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Travel & Eats, Tricks for Foodies

My Discovery Journey of Specialty Coffee in Switzerland


Not all Coffee tastes the same

I have been drinking coffee for all my adult life; however, I never considered drinking better quality. I was that guy that thinks, well coffee is all the same. 

It was until a few months ago when a very good friend of mine invited me for brunch at her home and gave me a brewing demonstration.

Croissants at a brunch with specialty coffee in Lausanne
A good brew is the best companion for a brunch

The Awakening

"Do you want a cup of real coffee?"
"What do you mean with real coffee? I drink coffee every day, isn't that real?" 

She opens a cabinet and starts pulling out stuff. A grinder, a fancy coffee bag, filters…

Then she meticulously weighed the beans, grounded them, boiled the water to precisely 93 degrees Celsius, poured it slowly over the filter, patiently waited for 45 seconds, poured a bit more of water, and kept going for another couple of rounds.

The kettle that my friend uses to brew specialty coffee
My friend’s Fancy Kettle

The brew’s aroma was enveloping, almost intoxicating. The entire apartment had a scent that you would imagine that you are somewhere in the mountains of Colombia drinking the dark gold with the locals.

The taste: gentle but flavorful, intense but nothing like the bitterness, burnt taste the commercial one sold in capsules has.

Nevertheless, I thought that preparing coffee as she did was a lot of work and took a lot of time, almost 10 minutes!!. Clearly a first world problem. So I went back to my quick 20 seconds capsule. However, after that experience, the bug had already bitten me.

A couple of weeks after I called her to see how she was and instinctively at some point, I asked:

Do you remember the coffee you prepared the other day?"
"How could I get to something similar at home?"
"Haha, I knew you will ask me."

And there she goes with a shopping list: A french press or filter machine, optionally a coffee grinder and the most crucial part, specialty coffee.

A few minutes later, she sends me a link on WhatsApp: https://quimbayacafe.ch/

Have a look at this website. It is run by a young Colombian woman that imports and sells 100% Colombian specialty coffee directly sourced from the farmers in Switzerland.

In their website Maite Amrein, Quimbaya Switzerland founder declares:

“We are a Swiss-Colombian start-up and have made it our mission to bring high-quality coffee that is socially and environmentally sustainable to your home.

We rely on the credibility and integral sustainability that goes beyond just ecology. Social concerns, mutual respect and support are just as important to us. The people who have the most significant share in the quality of the coffee beans are the farmers. We don’t just see them as trading partners; they are our family.”

I am a firm believer in sustainability and fair trade, so these words immediately caught my attention. 

The prices are also very reasonable for specialty coffee in Switzerland.

At Quimbaya Cafe, you can order beans, grounded for French press or grounded for espresso. 

Aside from specialty coffee deliveries in entire Switzerland, the startup offers also courses You can also find other Colombian products like Chocolate or Ají spices.

I placed an order that came after two days, and voila, the switch was completed. 

My first order at Quimbaya came with a warm message in the sticker

The Consequences of Switching to Specialty Coffee

Since I started trying different blends in Switzerland, I have discovered an entire new world of joy. 

A side effect is that I can no longer drink capsules. They are just too bitter and tasteless.

I have also become an advocate for specialty coffee in Switzerland. I have convinced already a good number of friends to give it a try.

Is specialty coffee in Switzerland more expensive than Capsules?

One of the things I had around my head was the cost. It is the product that I am buying in Switzerland, more expensive than capsules.

After some research, it seems that based on the grams inside a Nespresso capsule versus brewing my own specialty, there is very little price difference. Both cost around 0.5 CHF

Prices of different coffees.

This is the Math:

  • A Nespresso capsule cost around 0.4 Euro or CHF 0.44 per cup (Source: Cool Blue NL)
  • Quimbaya sells 250g of specialty coffee for CHF 14, I use 10g of coffee per cup, which makes a bag worth 25 cups of coffee.
  • CHF14 into 25 cups I can make = CHF 0.56 per cup


The bad news is that I have been drinking overtoasted and tasteless coffee for more than 30 years. The good news that I have discovered a new entire world of flavours and combinations.

My last acquisition is a milk frother that brings lattes, whites and cappuccinos to a new entire dimension.

My first flat white with Almond milk

All thanks to my dear friend and Quimbaya Cafe.

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