In a nutshell:
–coffee shop and roastery in one, making positive changes in the wider coffee industry
–great for solo work, meetings, hang outs – anything goes here
–a new kid on the Zurich coffee block, so get there before word spreads
Coming to Zurich I had no preconceptions about the coffee scene. Researching varying options, the same few coffee shops kept coming up: Mame, Kraftwerk, Bros, Beans and Beats to name a few (all excellent by the way). Now I have never used a dating app to indulge my coffee obsessions before and it definitely wasn’t my intention, but I have to be honest: it was Bumble that I have to thank for directing me to Miro Manufactura de Cafe (thanks James*.)
Based in the red light district, you may be forgiven for thinking I have sent you on a Bumble-related goose chase (I know I did), but it all adds to the modest, un-polished charm of this neighbourhood. There is an authenticity and rusticity that goes against the squeaky cleanliness of Zurich which I loved. Added to that, it didn’t feel too touristy which is always a plus.
A Roastery and a Cafe
Entering Miro Manufacturer Cafe, you immediately become aware it is not just your average cafe. Exposed pipes line the ceiling, steel pillars jut down through the space, and the counter is right in the middle on the floor as if a theatre show in the round – it all rather feels like a workshop space; not only are they going to make you a spectacular cup of coffee, but bigger, exciting things are going on.
There is an authenticity and rusticity that goes against the squeaky cleanliness of Zurich
It therefore came as no surprise when Shirley explained to me that it is a roastery as well as a cafe. Behind her, through a giant clear screen, you could see the roasting machine with people busily walking around it, talking intensely in a way that made you think they might be changing the world (it was in German so I can’t be sure but this is what I concluded). When I asked about the coffee, she wielded out a huge white bucket from under the counter in which the beans were in. They had travelled a total of about 8 metres to get here. Talk about reducing the carbon footprint.
…Shirley wielded out a huge white bucket with the beans in. They had travelled about 8 metres to get here. Talk about reducing the carbon footprint.
Of course the beans themselves they use are from warmer climates – predominantly Kenya, Ethiopia and South America (mainly Brazil and Mexico). I had a few coffees here over the weeks and each one was perfect. If you have your coffee in, they give you a little glass of sparkling water to have on the side which was a nice touch.
All in All
The cafe was set up just under a year ago, with its first birthday this month. Asking what came first, the roastery or the cafe, Shirley explained that it was originally a coffee truck set up to sell coffee to the university students. Propel them a couple of years, and they have set up something so authentic, so original and functional.
In short, this is a place that takes not only coffee taste and coffee shop experience seriously, but also their responsibility to the wider coffee industry and all people they employ, from the producers in South America to their own staff. There is a sense that a lot of good is happening here, a lot of ideas floating around and a lot of changes being realised – and they are only just getting started. So come in and see what all the fuss is about.
*James and I never met in the end. But maybe one day we will stumble into one another as I make my inevitable return to this formidable cafe in Zurich
Things to know:
-Food: great cake options, and a fantastic weekend brunch menu served 9am until sold out (think tortillas, avocado with egg, granola and freshly squeezed juices)
-Outdoor seating available
-Opening Hours: 7am-7pm (Mon-Fri); 8am-7pm (Sat); 9am-6pm (Sun)
Recommended places nearby:
–Hitl – incredible fresh vegetarian and vegan food buffet, get charged by how much it weighs (this particular Hitl is only a 2 minute walk away from Miro Coffee)
–La Stanza for riverside coffee, drinks and pizza on Saturdays
(Visit Newly Swissed for a comprehensive guide on what to do when you’re in Switzerland)
Recommended things to do:
-hire a boat
-get a scooter and download the Flash app