The Smallest House is located in the middle of the historic city center of Amsterdam. With its 2.02 meters (6.6 feets) wide and 5 meters (16.4 feels) deep, this building is actually the smallest independent house in the capital.
The house, which dates from 1738, is located in Oude Hoogstraat 22, right next to the East Indies House and the gate to the Waloon Church.
Since 2014, the smallest tea shop in the capital has been located in this house. On the ground floor you will find a very extensive collection of fresh loose quality tea, delicacies and coffee. On the top 2 floors you can enjoy a cup of tea with homemade cakes.
The couple, Kristen and Niels, are the founders of The Smallest House. The house has been in the family for many decades. From the early 1960s to the late 1970s, Kirsten's mother had a luxury gift shop in the building. At the end of the 90s the house served as a home. After the last occupant had left the house, there was room for a new interpretation. Niels and Kirsten had the task to give the house a beautiful destination.
The cottage is located in the middle of the busy Red Light District. Tens of thousands of tourists walk the streets every day.
Due to the small surface area, the choices wee limited. It was too easy to turn it into yet another souvenir shop. Kirsten and Niels would like to start a shop that could stand a lance with the monotonous tourist shops in the Red Light District. A specialty shop, in loose coffee and tea, which also has added value for the local population.
The space seemed to be especially suitable for sweets or tea. That choice was quickly made. Niels and Kirsten have been lovers of loose tea for years and have visited tea plantations on several trips. A nice extra, the house is in the historic epicenter of the European tea trade.
It is the Dutch who first brought tea to Europe, not the English as is often thought. The Dutch East India Treading Company was the first to take tea from China and shipped it to Amsterdam. Later the trade was expanded with tea from other Asian countries. Both the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the warehouse where the tea was stored (Bushuis) were adjacent to Het Kleinste Huis. The tea was then taken across the street to be traded on the stock exchange. From there the tea spread all over Europe. Even after the fall of the VOC, the trade in tea continued.
The 'Pakhuismeesteren van de Thee' (The Warehouse Masters of Tea) in Amsterdam had a major influence on the tea trade until the end of the last century. They too were located in the adjacent building of Het Kleinste Huis.