A coffee to go isn’t very European, and yet there are eight Starbucks in Geneva. In fact Switzerland has one of the highest number of Starbucks per capita in Europe. Now get ready for the third wave!
It shouldn’t be surprising that Switzerland has one of the highest number of Starbucks per capita in Europe, third only to the UK and Ireland. After all, Zurich was home to the first Starbucks in mainland Europe in 2001 and the super automatic espresso machines used by Starbucks are made by the Swiss company Thermoplan AG. Pushing a button and getting an espresso drink isn’t a uniquely Starbucks experience. The coffee capsule was invented in Switzerland and the mother of all coffee capsules – Nespresso (owned by the Swiss food giant Nestle) – can be found in more and more hotels and restaurants. Some will even put it in a paper takeaway cup for you.
At this moment Geneva is experiencing a third wave of coffee consumption with the introduction of American and Australian barista style coffee shops. These are espresso drinks made with a human touch that extends beyond the push of a button. Lattes and Flat Whites made to go or better yet to be enjoyed leisurely sur place.
Boreal Coffee Shop opened it’s first location six years ago and has rapidly continued to open stores throughout the city. It takes it’s inspiration from Australian coffee culture. On the other hand, Birdie Food and Coffee draws from both a Brooklyn and a Scandinavian coffee scene. Opened in November 2014 on Rue des Bains it serves a fashionable clientele of students, graphic designers and architects. Oh, and they have cheesecake.
Third wave coffee appreciation looks at coffee like a fine wine. It considers harvesting, processing, roasting as well as brewing to be essential to producing high quality coffee. Both Boreal and Birdie use the powerhouse La Marzocco espresso machines and both companies offer a menu of expressos, cappuccinos, flat whites and lattes. For roughly the same price as a McCafé or a Starbucks you can have a coffee that is, dare we say, artisanal. Can you taste the difference?
Boreal Coffee Shop
Rue du Stand 60, CH-1204 Geneva
Mon – Fri: 06:30 – 21:00
Sat – Sun: 08:00 – 21:00
Rue du Mont-Blanc 15, CH-1201 Geneva
Mon – Fri: 06:45 – 19:00
Sat – Sun: 09:00 – 19:00
Rue Jargonnant 5, CH-1207 Eaux-Vives
Mon – Wed: 06:30 – 19:30
Thu: 06:30 – 21:00
Fri: 06:30 – 19:30
Sat – Sun: 08:00 – 19:30
Square de Chantepoulet, CH-1201 Geneva
Working from 2nd May to 15th September
Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 19:00
Sat – Sun: 11:00 – 18:00
Birdie Food and Coffee
Rue des Bains 40, 1205 Geneva
Mon – Fri: 8:00-18:00
Sat – Sun: 10:00-18:00