Cross the door step and smell why this place is so special: hundreds of years of Ceylon, Assam and Darjeeling, mixed with the fragrance of herbs and coffee. Every real 'brew lover' knows: the best quality of coffee and tea in the Dutch city of Leiden and around is for sale in Het Klaverblad.
Established over 250 years ago it was not a settled matter that this store at Hogewoerd 15 would still exist in our times.
In 1769 wig maker Jacobus van der Kreek noticed wigs to go out of fashion and had to find himself a new living. He became a grocer and so the founder of the oldest known, still existing, coffee and tea store in the world. It is not exactly clear how he did it, but he became an official trader of products from the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – United East India Company) and so obtained the right to carry the logo. You can still see the logo at the facade of the store.
After Jacobus died, his daughter Elisabeth Maria continued the store and the trade. By marriage and inheritance Het Klaverblad remained in the same (in-law) family until the 1980s.
In the decades and centuries to follow the company at Hogewoerd 15 evolved from a simple colonial grocery store into a well-known wholesaler with a coffee-roasting factory as well as tea packers and blenders. Until the mid-1980s the housing of Het Klaverblad went all the way from the store at Hogewoerd to the coffee roasting company at Korevaarstraat. If you observe well, you can still read the inscriptions on the pillars of the building in Korevaarstraat near the corner with Hogewoerd.
Het Klaverblad was so well-known in those days that addressing parcels and letters to Klaverblad Leiden, near Hogewoerdsbrug was sufficient for delivery.
After about 200 years the wholesale at Korevaarstraat was the leading business, making the little store more of a gimmick, kept open for the sake of the old days. This changed when the current owner – Marion Jacobs – came in and revived it, edifying a brand acknowledged as a synonym of the finest flavours with upmost quality offered by secular expertise in coffee and tea.
Since 1985 Het Klaverblad reinstated its status of delivering to the people of Leiden unique experiences through carefully selected premium coffee and tea, as so to many other customer around the world.