floor and disrupt this sacred place.
I feel soft and cozy, even though I can hear my own footsteps through the music, as everyone is silent and only the melody of fingers typing on the keyboards can be heard. The calming atmosphere and the low, pleasant voice of the waitress, standing behind the tiny, cute bar tricks me into ordering a banana bread with my coffee, instead of abnegating the sugar.
Then the waitress tells me that she will bring my order to me when the coffee is ready, so I sit down to a small white table with two chairs in the back, close to the men’s section of clothing.
I am sipping my double shot soy latte and nibbling on the amazing banana bread, which reminds me of Christmas while searching for internships and sending out emails to various magazines. This moment makes me feel so mature. A young journalist typing her free time away on a laptop in a small edgy coffee shop, hidden in a street next to a canal in the center of Amsterdam. That’s how I always imagined my life to be, to travel and write from everywhere I go so I couldn’t feel any more satisfied at this moment.
I look around again since I’m now positioned further away from the bar and the waitress. The shop only consists of three small tables, one big table for six, with lights created of old school bulbs hanging above it and a small brown leather couch with tiny mini table and two wooden armchairs, like the ones our grandparents used to have on the porch.
The setting of my and every other table is simple and very typical for any hipster café or restaurant. The brown sugar is in a small, cute jar and white flowers are sticking out of the old beer bottle. The room ends with a men’s section of clothes of similar nature and colors like the ones for women and changing rooms neatly hidden behind dark-blue curtains. The name of the café is also a name of the clothing brand, KOKO, and you can try and buy the clothes directly in there.
When I get tired of sending out emails and looking for more publications I’d like to work for, my banana bread is already destroyed and plate clean, without a single crumb. I am, however getting hungry and close to the time to leave Amsterdam and head back to London once again. I pack my stuff, quietly carry my suitcase across the room and pay at the bar. The price for a double shot latte is 3,80 euro (3 euro for normal and 50 cents for soy milk) and 2.90 for banana bread. All together 7,20 euro. Even though the coffee wasn’t the cheapest (normally 2,50), because I chose extra shot and the soy milk wasn’t free like in most of the cafés, the atmosphere compensates for it. I leave politely, trying to make as least footsteps as possible and with a big smile, I step into the crowded Amsterdam’s street again.
My overall impression
A great small coffee place to sit in quiet and do work on your laptop, study or read a book in a very central location-Red Light District. Not suitable for bigger groups of people or if you want to chat out loud since most of the other customers are doing some work/studying.
Reasonable prices, however, if you aren’t a sweet tooth, I advise you to search for a different place in case you get hungry, as you won’t find any sandwiches/salads here.
You can also do some last minute hipster shopping there, if you running out of time and ideas.
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 145
1012 DG Amsterdam
My trip to Amsterdam and Groningen was one of the kind, and you can read all about it this weekend! Stay tuned.
(please note that most of my pictures are not mine so I don’t own any copyrights)