For a country with such a developed palette for fine gastronomy – wine, chocolate and cheese to name a few of the obvious examples – Switzerland is not particularly known for its coffee. In fact, we’ve often lamented the fact that at all of the cafés that we love here in Lausanne, coffee is a predictable low point in the experience. Unlike the up-and-coming artisanal beer scene (which you know we love), coffee roasting in the Confederation seems to be handled by a few, largely uninspiring brands. Needless to say, when we heard about Culture Café with its distinct mission to bring true coffee culture to Lausanne, we were intrigued to give it a try.
This little coffee shop is housed inside of the Fnac at the Tour Bel-Air – yes, you indeed read that correctly. Inside the Fnac. To get there, you’ll need to head to the lower level and make your way through the hordes of BD fans reading their favorite comic strips (…do you think these guys ever actually buy those books???). In case it isn’t immediately obvious to you, just look for and follow the signs.
The baristas at Culture Café are passionate about making good coffee and in case they aren’t pleased with the outcome of the cappuccino they’ve just made, they’re known to start all over again. They are in a process of testing and tasting and perfecting the art of coffee and are delighted to discuss their experience with you – be prepared for a vocabulary precise enough to describe a good Bordeaux; these guys take every cup very seriously. Each day there is just one coffee to test – why? Because the machine needs to be calibrated to accommodate the particularities of each blend. We told you – they are not kidding around!
The café itself is slightly retro inspired with modern touches and a soothing dark blue on the walls – details you might otherwise overlook if it weren’t for the fact that it makes Culture Café the perfect place to work. Students and independents who need a quiet place to work for a few hours but who find next door’s Bubble Café a little too boisterous will absolutely love this spot! The wifi is reliable and large windows looking out onto the Flon bring in plenty of light. And in case you get hungry, the fresh baked pastries are fantastic as well.
Tell us your thoughts on the coffee that you’ve tried in Lausanne – have we missed any other cafés trying to give serious coffee a go?