Ahhh coffee. It's one of the things we look forward to every morning, one of those things that actually makes getting up easier. While we do like to make it at home on those luxurious, long mornings where waking up happens slowly, we're often on-the-go. That means we need coffee, & we need it NOW. On those harried mornings where we're dashing across town between meetings, we always make a point of getting that morning jolt from LOT61. The coffee is fresh & strong, the pastries are delicious and everyone who works there is warm & welcoming. What more could you ask for?
We chatted with founder Adam Craig to get all the deets on opening LOT61, his ideal bean and what's in store for the future. Keep reading to find out more.
gloobles: Hi Adam! So glad to have a little chat with you. Tell us about the journey to opening LOT61.
Adam: I left Australia with a sense of adventure & a desire to explore new places & cultures. In 2012, I arrived in Amsterdam. The sun was shining, my friend presented me with a bicycle and the journey began. 6 months later, I found a neighbourhood & location that I thought would be perfect for the concept.
gloobles: And the rest was history. We like how funky the vibe is at LOT61. What was the vision behind the design?
Adam: The split-level presented challenges but also potentially a unique coffee experience. The roastery, located on the bottom floor, can be viewed while drinking your favourite beverage or simply passing by the shop and looking down through the windows. I wanted to create an experience where the customer can feel they are one step closer to the farm where the coffee originates. That inspires a lot of questions about flavours, processing methods & roasting techniques. As coffee professionals, we love to speak about all of that. The materials used in the cafe were in line with our circular approach to design. There are repurposed wood beams & metal. The equipment we use to prepare & brew coffee are well-designed and serve as the focus of the shop.
gloobles: That's very true. The machinery is beautiful. In a way, it's like art that is also practical. How would you describe the concept of Lot 61 to someone who’s never been? What sets it apart from other cafes?
Adam: LOT61 is authentic. It roasts & batches its coffee by hand. It’s this hand-crafted skill & experience that set standards in taste & quality. Our harshest critics are our staff; they are some of the best coffee professionals and can choose to work anywhere. It's great to walk into the cafe or roastery and see that coffee or that freshly roasted coffee batch consistently look & taste amazing.
gloobles: You really have the cream of the crop.You guys sell beans as well as coffee in-store. Are the people buying beans different from those coming in for a cortado?
Adam: The Kinkerstraat is a fantastic street. It's got spice shops, cheese, fish, you name it. Its people are diverse, and so are our customers. We are happy to include fresh roasted coffee into the mix. We offer a range of different coffee blends, so that each customer has their “go-to” option. You will find locals buying coffee for home, large corporations buying bulk coffee for the offices & horeca buying coffee for their businesses.
gloobles: Speaking of go-tos. Do you have a go-to bean?
Adam: We have 4 blend profiles, ranging from a strong chocolate profile to a syrupy, fruity profile. My preference is the Zimzala blend, which is a medium roast with a flavour profile of stone fruits when brewed as a black coffee and a smooth caramel when drunk with milk or alternate mylks.
gloobles: Ohhh that sounds delicious. What’s your favourite order at Lot 61?
Adam: Batch brew, known as Single Origin filter coffee. This coffee always gets conversations about the nuisances of the origin, processing methods, roast styles, brew methods & unique flavours shared between the customers & baristas going. “Love them or hate them but never boring”. It is those coffees that get us excited to go to work each day.
gloobles: What’s your favourite thing to pair with coffee?
Adam: I brought my chocolate chip cookie recipe with me from New York. Fresh out of the oven with my Cortado - I’m in a happy place.
gloobles: We'd kill for that combo! If you could share a cup of coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Adam: A tough question. On a professional level, it would be with the farmer who produced the coffee to share the end result of their hard work and drink the final product together. On a personal level, with my wife & daughter, as I would be on vacation. :-)
gloobles: Love that. So sweet! Last one. Where do you see LOT61 in ten years?
Adam: A company that evolves and is still relevant for the community. A socially & environmentally progressive company that, through its successes, contributes to all stakeholders & their communities. This year, we became a B Corporation and were certified as a Circular Coffee business. We're very proud of that. But most importantly we want to continue awakening people to the joy of craft.