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Old 06.06.2011, 08:15
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Decent espresso in zurich

Moved recently to Zurich and I've quickly started missing the espressos I'd have in NY or Seattle. Anybody know of a place to get a real cup of espresso in Zurich? Every restaurant, cafe, bar I've been in has bland or weak espresso coming from a push-button, fully automatic machine or worse nespresso. I'm looking for a place with excellent thick espresso from baristas who know what they're doing. Where if you ask for a double they don't just push the button twice. Probably a place with a machine more like the one shown in this picture:


Thanks ahead of time
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Old 06.06.2011, 09:03
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

An American complaining about Swiss coffee!?! I don't believe it! When I asked for an espresso in the USA in 1992 the waitress asked "Is that some sort of coffee?"

Try Sprungli or Schober...
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Old 06.06.2011, 09:05
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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Try Sprungli or Schober...
Or Schober. But remember, try not to replicate what you have at home.
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Old 06.06.2011, 10:52
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

For a decent espresso from a real machine I suggest the following places:
- Belcafe (inside the rondel at Bellevue tram stop)
- Il Baretto at the main train station (opposite track 16 or so)
- Bar Infinito, Sihlstr. 20
- La Stanza, Bleicherweg 10
- Cafe Motta, on Limmatquai, opposite the Rathaus

You may also want to have a look at the following thread:
Best coffee in Zürich
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Old 06.06.2011, 11:46
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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An American complaining about Swiss coffee!?! I don't believe it! When I asked for an espresso in the USA in 1992 the waitress asked "Is that some sort of coffee?"

Try Sprungli or Schober...
You really need to go back to the US if you're going to quote references from 1992. Things have changed a little bit in that time...
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Old 06.06.2011, 11:51
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

If I want a decent coffee, I go to Italy, even in Lugano it's hard to get a decent coffee. In Italy, on the other hand, it's hard to get a bad one.

Tom
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Old 06.06.2011, 11:59
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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An American complaining about Swiss coffee!?! I don't believe it! When I asked for an espresso in the USA in 1992 the waitress asked "Is that some sort of coffee?"

Try Sprungli or Schober...
We've advanced our society since then in terms of coffee

It shouldn't be so hard to find good coffee anywhere in continental Europe though. On a day-to-day basis, I find the coffee here far superior to the dreck I swallow back home. But I did the drip thing back home and usually stayed away from coffee shops - the best espresso I ever had was at a Starbucks in NYC, with a barista who knew what he was doing. I just didn't like forking over that much cash for a small cup of coffee on a regular basis.

Give Sprüngli a shot. My wife likes to go to Cafe Felix at Bellevue. Thanks to this thread, I think I'll go for Schober next!
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Old 06.06.2011, 12:09
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

Surely there can only be one place.

After all - it is a "septic" export - for all you missing the comforts of home.
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Old 06.06.2011, 12:38
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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An American complaining about Swiss coffee!?! I don't believe it! When I asked for an espresso in the USA in 1992 the waitress asked "Is that some sort of coffee?"

Try Sprungli or Schober...
Lovely stuff & I concur...Seems incredibly off that an American, even someone from Seattle would find it hard to find authentic espressos en Suisse...You can't throw a stone and not hit 3 or 4 terrific places for espresso, IMO...And, yes, I'm talking the Italian style with rich crema

One thing, know that if you ask for cafe, which is what many Suisse drink, it's like a longer shot...You need to ask for the ristretto or espresso specifically

Truth is, even at IKEA with their automatch Suisse machines, the espresso is quite good, IMO

Of course, Italy is still one of the best places in the world to get terrific espresso...but they're not the only ones...I've had amazing stuff in the US, Mexico, Spain & Brasil

Mmm, I need a shot

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Old 06.06.2011, 12:45
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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<snip>Every restaurant, cafe, bar I've been in has bland or weak espresso coming from a push-button, fully automatic machine or worse nespresso.</snip>
I feel you may be confusing Nespresso with Nescafe...
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Old 06.06.2011, 12:50
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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We've advanced our society since then in terms of coffee
I don't call having a Starbucks on every street corner, with it's revolting coffee and paper cups, an advancement.

But granted, you can get decent espresso in the U.S. now - though mainly in the Italian quarters of U.S. cities.
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Old 06.06.2011, 13:39
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

American espresso fans have taken something good from another culture and once again Super Sized it.

The standard coffee dose for a 30-40ml espresso is 7 grams. Same for a ristretto, just less water is run through the coffee. This has been set out in a set of rules by the inventors of the drink, the Italians. They also have rules for water temperature, pressure, etc.

American espresso has tended for some years towards an 'updose'. Up to 14 grams (more in some cases, not usually cafes though) is used for what would be called generous single shot here. The extra coffee doesn't just make a stronger drink- the whole taste profile is changed.

Also, good cafes will insist on coffee that is no more than two weeks past roast, and grind the coffee for each shot seconds before brewing. Here, coffee can be many weeks to months post roast, and often a cafe will grind until the reservoir in the grinder is full, and dose the shots out of that until empty. If it's not a peak hour, that coffee could be sitting there ground for hours. Coffee really does start to noticeably lose flavor quickly after grinding- 30 seconds to a minute would be considered the window from grind to pour.


Here, the Italian guidelines are followed. The coffee is also often a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans; the added robusta lack in flavor but boost the crema of a coffee that has gone a ways past the ideal post-roast time. Most Americans consider robusta beans sacrilege and wont use them.

It's just like pizza. A New York slice or Chicago deep dish is something wonderful on its own, but can't be compared to a thin crust wood fired pizza from Italy. They share the same ancestors but the American version has morphed into something else.

It's interesting to note that on coffee forums, Yanks who've traveled to Italy rate the espresso there as mediocre to good, at best. I'm sure an Italian would gag on the heavy updosed American stuff.
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Old 06.06.2011, 13:47
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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I don't call having a Starbucks on every street corner, with it's revolting coffee and paper cups, an advancement.

But granted, you can get decent espresso in the U.S. now - though mainly in the Italian quarters of U.S. cities.
Hey, Starbucks can be decent, especially if you get a good barista.

But going from people not even knowing what an espresso is to at least having it available in a McStarbucks is an advancement of sorts, I think...
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Old 06.06.2011, 14:05
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

It's interesting that in Italy, a standard coffee is shorter than a Swiss-Italian ristretto, and a caffe lungo is about the same as a Swiss-Italian espresso, or a Swiss-German ristretto

Tom
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Old 06.06.2011, 14:15
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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It's interesting that in Italy, a standard coffee is shorter than a Swiss-Italian ristretto, and a caffe lungo is about the same as a Swiss-Italian espresso, or a Swiss-German ristretto

Tom
Yes, and it's seen as a fast, cheap, caffeine fix. Not a whole lot of frufru frothed milk drinks there, just a little cup of coffee with a lot of sugar.

(love the old school lever machine in this clip)
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Old 06.06.2011, 15:10
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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Hey, Starbucks can be decent, especially if you get a good barista.

But going from people not even knowing what an espresso is to at least having it available in a McStarbucks is an advancement of sorts, I think...
Not to me. It makes me want to gag.

But hey, what would I know about coffee - I'm English
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Old 06.06.2011, 15:12
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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Yes, and it's seen as a fast, cheap, caffeine fix. Not a whole lot of frufru frothed milk drinks there, just a little cup of coffee with a lot of sugar.
Depends.

We never take ours with sugar, however a beer or red-wine chaser works for me!

Tom
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Old 06.06.2011, 15:14
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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Not to me. It makes me want to gag.

But hey, what would I know about coffee - I'm English
I hate Starbucks too. Not just because they are an evil corporation, but they make ho-hum coffee. And seem startled when you want a simple espresso.

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Depends.

We never take ours with sugar.

Tom
Same here, but most of the Italians I know like a heaping spoon of sugar in there. Barista in the video is ladling out a fair but of sugar too .
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Old 06.06.2011, 15:57
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Re: Decent espresso in zurich

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Not to me. It makes me want to gag.

But hey, what would I know about coffee - I'm English
Well, to each his own, I'm American, so I guess that's worse when it comes to judging coffee

To me, average Starbucks is far overpriced for the quality, but there are diamonds in the rough.

I have yet to try Italian coffee, but my wife has, and swears that it far exceeds not just all US coffee but every other nation in Europe. I just need an excuse to get to Italy so I can, more than likely, join her in this opinion.
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Old 06.06.2011, 16:19
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I have yet to try Italian coffee, but my wife has, and swears that it far exceeds not just all US coffee but every other nation in Europe. I just need an excuse to get to Italy so I can, more than likely, join her in this opinion.
Illy Espresso is one of many Italian brands available in Switzerland.
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