Exploring Zürich’s Exceptional Coffee Culture: An Insider’s Guide to Ground Control.

For many years, Zürich was known for its traditional and unexciting coffee scene, sticking to dark, Italian-style roasts and a narrow selection of Swiss coffee-based drinks. However, in the past five years, the city’s coffee culture has transformed. Specialist coffee shops, some of which are world-famous, have emerged. Emi Fukahori, co-founder of Mame, notes that this development is indicative of the city’s food scene as a whole, which now offers a growing variety of cuisines and dining styles.

Miro Manufactura de Café, located in the nightlife district of Langstrasse, was among the trailblazers of Zurich’s coffee culture. The café focuses on light roasts of its single-origin beans, exploring their complexity. Its premises on Brauerstrasse has a “millennial’s conservatory” aesthetic, with an airy and light ambiance filled with house plants, whitewashed floors, exposed ducting, and elegant plywood furniture. Miro’s vegan brunch, Desayuno, served on weekends, is a hit among customers.

Mame, located in District 5 and Seefeldstrasse, is a coffee shop where national barista champions from different countries might serve you. The café offers different beans, ranging from fruity roasts to traditional darker-chocolatey styles. A changing range of rarer “exceptional” beans, roasted in tiny quantities and crafted especially for Mame’s baristas to use in competitions, is also available. Mame’s interior provides limited seating, and its menu includes a small range of cakes and patisserie.

Coffee, co-founded by Shem Leupin and Thomas Leuenberger, offers a range of styles, roasts, and origins of coffee from Zurich’s oldest coffee manufacturer, Stoll. On sunny days, there is usually extra space on sunny tables outside, and a cast of loyal regulars gives the café a family feel. Coffee’s brunch option of freshly made small dishes on Saturdays is a must-try.

ViCafe began as a cola business but has since expanded with a small chain of outlets across Zürich. Founder Christian Forrer revived the beloved Swiss heritage-cola brand Vivi Kola in 2010 and set up a micro-roastery. All of ViCafe’s beans are ethically sourced and offer excellent espresso-based coffees. Most outlets are takeaway-only, but some indoor spaces and outdoor seating areas are available.

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