When I travel to work, I have to change trains at Rotterdam Central Station. I have about 10 minutes to go from one train to another (and sometimes longer when one of the trains is delayed) and after doing this for a couple of years now, I have learned how to get to the train on time and get myself some take-away coffee. There are many places at Rotterdam Central Station where you can get your dose of coffee and I decided to compare all of them.
Because I do drink coffee, but I only like coffee with a large amount of milk, I chose either ‘Koffie Verkeerd’ (coffee with a lot of milk and often no foam) or a Latte at every occasion.
Coffee Company sells each type of coffee in the sizes: small, medium and large. This means you can also get a small latte, which I like, because the typical latte cup is quite big. It is on the higher price range though: 3 euros for a regular small latte. Their regular latte has a great taste! You can add a flavor to your latte for 25 cents and they have the most flavors out of all the coffee places I visited. My personal favorite is coconut. It is not overly coconutty, but so nice! They make a heart shape in your latte.The coffee is hot, but drinkable. You have to put your own lid on your cup if you want to use one, which makes it easy to add for example sugar, milk or cacao or cinnamon to your coffee. Coffee Company also sells a small selection of cookies and muffins.
At the Broodzaak, you have only one size to choose from. A koffie verkeerd is 2,30 euros and a flavoured cappuchino is 2,80 euros. In this case, I chose the koffie verkeerd. The size of the cup is normal, what you would expect for a latte or koffie verkeerd. The coffee is hot! I burned my tongue on it. It has a nice firm foam layer on it and the coffee taste is present enough. You have to put the lid on by yourself as well here. The Broodzaak, as it’s name implies, sells a number of sandwiches and sweet pastries.
At Dudok, I ordered a koffie verkeerd. As Dudok is actually a patissier and known for its’ cakes, so as you can imagine, I wanted to have a piece of cake (carrot cake in this case). The koffie verkeerd was 2,50 euros on its’ own, but if you participated in Ovmiles (where you can collect points through travelling with the public transportation service in Rotterdam) you could get coffee and cake for 3 euros. Of course I went for this deal! The coffee was in a large cup, without a lid. There was too much milk in the coffee for my opinion. The coffee taste was only somewhere in the background. I could not drink the coffee right away, it was way too hot!
There are many choices at Starbucks, but for my research I ordered a café latte. This one is on the higher price range, with 3,25 euros for the smallest cup (tall). The smallest cup at Starbucks though is a large cup at other vendors, so when you compare the prices it is not too different after all. The coffee tastes great, with the full coffee taste without it being too strong. The milk tastes like real milk and the foam is just perfect. If you order take-out, they automatically put a lid on your cup. This one is easy to drink from and lipstick proof. The coffee is hot, but not too hot to drink. I also tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte and it was amazing!!! This was the best coffee I had so far, sweet but delicious, and definetely worth the 4,25 euros.
At AH to go I ordered a latte macchiato for 1,75 euros (like the price!). This was the cheapest coffee I got. The cup was the same size as for example at the Broodzaak and Kiosk, so a regular size compared to all of the others. The lid was a bit hard to drink from, as the coffee leaked around my mouth. If I wanted to drink without leaking, I had to put my entire mouth around it, so not lipstick proof at all! The coffee was really hot, you need some time to be able to drink it. The taste was fine, although the milk foam tasted a bit like milk powder, not like real milk. What I like as well at AH to go is that they have a machine where you can make your own coffee if you can pay cash. You don’t have to wait in line then. It is also convenient that you can get almost anything you need on the same trip to AH to go, as they sell a lot of other things.
LaPlace offers various coffees with more milk in it, a café latte or a latte macchiato. I asked the lady behind the counter what the difference was and she kindly explained it to me. After this, I chose a latte macchiato in a medium size for 2,50 euros. The medium is not big, it is the same size as a small latte at Coffee Company (which is already small compared to others). Unfortunately there was no lid available in this size, so running to the train was no option. The foam was really good. There was a clear espresso taste to this coffee, a bit too bitter for me. The temperature was alright: warm but drinkable right away. You can also get sandwiches or even whole breakfasts at LaPlace, which is nice if you need something to eat as well.
I chose a café latte in a medium size at Julia’s. Julia’s sells pastas to go as well and I must say they are delicious as I had one before. You can choose a single or double espresso in your coffee (truely like the Italians), but I thought two shots of espresso would be too strong for me, so I took a single one for 2,50 euros. I sure was wrong about that. The coffee was too milky for my liking (due to my own choice) and not strong at all. So next time I will definetely order a double espresso shot! There wasn’t really foam on my coffee. The temperature was well drinkable. You had to put the lid on by yourself at Julia’s and this lid drank very nice, very lipstick proof as well.
The last one was a koffie verkeerd for 2,50 euros at the Kiosk. They don’t sell lattes. At the Kiosk they ask you if you want a lid on your coffee, which I think is nice. The lid works very well and is nice to drink from. The coffee was hot, but managable. The taste of the coffe was just right and present enough. It wasn’t too milky or anything. There was a small layer of foam on top of the coffee. I also like the Kiosk for my grab and go items, such as a candybar or a bottle of water.
So what would be my conclusion from tasting all of these coffees?
If you are going for the best taste and quality, Starbucks and Coffee Company are the places to go to. They also have the most varieties and options to customize your coffee. The negative side of this is that they are more expensive.
If you need your coffee fast because you only have a couple of minutes to catch your train, go to AH to go, Julia’s or the Kiosk. They are also on the cheaper range of all of the vendors. However, for me these are not the greatest coffees, but they do the job.
When you have more time and need something to eat as well, the Broodzaak, LaPlace and Dudok are the best options. They have a place to sit down and they sell food as well.
So next time when you are at Rotterdam Central Station, where are you going to get your coffee?