The Dutch love coffee. If you go anywhere, you’re going to be offered coffee, even in shops and offices where you might not expect it. You also always get one cookie or piece of chocolate to go with your coffee. It’s all so very civilized! One thing to note for American coffee drinkers: the coffee cups (and amount of coffee) are often a bit smaller here than in the US, unless, of course, you go somewhere like Bagels and Beans (a coffee shop chain here in the Netherlands), where you’ll end up with the huge mugs of coffee.
While G and I are not the biggest coffee drinkers, we do enjoy a cup first thing in the morning. (I sometimes have two cups, and maybe another in the afternoon on cold days like today.) So after making do with a French press for the first year or so that we were here, we eventually bought one of the Senseo coffee makers, the type with the coffee pads/pods that make one or two servings at a time. For me, it’s perfect, because it doesn’t take a lot of extra work measuring and cleaning and boiling water and then waiting for it to steep. I know some coffee aficionados prefer other pod coffee makers or regular coffee beans/grinds, but for us, this works and works well.
Senseo was created in a joint effort between Phillips (the giant electronics manufacturer, which also happens to be a Dutch company) and Douwe Egberts, a Dutch coffee company that dates back to the 1700s, with its headquarters here in Utrecht. DE, as Douwe Egberts is often known, sells all sorts of coffee in regular grocery stores across the country, so it’s easy to find a variety of coffee blends for the Senseo machine here.
The bags that the coffee pods come in feature waardepunten, award points ranging usually from 5-20 points, depending on the type of pods you’re buying. Our usual coffee pods come in a bag worth 20 points. What’s the point of the points? You can save them up and then redeem them, either online, or in a DE store (like the one seen above) for more coffee or for a variety of coffee-related items, including machines, teapots, coffee cups and saucers, storage tins, dessert plates and more. I haven’t counted our points in a while, but we’ve got quite a few. I may count them up and then go to the DE store here just off Neude and see if there’s something that catches my eye. Maybe a nice storage jar or tin. I’d go for some more coffee cups, but we’re honestly running out of storage space for any more glasses or mugs, especially after I received a very cute Rietveld mug in my prize pack from the Centraal Museum.