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Studio HENK x YUSU coffee

Coffee - it’s a vital part of many people’s daily routines. A way to wake up, to socialise and the chance to take a quiet moment to ourselves.

Kick van Doorn recently shared his expert home coffee tips with us, to help all coffee lovers enhance their daily routines and master the art of coffee. As the co-founder of YUSU coffee, Kick has an interesting story to share about how he and his business partner Nicole have built a brand focused on sustainability, diversity and supporting the local community (values that resonate strongly with our own). We sat down with Kick to hear more.

Was it always your dream to open a cafe?

"It wasn’t a short-term plan to open my own coffee place, but it was always a long-term dream. When it came to my attention that this particular location was going to be available, I saw potential in the space, and then everything started to come together. My friend Nicole joined me as a business partner, and we opened YUSU together in September 2020."

Where did the name YUSU come from? 

"The name actually came to me when I was in the shower. Yusu means ‘serious’ in Surinamese, so YUSU coffee refers to ‘seriously good coffee.' Nicole is also from Surinam and she used yusu a lot in her slang, so I knew the word already. I also think that using this word is a great way to attract different groups from society to the cafe."

What is special about YUSU?

"Everyone is welcome at YUSU. We sell food from many different cultures as we want to have diverse crowds around the bar so that everyone feels like they belong here. We also like to support local artists by doing projects with different creatives from Amsterdam. One of these was our collaboration with Permanent, to make fully sustainable T-shirts that are tie-dyed with our coffee and with walnuts. We also worked with local artist Milou Broersen, who made all of our mugs and saucers by hand which is really special."

How do you produce sustainably?

"We do our best to be as sustainable as possible. Our takeaway coffee lids are made from paper and sugar cane as we want to avoid the use of plastic. We also work with ‘Het Zwarte Bekerplan’ which is a circular coffee fund initiative. The idea is that you buy a reusable cup for 5 euros and you then get a discount for your coffee every time you bring it in and swap it for a clean cup. We also order locally where we can, to minimise transport emissions."

What tips do you have for people wanting to improve their own coffee rituals?

"I would say to keep innovating and experimenting with new things. Try out different beans, different techniques and different milks, because there is so much to discover - also for me too. Making your coffee a little bit finer or coarser can already change the flavour a lot. Coffee can have a really refined taste, and if you’re interested in experimenting with all of its different flavours it can be a really good distraction; especially if you’re working from home all day."

How can coffee play an important role in our daily routines?

"I see making coffee as a sport. When it is busy at YUSU and I’m making coffee all day I don’t think about anything else, just coffee. I think it’s a really nice way to distract from daily life - it is like an art form. There is a lot to learn about coffee and you can definitely make a hobby out of it."

Kick also sat down with us to share some useful home brew techniques. To incorporate the art of coffee in your own daily ritual, read his tips for making a slow coffee with the Chemex, how to froth the perfect milk and how to make latte art.