The Netherlands' Version Of Café Au Lait Is Served With A Crispy Treat

If you've ever been lucky enough to wander the bustling streets of Amsterdam, you may have noticed the city has a thriving coffee culture. The Netherlands' love of coffee runs deep as many Dutch people will have multiple hot caffeinated beverages a day. In fact, according to The Atlantic, The Netherlands is the world's biggest coffee drinker with a per-capita consumption of 2.4 cups. 

Surprisingly though, if you're looking for a café au lait, you'll probably want to skip the "coffeeshops" as these mainly sell cannabis. According to the European travel guide, Rick Steve's Europe, although coffeeshops did originally sell coffee, that's not their main product today. Instead, you'll want to find a local "koffiehuis" or a café. Once you're there, however, you'll find another Dutch coffee-naming convention to navigate. If you want a café au lait in the Netherlands, you can't ask for it by that name. You'll need to ask for a koffie verkeerd or "wrong coffee" instead. Thankfully, if you make it through this name maze and order correctly, your efforts will be rewarded with a delicious treat.

Order a wrong coffee if you want dessert

Café au lait is commonly enjoyed in the Netherlands, but it's called a "wrong coffee" on menus. According to The Dutch Table, this drink is considered "wrong" since it is made with a bit more milk than the Dutch are used to. Traditional coffee in the country only contains a small bit of milk, or a wolkje, which means "little cloud," as per the outlet.

Although it's a popular coffee drink across Europe, café au lait can be traced back to France. It is simply made by mixing coffee with steaming hot milk, as per Orogold. Although, each country serves the beverage a bit differently. In The Netherlands, it is usually made with equal parts coffee and milk, and it comes in a tall glass mug with a koekje, meaning "cookie," according to MasterClass.

The Dutch Table notes that you would be hard-pressed to find a Dutch person that doesn't serve a cookie alongside coffee. They usually come hand-in-hand, with one cookie served alongside every coffee drink; it's considered an essential part of the experience in the country. So, if you want a bit of dessert, make sure to order a coffee to go with it.