This blog can be considered as a follow-up to my previous Dutch-based blog about De Koffiemolen Alkmaar. In that blog I mentioned their Barista, Cilia, and she gave a tip for my next blog. She pointed out that, if I was ever to be in the city of The Hague, I should visit Filtro. Well, I happened to be in The Hague last week. Time for a visit.
Filtro: It was a rainy day in The Hague
It was a rainy day in The Hague. People were wandering through the rain, creating a mass of umbrella’s as I navigated the narrow streets of this wonderful old city. The gloomy weather did something strange to this city: the Binnenhof , the oldest parliament building in Europe, looked like a set straight out of the hit-series ‘Game of Thrones’. The streets and old buildings covered with the glistening sheen of rain only intensified that feeling. But I didn’t travel for two hours to gape at the buildings and streets while standing in the rain. I was on my way to a coffee hotspot called Filtro.
Filtro and art
Filtro is located in the Papestraat in The Hague. Located in the old city centre, the Papestraat is narrow and has shops cramped up on either side. The shop front of Filtro isn’t any different from the rest, but don’t let that fool you. Behind that front hides a beautiful, modern and artful interior. Filtro has been completely decorated by it’s owners Jack And Catriona.
We created this interior out of a mood-board.” Jack tells me. “You can classify some things as Scandinavian or Japanese perhaps, but we just went with the things that felt good. We wanted to create a peaceful environment where people can work, experience the artwork and enjoy a quality cup of coffee.
Filtro started in Lisbon
Jack, being a creative mind, used to occupy himself with poetry, cooking, writing and art. Because of his creative side, a friend came to him a couple of years ago to ask for help. He owned a building in the Papestraat and wanted to liven up the street a little. Jack agreed to help him out and got the answer while working in a coffee-shop in Lisbon, Portugal. He remembers the day as if it was yesterday:
I remember sitting in a coffee-shop in Lisbon and ordered a coffee cortado. I was trying to come up with an idea for the building in the Papestraat, but the right idea eluded me. When I took a sip from the coffee cortado, I was blown away by the sheer quality of the cup of coffee; I hadn’t had such a great coffee in a long time. It was then that I knew we had to open up a coffee-shop in the Papestraat. Not just any coffee-shop, THE coffee-shop.
The art and the art of coffee
And so Filtro was opened up mid 2016 and started off good right away. With the help of the art collective, Jack created a place where people love to sit down and enjoy themselves. The natural lighting from outside complements the materials used in the interior. The artwork invites you to walk around and take a look at the art that Jack might or might not have made himself. But aside from the art and interior, there is one thing that stands out more than anything: the feeling of being welcome.
As much as I loved looking at the interior and art of Filtro, I came here for something else. I came here for a different kind of art, the art of coffee. When you ask Jack what he is serving, you see his face brighten up and his eyes twinkle a little. He will tell you all about his selection of beans and what he thinks is nice to try. I ended up with two different Kalita slow coffee’s: one from Ethiopia and the other one from Kenya.
Not only does Jack know about his beans, he also knows how to brew! Everything is measured meticulously and Jack really focusses on giving you the perfect cup of coffee. Filtro serves all the normal specialty coffee’s such as espresso, but also for example Aeropress. In short; you don’t have to miss out on anything when going to Filtro. I didn’t get the chance to eat something while I was there but looking on the internet, there is nothing but praise to be found.
Filtro has something up his sleeve for 2018
After drinking my coffee I asked Jack if Filtro is at the point where he won’t need to tweak the concept any more. The place had a good reputation, the interior design looked amazing and the coffee is great. But a man like Jack will always have something hidden up his sleeve I guess. Although he’s satisfied with the way things are going, he wants the ‘Filtro’ community to grow larger. For that he has something up his sleeve. When I asked him what that secret was, he made me promise not tell a living soul, and I wont. But it is safe to say that Filtro will have a big surprise coming up in 2018!