Photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso
Coffee in Switzerland…
I make it short: big shame!
Whenever you sit, wherever you sit in a bar, restaurant, tea-room, coffee shop, city center or shopping mall in Switzerland and you order a coffee, you will remain astonished!
Coming from Italy (the land of, among others, coffee!), when it comes to coffee I am quite demanding and extremely picky.
When I order a coffee in Italy I normally get a nice and fragrant espresso (I underline: “espresso”) at a very reasonable price!
When I order a coffee (meaning of course an “espresso”) in Switzerland:
– I have to clearly order “espresso”, not to get a brownish watery big cup of so-called coffee or, as they say in the Confederation, “Kaffee creme”;
– I will get a long, diluted, super bitter coffee which they proudly define “espresso”;
– I will get what mentioned above in a too thin and improper cup for an espresso;
– Shame! I will have to pay between 4.20 CHF (if lucky!) up to 4.80 CHF (as it recently occurred to me in a restaurant in Zurich);
– Shame No. 2! The high price of a cup of coffee in Switzerland has apparently no clear reason: no particular scarcity of the imported raw material, no significant remote location of the country, absolute no lack of bars, restaurants, etc. in the Confederation!
In Italy, where espresso, coffee and all the related variations (e.g. cappuccino, moccaccino, marocchino, etc., etc., etc., etc…) are “cult”, you normally pay between 0.9 and 1.5 EUR for a coffee. If you convert EUR to CHF multiplying by a simplified factor of 1.2, you can now understand my…disappointment for Swiss coffee!
Nowadays, a good average price for 95 octane gasoline is at least 1.5 CHF/liter in northern Switzerland, where I normally refill my car tank.
Therefore, if I take into account this price, the price of a cup of coffee and the taste of a cup of coffee in Switzerland….I sometimes find myself asking whether my drink at the bar is really an espresso or rather a canister of gasoline!!!