One of the greatest discoveries in Antwerp I ever made, was definitely NORMO.During a casual lunch break, about five years ago, me and my girl pals from Uni were looking for a cup of coffee to survive our afternoon lectures. We stumbled upon the then called Bar Choq. Back in the days, I used to order a ‘coffee with a golden spoon’, which was a soy latte with caramel and… a golden spoon.
However, every time I popped up for another cup of sweet coffee, the place got more and more packed. And slowly but surely I realised that a real coffee is a coffee, not a sugar drink with whipped cream and chocolate on top – that is called dessert. My baby coffee expertise evolved, and so did Bar Choq.
With NORMO, founder Jens Oris got rid of the chocolate and started brewing amazing coffee in a new and much bigger space, just a few doors away. Next to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, you will now find the best coffee in Antwerp city.
The boys from NORMO are down-to-earth, yet super friendly and sociable. Whether you are a total newbie or a real coffee connoisseur, they will welcome you with a talk and ‘how are you’ in their cosy, industrial looking bar.From the art students to the locals and tourists: everyone falls in love with this place. Their trademark is quite simple I assume: serve the best coffee and always stay optimistic. They roast their own beans and sell them at the back of the store too.
If you crave a good cup of filter coffee, they will guide you through their collection and make sure you get the cup that fits you best. Whether you crave a nutty flavor or more a fruity berry tea-like coffee: they have it all and most importantly, they roast it all. Besides that, their flat whites are actually flat whites – that is a double shot espresso with very little foam and some hot milk. A lot of coffee houses look really nice, but don’t know what they are doing. These boys definitely do, without being pretentious or serving exclusive things. Their interior is industrial, with a very warm vibe. The brick walls add colour to the marble and wood, while the in-store roasting machine adds a touch of anti-glamour. Newspapers and art magazines are all over the place, and serve as a friend in case you are waiting for your’s or just having that cosy time on your own © All pictures are taken by Kimberley Dhollander
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