The 3 Best Dutch Coffee Brands

The Netherlands is a country crafted by iconic imagery. Alongside rolling fields of tulips and traditional windmills, you may also think of delightful coffee.

The Netherlands has an old coffee culture stemming back hundreds of years, manifesting today in iconic brands such as the Dutch Bros. and Dutch-style cold brew.

A 2020 study revealed at least 70% of respondents drank coffee every single day! While Dutch coffee brands aren’t always easy to find in the West, they remain staples of everyday life for millions of people.

If you’re interested in expanding your coffee knowledge, we have a few of the best Dutch coffee brands for you to check out below.

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A Snapshot of Dutch Coffee

snapshot of dutch coffee

The Netherlands has been importing coffee since the late 1700s, exporting beans predominantly from Yemen and Indonesia. Coffee is so popular in the country it even replaced staples like rice.

The country’s history of coffee exports isn’t a happy one, unfortunately. Much of the crop was rooted in colonialism and exploitation: historians believe that Dutch traders illegally exported coffee plants from Yemen, those of which were eventually planted throughout Dutch colonies.

While the Netherlands is popularly credited with the rise in coffee culture, the coffee plant itself has its roots in ancient Ethiopian societies.

Today Dutch coffee faces increased scrutiny by an industry more invested in sustainability and fair trade than ever before.

Several of the brands we explore below have made active strides toward improved coffee sourcing standards, such as higher farmer pay and increased transparency.

What is Dutch Style Coffee?

Every country has its own particular ways of brewing coffee and the Netherlands is no different. When people discuss Dutch-styled coffee, they’re usually talking about their style of cold brew.

This recipe is likely very familiar to Americans and Canadians, manifesting as a filtered ice water dripped over coffee grounds into a big glass pot.

This style of drip is most commonly used for getting a quick hit of caffeine, staying cool in hot weather, or serving a large family.

Do the Dutch Drink More Coffee or Tea?

Although coffee is the go to drink in the Netherlands, tea follows behind at a close second. A 2020 study revealed at least 44% of Dutch respondents drink tea on a daily basis.

Is the Netherlands Famous for Coffee?

The Netherlands has been associated with high coffee exports since the 1700’s, with Holland often considered the pinnacle of Dutch coffee culture.

The Top 3 Dutch Coffee Brands

coffee beans

1. Douwe Egberts

douwe egberts aroma rood
Image: Douwe Egberts

This famous Dutch coffee brand first got started as a grocery retailer back in 1753, gradually shifting over to specialize in coffee and tea in the 1900’s.

Douwe Egberts is one of the few Dutch brands you can find easily in a supermarket or specialty drink shop, particularly when it comes to their instant and pre-ground varieties.

This establishment aims for the most consistent experience possible, offering a variety of different roasts and a focus on arabica beans. If you prefer to grind your beans fresh, they also offer whole bean bags.

This company has faced previous legal scrutiny for not meeting the country’s fair trade criteria, now changing their standards to line up with shifting attitudes in the global coffee industry.

Our Top Coffee Recommendation: Douwe Egberts Aroma Rood Ground Coffee

If you need a staple ground coffee to get you through the week, Douwe Egberts’ Aroma Rood will do you right.

One of the most memorable aspects of this brand is the powerful aroma, which will immediately leap out when you pop open this bag.

We Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Want straightforward options like whole beans and instant
  • Prefer very consistent coffee flavors
  • Only buy arabica beans

We Don’t Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Want to try robusta beans
  • Are worried about issues of transparency and fair trade

2. Albert Heijn

albert heijn
Image: Albert Heijn

Albert Heijn is a Dutch supermarket chain and coffee brand that specializes in instant coffee, offering over fifty options for fans of convenient coffee drinks. They’ve been a staple for decades, with some of their older coffee tins fetching high prices in vintage collector markets.

This brand started off with humble beginnings: the founder first started roasting coffee straight out of his home, later expanding to a larger factory in the early 1900’s. Not only is Albert Heijn eager to provide customers with a blend of convenience and variety, they also push the envelope with complex flavors.

Since Albert Heijn is a dominant chain only in the Netherlands, finding their coffee online will be a little difficult.

Our Top Coffee Recommendation: Caffé Gondoliere Espresso

Albert Heijn distributes an impressive variety of coffee beans, though in keeping with Dutch tradition, prioritizes arabica.

This espresso is as dark as dark can be, offering an intense, bitter chocolate flavor.

We Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer instant coffee over whole bean or ground
  • Want to experiment with a wide variety of flavor and roast profiles

We Don’t Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Want ground or whole bean coffee
  • Want a more accessible Dutch brand to enjoy

3. Kanis & Gunnink

kanis & gunnink
Image: Kanis Gunnink

A common sight you’ll see in international shops is Kanis & Gunnink. This brand was founded in the late 1800’s by Hendrik Kanis and Franz Gunnink as an affordable grocery store coffee resource.

If you ever decide to visit the Netherlands yourself, you’ll see this brand lining store shelves just about everywhere you go. Kanis & Gunnink provides an easy coffee experience with whole beans, instant coffee, and coffee pods.

They bounce between robusta and arabica beans, offering consistent flavors across the board that’s perfect when you don’t want to think too much about what to drink.

If you like to collect packaging, the range of paper bags and tin cans will make great additions to your collection.

Our Top Coffee Recommendation: Kanis & Gunnink Regular Coffee Pods

These coffee pods aren’t quite like the k-cups that Americans love so much. These pods come in the shape of flat paper filters and are placed straight in your portafilter.

Unlike k-cups, paper coffee pods are generally more biodegradable. Try this coffee when you want a fresh, tasty brew on the go.

We Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Want more biodegradable coffee options
  • Prefer consistent flavors over experimentation
  • Enjoy both arabica and robusta

We Don’t Recommend This Brand For Drinkers Who:

  • Want more unique coffee flavors and aromas

Why You Should Try Dutch Coffee Brands

Dutch coffee has a mellow approach that lines up with the slow-paced life in the Netherlands. If you’ve ever asked if grocery store coffee can still have personality, Dutch brands are where to start.

Dutch coffee exports have a troubled history but are starting to make strides to become a more sustainable coffee source.

Today’s leading Dutch coffee brands are most commonly found within the country’s borders, though you can still get a taste of their coffee culture through international shops. Although arabica is the most favored bean, some of the leading brands still do blends.

Want to learn more about lesser-known coffee brands? We have a piece on Venezuelan coffee here! Then, check out our list of coffee regions for info on coffee around the world.

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