Route Douwe Egberts

Taste the origins of Douwe Egberts and Pickwick

This is the birthplace of Douwe Egberts

Famous centerpiece of Museum Joure is the first factory of world concern Douwe Egberts and store De Witte Os. Discover all about the making of coffee and tea, the world brands Douwe Egberts and Pickwick and get to work yourself! Recognizable for almost every Dutch person: the collection of Douwe Egberts gifts. Enjoy!

Joure 1753...

You've probably seen it written on the red packet of Douwe Egberts coffee: Joure 1753, on packs of Pickwick tea the same year. It refers to the birthplace of the famous coffee and tea maker, right here, in the middle of Joure.

Douwe Egberts 'made' it here

The store, house and first factory of Douwe Egberts Coffee and Tea are now part of Museum Joure. In the beautiful, historic buildings you can experience how coffee and tea were and are made. And of course you will learn all about the history of this 'Jouster' company that managed to 'make it' from here - first in the Netherlands and later all over the world.

Douwe Egberts Make Over

Our Douwe Egberts exhibition is getting a complete make over. It will be very beautiful and interactive. If you can't wait, come to the museum in December, because that's when the renewed exhibition (in the making) will be accessible!

This video gives you a sneak preview.

Douwe Egberts melangeur Sipke

Sipke, our melangeur and master blender

If you are lucky you will meet Sipke in the museum. You can smell him from the Midstraat, at least: his coffee. In the museum roastery, Sipke roasts the coffees for the museum café and the museum store. Sipke was a melangeur (flavor maker) at Douwe Egberts for many years. During his job application, he turned out to have a unique taste gift. In his career at Douwe Egberts, he tasted thousands of coffees and traveled all over the world. Taste Sipke's coffees in the museum café or order them for home.

"Douwe Egberts - a wonderful history. In the summer there are all kinds of special activities. Joure itself is also fun to visit!"

Dini, via Google Reviews

Getting started yourself

Also fun for kids

Freshly ground coffee, that smells great! At the museum, you can grind your own coffee, using one of those old-fashioned Zassenach wall grinders. Take the coffee home, for a nice cup of home-ground coffee.

Are you a tea lover? Then make your own tea bag according to the rules of the official tea bag or get creative in your own way. You can choose from a variety of teas or blend a flavor yourself.

Come taste, smell and see for yourself

A nice cup of coffee or tea will be waiting for you in the cozy Museum Cafe, free of charge!

Friesland' s most surprising "making" museum is open almost daily.

About making coffee

A sneak peek at the museum

From coffee bean to aromatic cup of coffee

Of course in Museum Joure we show you how coffee is made. From the coffee bean, of course! Coffee beans grow on the coffee plant. Originally the coffee plant comes from the region of Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan, but nowadays it is grown in almost all countries around the equator.  

Did you know that coffee beans are actually kernels?

Beautiful red berries grow on coffee bushes, each containing two seeds. These are called coffee beans. Especially the Arabica and Robusta coffee plant is widely cultivated. After picking, the berries are mechanically stripped of their pulp and skin and then dried. Most of the "beans" are then transported to a coffee factory, such as Douwe Egberts.

Every load is tasted

At Douwe Egberts, every shipment of coffee beans is checked and tasted. This is done in the sample room. Small quantities of each load - samples - are roasted in a small coffee roaster and tasted by a select group of experienced coffee tasters, the melangeurs.  

Melanging for true Douwe Egberts taste

Each load of coffee beans has its own aroma and flavor, depending on the country of origin, the type of soil, the climate where the coffee is grown and, of course, the type of coffee. The blenders then determine which loads of coffee beans should be blended together. They keep a strict eye on ensuring that the coffee always and everywhere has the same Douwe Egberts taste. The coffee beans are then roasted, blended, ground if necessary and packaged in large roasters. Off to the stores!

About making tea

A sneak peek at the museum

From tea leaves to fragrant cup of tea

Real tea is always made from the leaves of the tea bush. This plant can grow as tall as about 5 meters and originates from China, but now grows in a variety of countries with tropical or subtropical climates. Most tea plantations are located on a slope, preferably at an altitude of about 1200 - 1800 meters above sea level. When harvesting, only the top 2 or 3 leaves of each shoot are picked.

Did you know that oxygen determines the taste of tea?

After picking, the leaves are processed. The taste of the tea depends largely on the processing; each method leads to a different taste. Important here is the degree of oxidation, the process by which the juices in the tea leaves come into contact with oxygen and react to it. As a result of oxidation, the flavor of the tea leaves and the color changes. Black tea is completely oxidized; in green and white tea, there is no oxidation. Finally, the tea leaves are dried and prepared for transport.

Pickwick was first called Douwe Egberts Tea

Several batches of tea are usually blended at the manufacturer. In doing so, the blenders always strive to maintain consistent quality and taste. This also happens at Douwe Egberts' tea factory in Joure, which has been marketing tea under the famous Pickwick brand name since 1953. More on that later.

Showpiece: the tea bag machine

Douwe Egberts' Constanta tea bag machine is the most beautiful object in the collection for tech enthusiasts. The 1953 machine is a marvel of ingenuity. It folds the tea bag and attaches to it the string with the label. Initially, each machine had an operator and a packer standing by, who put the bags into a box. Later packing was automated. Remarkably, today's tea bagging machines are still very similar to the 1953 version. But they do run much faster. The tea bagging machine is regularly demonstrated. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, on which we publish the demonstration moments.

Coffee and tea culture

A sneak peek at the museum

Coffee and tea was mainly something for rich people

Nowadays, almost all people drink coffee or tea. But that hasn't always been the case. When the Dutch East India Company began importing in the 17th century, coffee and tea were scarce and expensive. Only the wealthy could afford these beverages.

The first coffee houses

With the introduction of coffee, the first coffee houses emerge in Holland around 1670. At first they are inconspicuous locations, but in the early 18th century coffee houses become popular. It is an ideal place for men to discuss trade, politics, science and art among themselves. The coffee houses become more distinguished and, in addition to coffee, often sell chocolate, tobacco, ice cream and sorbets. And, of course, liquor. The heyday of the coffee houses comes to an end around 1730. Coffee is drunk more at home. The green coffee beans were roasted on the stove, then ground by hand and poured out of beautiful coffee pots in beautiful tableware. Museum Joure has beautiful coffee pots and sets.

Coffee roasting, a precise job

Roasting green coffee beans is a precise job. The beans burn quickly and then the coffee does not taste good. In all cities and large villages, small businesses arose that focused on roasting coffee, often in combination with a grocery store or wholesale business. Douwe Egberts also combined the roasting of coffee with the sale of other products, such as tea, tobacco and spirits. During the 20th century, many of these small coffee products ceased or merged.

Grind away!

Until well into the 20th century, it was common for roasted coffee beans to be ground at home. In a wall or lap mill and later even very modernly in an electric coffee grinder! A fine solution, but a bit cumbersome.

Quickly (vacuum) pack or drink up of course

After grinding, coffee quickly loses its flavor and aroma. During the 20th century, vacuum packaging of coffee was introduced. As a result, ground coffee has a much longer shelf life. A convenience product that many people gratefully take advantage of. Nowadays, automatic bean machines are also popular, which grind the beans fresh for every cup of coffee. 

Tea in the Netherlands

Since its introduction, tea was a beverage that was mainly consumed indoors. Well-to-do ladies bought beautiful china and fine tea chests and enjoyed delicious tea with their friends. Some even had beautiful tea domes built in the garden of their residence or country estate. A beautiful place to watch the passing ships on summer days while enjoying a cup of tea.

Douwe Egberts

A sneak peek at the museum

Douwe Egberts; from Jouster family business to global concern

The founder of Holland's most famous coffee brand is not called Douwe Egberts, but Egbert Douwes. Remarkably, Egbert Douwes' home in Idskenhuizen was demolished in 1980 and rebuilt brick by brick at Museum Joure, where you can still admire this little house.

Founder was not Douwe Egberts, but Egbert Douwes

Egbert Douwes began his career in seafaring. He sailed aboard a kofschip from the Kolk in Joure on the great waters, especially towards Scandinavia. Here he earned good money. In 1750 he met Akke Thijssen, who later became his wife. Together they started a store in coffee, tea, tobacco and other "colonial goods" on the Midstraat in Joure in 1753. The beginning of the Douwe Egberts company.

Son and namesake Douwe Egberts

In 1755, Egbert Douwes had a son, Douwe Egberts. The boy first became a cabinetmaker, the old-fashioned name for a furniture and cabinet maker. By 1780, the sale of colonial goods was doing so well that Douwe Egberts was included in his father's business. Douwe Egberts was not only a grocer, but also a "wholesaler. He sold colonial goods to grocers in South Friesland, the head of Overijssel and in Drenthe.

To give you an idea; between May 23, 1783 and August 27, 1784, a total of over 17,500 pounds of coffee was sold, almost 1,500 pounds of tea and over 250 pounds of tobacco and snuff (tobacco). And then also over 6,000 pounds of candy, nearly 2,000 pounds of sugar and over 7,000 pounds of syrup.

Lysbeth Mintjes, 'Widow Douwe Egberts'

Douwe Egberts married twice. In 1806, he died unexpectedly at the age of 51. His second wife, Lysbeth Mintjes, continued the business under the name "Weduwe Douwe Egberts. When in 1811 Lodewijk Napoleon obliged every citizen of the Netherlands to adopt a surname, the family adopted the surname 'De Jong'. 

Midstraat Joure

Hessel Douwes de Jong

After the death of Lysbeth Mintjes in 1833, the wholesale business was continued by four sons of Douwe Egberts. They founded the Widow Douwe Egberts company in 1834, which focused mainly on the trade in coffee, tea and tobacco. After the death of two brothers, the company was terminated. Hessel Douwes was given the firm name and added "son. Thus, the name of the firm became "Weduwe Douwe Egbertszoon. That name still sounds familiar to many older people. The company used the name well into the last century.

The business continued in the building at 99 Midstraat, which Hessel Douwes de Jong had purchased in 1831. That building is now part of Museum Joure.

Johannes Hessel de Jong, buyer of "The White Ox.

Douwe Egberts' business was going well. When Johannes Hessel de Jong (the son of Hessel Douwes) got the chance to buy the store premises next to the house in 1871, he took it. The store was named "De Witte Os," referring to the (barrel) butcher shop that Egbert Douwes and Akke Thijsses ran for some time.

In 1881, Joure was hit by a major fire. The house at 99 Midstraat was completely destroyed. Of the store building 'De Witte Os' the front facade was preserved. After the fire, Johannes Hessel de Jong decided to rebuild the lost buildings as quickly as possible. The result can be seen in Museum Joure; both buildings are still part of the museum. The little store still serves to sell coffee, tea and other goods. Parts of the dwelling house are now furnished as period rooms and the museum café can be found.

C.J. de Jong, 'second founder' of Douwe Egberts

After Cornelis Johannes de Jong took the reins in 1889, the company grew under his inspired entrepreneurial power. In 1898, he built a warehouse in his backyard for blending coffee and tobacco. That warehouse is also still intact and can be found on the museum grounds. Here you can now find an exhibit on coffee and tea.

Around 1900, all of Douwe Egberts' trading activities were still concentrated on Midstraat. In the years that followed, 'C.J.' expanded the business at lightning speed. He expanded the number of customers by appointing several travelers, who went further into the country. Douwe Egberts was gaining name recognition. The packaging of the products got better and better, as did the shelf life.

In 1912 Cornelis Johannes moved the coffee roastery and tobacco factory to a location just outside Joure, on the Zijlroede, where he had purchased a former oil butcher and butter factory. In 1919 a branch was established in Utrecht, ideal for the distribution of coffee, tea and tobacco because of its central location. Soon the company outgrew its premises there and moved to its present location on the Keulsekade in 1929.

After World War II, the Netherlands became too small for Douwe Egberts. In 1948, the company expanded into Belgium and then into other countries. The great expansion also called for a different kind of organization. The Widow Douwe Egberts company became a public limited company, but remained a family business for the time being. Besides Cornelis Johannes, his two sons Johannes Hessel and Egbert Douwe also became directors of the company.

From Douwe Egberts Tea to Pickwick

Douwe Egberts is known not only for its coffee, but also for its tea. Until the 1930s, the company sold tea under the name Douwe Egberts. In 1937, the tea was given its own name: "Pickwick. An English name was sought, because tea was still very "English. An English stagecoach was also depicted on the wooden Pickwick boxes. The name was inspired by the title of the book The Pasthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club by Charles Dickens. The wife of then director J.H. de Jong suggested this name after reading the book. Pickwick's logo has undergone many changes over the years, but the name has remained unchanged.

The shares sold

In 1978, after seven generations, the De Jong family sold its shares to the American company Consolidated Foods Corporation, later Sara Lee. In 2011, it was decided to split off the international coffee and tea business from Sara Lee. In June 2012, the company became equally Dutch again and was renamed D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753, a name that refers to both the past and the future. The Douwe Egberts coffee and Pickwick tea brand names remain. In 2013, after the IPO, the company was acquired by the German company Joh. A. Benkiser (JAB) and delisted again. The name then becomes Jacobs Douwe Egberts.

The White Ox & Pawn 99

Anno now

Come taste, smell and see for yourself

There will be a delicious cup of Douwe Egberts coffee or Pickwick tea waiting for you, free of charge! A nice piece of cake to go with it? That's possible too. Enjoy it in our attractive Museumcafé or - weather permitting - in the museum garden. See you at Museum Joure!

"Very nice, lots of extras like coffee and tea. Making my own bookmark and a pack of Pickwick tea as a gift, super."
Dinie, via Google Reviews