zurich coffee guide

{editor’s note} Take a break from your busy Thanksgiving preparations and enjoy Martin’s look into Zurich’s coffee scene, beyond Starbucks . . .

My beard is not quite long enough or styled enough to make me a hipster, but if you look at my preferred drinks—craft beer and good coffee—I am inclined in this direction. As a solid, hoppy brew is a rarity in Switzerland, I’ve recently been more interested in searching out the new third-wave coffee offerings in Zurich. Despite growing up in Seattle, I was never a big coffee drinker until I got to Europe. Even now I prefer quality over quantity. My go-to drink at work is tea; and I enjoy the occasional cup of coffee when I need a short break from work. I am by no means an expert, but I know what I like and below are a few of the favorites cups I’ve found amongst Zurich’s growing coffee scene.

Coffee date with @hmmrmedia 😍 = 👍🏻👍🏻

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filter coffee

Filter coffee used to be frowned upon here as it conjured up images of black sludge from American diners, but recently it has grown in popularity and a few new cafes have some good options: Boréal, Milchbar, Bros Beans & Beats. Despite its pretentious name, Bros Beans & Beats vibe is surprisingly relaxed and welcoming, which was helped by the best chocolate croissant I’ve had in Zürich. The coffee was solid, Gipfelstürmer beans brewed with a Moccamaster. Milchbar is an old name, but was relaunched in 2015 and offers a different selection of brewing methods and Black & Blaze beans selected specifically for filtered coffee. The coffee is delicious, although seats are limited in the winter and prices are high even by Zurich’s standards. My favorite filtered coffee is served at Boréal. The small, Geneva company opened its first Zurich location recently and, despite the slightly commercial feel of the shop itself, their filtered coffee is the best in town. Offering a rotation of self-roasted beans and variety of brewing methods like V60 and AeroPress, take a cookie and a cup for a nice afternoon break.

coffee with milk

Finding a good cappuccino in Zurich is definitely not too difficult and I would recommend nearly every place on this list. My favorite cappuccino in Zurich is a nod to the classic. La Stanza offers coffee Italian style: easy and delicious. Their cappuccino has the right balance of coffee, milk, and consistency. For those looking for something different, try Tailor’s Coffee. The to-go shop offers a small and simple menu, but it’s amazing what high quality Stoll beans add to a latte. Their salted caramel latte tastes a world away from the Starbucks equivalent, especially when paired with a subtle Swedish-style cinnamon bun.

La Stanza morning #cappuccinotime #lastanzazurich

A photo posted by Kate Bingisser (@homeschwiizhome) on

cold caffeine

It’s not the season for cold drinks, but with a warm summer behind us I sampled quite a few cold drinks throughout the city. My favorite iced coffee was from Bovelli and Beans, their roastery. Along with their sister cafes like Grande and Le Raymond, Bovelli offers a modern twist on classic coffee drinks. The relaunched Milchbar is also a contender as is roastery Café Noir. Benzin + Koffein also offered the best cold brew in town and a wonderful Japanese-style iced coffee. The news that it recently closed is unfortunate, but not surprising considering it’s out of the way location and the cafe was almost always empty when I visited.

A hot day calls for #icedcoffee from #milchbaramparadeplatz with @gwesslen and @reese.ntly #summerinswitzerland #zurich

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ambiance
Sometimes you go for the coffee, sometimes for the ambiance. I like to write in cafes, and the environment plays a big role in how productive I am. There are many cafes with solid drinks and a nice vibe throughout Zurich, including Cafe Henrici in the old town or Ambrosi tucked into the Viadukt. Two places I often frequent are Bar Rio and Salon. Rio is conveniently located next to my office and offers a small escape from the city with outdoor seating on the Sihl river. The bright, french-style Salon is next to my second office (the gym) and offers up good music alongside Noir beans, excellent cookies, and a top-notch brunch.

I find my productivity at its highest at Auer & Co. The cafe is tucked away behind Limmatplatz and part of the ImpactHub collaborative workspace. Brought to you by the guys behind Bear Brothers & Cow, the short-lived forerunner of Zürich third-wave coffee, it offers fast internet, bottomless filtered coffee, top service, and inviting interiors. And, as Kate always says, you can’t go wrong at a cafe with Acme cups.

More ☕️ needed before I can handle any more election coverage. #crazyday #matchalatte #zürichcoffee

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Iced coffee afternoon at Café Henrici.

A photo posted by Kate Bingisser (@homeschwiizhome) on

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