Back to Black is one of those places that is always busy. This cute little café is run by entirely on green energy and sells delicious coffee and homemade cakes. On a Wednesday morning we met with Noortje and Inge, the founders of Back to Black, who spoke about their business over a coffee. Noortje and Inge are childhood friends who whilst travelling together decided that they would one day start a coffee bar together. A couple of years ago this dream came true and in 2015 they also established their own coffee roastery in Amsterdam West.
Noortje and Inge focus on sourcing high quality coffee and believe in direct trade as the most transparent option in the coffee industry. 80% of the world’s coffee stems from small scale farms in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. These farmers often live in remote areas and struggle with low wages, coupled with the effects of climate change on their harvest and strong price fluctuations. Without access to the world market, they often fully depend on trading companies. Direct trade refers to the practice of buying beans straight from the farm to reduce the number of middle-hands, increase traceability and wages for coffee farmers.
Inge has just come back from a trip to one of the farms in Rwanda, that grows coffee beans used at Back to Black, and stressed the importance of transparency, sharing with us that in countries that struggle with corruption it is difficult to know if the beans are actually organic. Inge believes that buying directly from farmers, or from trustable importers who support local farmers on site, is the best way to provide high quality coffee and sustainability.
You may also get served by Maria who grew up on a coffee farm in Brazil, where one third of all the world’s coffee is grown. Maria knows the production chain from origin of the bean to the point when it is served in your coffee cup. Be sure to pay Back to Black a visit as we believe that their work is a step in the right direction and should be supported. But be aware of the lovely cat Binkie who is always up for a cuddle and will steal your heart!
Back to Black - Grachtengordel, Weteringstraat 48.