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How the Swiss Drink Their Coffee

Fall is here and the temperatures are dropping. When the leaves turn golden and red it's time to start cuddling up inside and drinking hot beverages again. Now, we'll drink tea and coffee not only to wake us up in the morning but to keep us warm also.

Coffee and Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world. It is no surprise that the Swiss created a variety of ways to prepare and drink their coffee.

Many Swiss people like to drink their coffee black - with or without sugar others like the international imports like Starbucks. However, Switzerland has definitely more coffee varieties and combinations to offer!

Swiss Coffee Variations

Other than the regular black coffee, espresso and cappuccino that are known all over the world the Swiss like to drink their coffee in the following varieties:
  • Café crème: coffee with cream (and sugar if desired)
  • Café mélange: coffee with whipped cream; usually the whipped cream is served separately
  • Schale: literally this means "cup" or "bowl", coffee with milk
  • Luzerner Kafi or Kafi Luz: coffee with Schnaps (grog, hard liquor) and sugar; this is a popular drink for Après Ski (i.e. the going for a drink after spending a day skiing)
  • Kafi Träsch: a lighter coffee with 'Träsch', a Schnapps made from apples or pears.
For those people who don't like coffee there's always the option of drinking a sweet hot chocolate, maybe even an Ovomaltine. After all, Switzerland is the country of chocolate!

How do you like to drink your coffee? Whatever your preference, try out one of these 5 great cafés in Zurich for a great cup of coffee!

Swiss coffee drinker - Instinktknipser  /



  1. Hi there
    Didn't know that the Swiss drink so much Kafi!! I'm trying to cut down - have Nespresso capsule machine at home, but when out I love to order a Schale.....

  2. Swiss Germans use the following: Koffee mit Schlage Rahm literal translation Coffee with Slapped (Whipped) Cream.
    Koffee Fertig: Coffee with a liquior or Kirchwasser of FlumeWasser - Cherry Brandy or Plumb Brandy. Both of these Schnaps are clear 80 proof and strong to the pallet...With Koffee Rahm this is an excelent drink choice


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