Our Mission has Always Been to Democratize Specialty Coffee in Switzerland

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Interview with Fabien Decroux, Director Boréal Coffee Shop

Tell us why Boréal Coffee Shop serves the best coffee in town?

Wow! It's way too early to say that (laughs). The Specialty Coffee scene in Zurich is dynamic, and you can get good coffee here.

We roast our own beans, we set up our grinders, and try to extract the best to represent in our shops.

Our mission has always been to democratize Specialty Coffee in Switzerland. By democratizing Specialty Coffee we want to bring high quality coffee to a maximum number of persons. We are not elitist in our approach. It is important for us to serve good coffee to everybody  - to people with broad coffee knowledge, but also to people who don't know much about coffee. You don't need to be an expert, just come by and we will do our best to serve you great coffee.

Join the cult of queuing in Boréal's new shop!
It’s important for us to bring a good overall experience, not only good coffee but also good service in a warm ambience. Our place is a mix of bold colours and smooth music so you can relax with colleagues or friends.


Why did Boréal decide to open a new shop in Zurich?

We thought a lot about which city we should choose. Lausanne or any other French speaking town would have been a logical step, but we decided to expand to Zurich.

It is a beautiful city, and we wanted to cross the language border. We believe that it will be lots of fun to launch a new shop in the German speaking part and to be in touch with the Swiss German baristas. We are looking forward to organizing some cool events with them!

Are there any differences between coffee drinking in the French speaking and the German speaking part?

I think it is pretty similar: In both parts, people like to drink "Kaffee-Crème", often on the bitter side (high temperatures, long extractions).

Here, in Zurich, we face the same challenge as in Geneva: we need to educate the customers and invite them to try alternative coffee beverages and extraction methods.

I would never say to a customer it’s bad to drink a “Kaffee-creme”, nor is adding sugar in their coffee. I think this approach is wrong and too often seen in the third-wave coffee world. I rather like the idea of sharing opinions, asking them to try the difference and naturally orient them to what we believe is a more tasty/interesting coffee. It takes time, sometimes it works, sometime it doesn’t -  but at the end we want to give pleasure to our customers, not lessons.

Barista, smile at me!
What is Boréal's social engagement?

We buy most of our coffee directly from cooperatives around the world with our partners from Roasters United. We want to know the producers we work with and remove the intermediates in the coffee chain (importers). When farmers are organized into cooperatives they are not in direct competition and are free to share their knowledge, nurseries and work installations. All cooperatives we work with grow their coffee organically. We set a minimum price that we pay to the farmers and help to improve their daily lives with social projects. Recently, together with Roasters United, we financed African beds (drying tables for coffee beans) to the cooperative Taramesa in the Sidama region of Ethiopia. This will help the farmers to dry more coffee and it will also increase quality.

Shilicho cooperative, Ethiopia

Swiss Roast with Boréal Coffee Roasters

Nat Coffee offers coffee that is roasted in partnership with Boréal Coffee Roasters. We are looking to work with a partner who applies Swiss values in roasting our exclusive Myanmar coffee. By incorporating the highest quality standards, reliability and accuracy we ensure that the coffee will be delivered timely and freshly straight to your door.

Boréal Coffee Roasters was one of the first artisanal roasters in Switzerland who engaged with with farmers directly. It is located in Carouge (Geneva) and has existed since 2008.

More information: http://www.borealcoffee.ch/