Welcome all to your September subscription from Bean Bros!
This month we are proud to bring a new roaster to your brew bar, Netherlands based A Matter Of Concrete (AMOC). Set in a unique building with historical and architectural interest and set up by Rob Clarijs who clearly has a real love for what he does. With such a combination the coffee this month can only be outstanding! We hope you enjoy!
Who makes up AMOC?
I always communicate in ‘us’, but it’s just me, Rob. I’ve been in the coffee industry for about a decade, started as a barista, got into roasting and started my own brand 6.5 years ago. I have been working with and at different roasters where I was roasting my own coffee while also working as a barista and roaster part-time. For the last 5 years I have been fulll time focussing on my own company, starting numerous start-ups and projects, but about 2 years ago I got the opportunity to start something unique: set up a coffee roastery in the most iconic coffee-related location of the Netherlands: the Van Nelle Factory. Worldwide known for its unique architecture, locally known for its coffee and tobacco production between 1930 and 1995. No one had roasted a single bean there after 1995, so it was an honour to take on that opportunity.
Achievements that make you proud?
Winning Coffee Masters in London in 2019, judging the same competition in 2021 and now having my coffee served at some of my favourite cafes around the globe, from Hong Kong to Auckland and London to Copenhagen.
Objectives / visions that you are focussed on making happen?
I have never really focused on long term visions, but when I started the roastery and AMOC it made me think. I didn’t change a lot, I just really love doing what I love. Which is building a brand, making people happy with beautiful coffee, starting new projects and building relationships with suppliers and customers. Something that might sound a bit generic, but it truly is what I do want to keep doing: do what you love to do.
What are your main goals in selecting and roasting coffee?
When cupping I want a coffee to stand out immediately. It can be because it’s so delicate, has a unique story or is simply the best cup on the table. When a good friend cupped with me on a production cupping the other day, he told me: "all these coffees have something. I don’t know how to put it, but they all have.. something.” That’s what I like about coffee and is exactly how I select them. On cup-quality, experience, story and personal preference.
How do you enjoy being part of your local coffee community and what does this involve?
I think I’ve always been quite international in my part of the coffee community. I competed in Londen and New York before I competed locally, I love going to international events, being Milan or Copenhagen, but also Seoul in 2017. Within the scene of Rotterdam (or the Netherlands in general) I sometimes feel I still have to make a name of myself, but I’m working on that!
The coffee scene in Rotterdam has been growing really fast in the last few years. Some amazing roasters and cafes popped up, which is very promising for what the future might bring.
The building you are in is next level amazing! Please tell us a bit about this.
Well. It was built in the 1920’s as a very futuristic coffee roastery (and tea and tobacco packery). the building style was very unique for its time.
Almost the entire city centre was bombed during WWII, so it’s quite unique to find a pre-WWII building in Rotterdam, let alone it being a coffee roastery, let alone it being crowned a UNESCO World Heritage site!
It was built in a very unique style for the time, it must have looked like something from the future for the people then.