Going freelance one has only one disadvantage in my mind - Christmas parties. There ain’t none. Just like you need to find your own work you need to find your own work-do to gate crash.

This year there was no need to crash a party as VapoShop have been running a weekly vape night in the stylish Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café on Singel canal just a few minutes walk from Central station. Note the “café” in the name - this is not a coffeeshop. Which is nice - as you don’t have to trip over semi-dissolved dysfunctional UK tourists to get to a dysfunctional toilet. This place is the perfect combination of classy and cosy.

Vape Night has been running now for quite a few weeks and after seeing all the glowing reviews I figured it was worth the 3-hour drive to get to Amsterdam.

Picture by @organicbill

I was staying on the North side of the Noordzeekanaal - the North Sea Canal (don’t be intimidated by long Dutch words; they are just sentences without any spaces). It turned out to be a 15-minute ferry crossing from a surreal cityscape complete with its own discarded street-art-clad submarine and other oddities. “NDSM Werf” the place was called - which sounds like a spaceport. The spotting of “Blast Galaxy” - a retro arcade club - confirmed to me it was actually a spaceport.

I arrived at Central Station early to catch up with vape aficionado Cannamelier who is one of the organisers of Vape Night. Actually, in my mind, I was early, but for poor Cannamelier I was pushing him to be late - he had a lot of glass to polish before the event kicked off.

We slurped down noodles at Wagamama’s in Central Station - which has been transformed over the years from a crack den to a sleek waterside shopping centre. It’s nice to not have to dodge the muggers, prostitutes, pickpockets and dealers that used to harass tourists in the past around these parts.

Picture by @organicbill

I was not here to admire the gentrification of the city but here for an interesting development in the Amsterdam nightlife scene - “Vape Night”. Heading away from Central Station things liven up a bit. If you head to the west (your right side, if your back is to the station) you come to the trendy Haarlemmerstraat. Just before Haarlemmerstraat, you cross the Singel canal. Situated right on Singel was our destination - Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café.

In case you find the name a little confusing, I’ll explain. Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café is owned by Coffeeshop Amsterdam but it is not a coffeeshop, it’s a café. The clue is in the name - obvious once pointed out but the penny didn’t drop for the many disappointed looking groups of young guys being politely turned away and pointed in another direction. Here, we were in a civilised place - where the toilets functioned and you could enjoy a nice glass of chardonnay if you fancied it.

Cannamelier set to work cleaning up the selection of crème de la crème desktop herbal vaporisers. A process which involves medical grade pure alcohol. Anything that required water - to cool the clouds of vapour - was filled with distilled water. It’s this attention to detail that makes this event such a success. I’ve met some vape geeks in my time but Cannamelier is the ultimate - he’s the guy the vape geeks turn to when they need advice.

Picture by @organicbill

If you come along to Vape Night you will definitely learn something - no matter your level of experience. I learnt one very important lesson - whenever I visit Amsterdam in the future I’m to make sure it falls on a Thursday.

Once the thousands of euros worth of vapes - from Storz and Bickel, de Verdamper (my personal favourite vape of all time), VapeXhale and Herborizer - were lined up on display, all that was needed was a human shield to avoid the space around the table becoming too crowded. That’s where I came in. I was plonked on a table to the side to help keep folks at bay and ensure nothing accidentally toppled over. Sitting still for a few hours is a task I’m particularly suited to, in fact I’ve trained for such eventualities for the best part of my adult life.

Picture by @organicbill

I was not alone for long. A few vape enthusiast Instagrammers turned up to join me. I probably looked like their dad sat there in the middle. After introductions, we all figured out that we were all following each other and interacting already in the virtual world, it was great to get to meet these guys in the flesh @sundancekid.sdk, @runa.vape, @pauljamesnl and “Stan da man” @gapie17. Not forgetting of course @cannamelier. Judging by my Instagram feed from the last few weeks there’s always been someone there whom I’m connected too. It offers the perfect opportunity to socialise with like-minded souls.

Vape Night is not just targeted at “vape nerds” it’s also the ideal opportunity for anyone who is on the fence about the purchase of a vape to try before they buy. After all, these things cost a fair chunk of money.

A common question people ask before their first purchase is - “what is the best vape?” The answer is; there is no best vape, just the best vape for your needs. Having the opportunity to chat with a vape expert such as Cannamelier gives people the ideal way to discover and experience the best vape that is waiting for them.

Picture by @organicbill

A prime example was a young guy from the UK who was actually attending the event with his mum. They gingerly approached the table and asked many questions about the models on display. Cannamelier prepared some freshly ground herbs and they were not only able to sample the contraptions but get sound advice on the best way to use them. This experience is only possible offline at an event such as this. As a parting gift they each received a DynaVap VapCap M. Sometimes it pays to be curious.

By 21:30 this old man was ready to hit the hay. I set off on my chilled out free “cruise” over the expanse of water to space port NDSM after enjoying what could well have been the best “work do” ever.

Vape Night is presented by Coffeeshop Amsterdam Café and VapoShop every Thursday evening from 19:00-21:30 at the café which is situated on Singel 8.

Author: Bill Griffin (@organicbill)

Image by @cannamelier


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