With passion and confidence
“Why not visit our neighbours?” With these friendly words, Christoph greets us at Café Noir, whose roastery is on the same premises as ViCAFE’s. Their coffee shop is at the Neugasse in Zurich, right next to the Amboss Rampe. Familiar faces warmly greet Christoph. He orders an Americano. He takes a sip and immediately afterwards a second, as if to confirm the taste experience of the first. You can tell: the food technologist has found his place in the industry.
Christoph has been on board since ViCAFE was born. Together with Ramon and Simon, he managed the first Espresso Bar at Goldbrunnenplatz. Soon afterwards, in preparation for his studies, he learned the craft of roasting, which he still practices at ViCAFE.
Where does his enthusiasm for coffee come from? During his youth, he came about an old La Cimbali portafilter from a restaurant liquidation. Together with his brother and very limited knowledge of coffee machines and coffee, he restored the portafilter to its former glory. “Enthusiasm, yes; expertise, not yet.” Fortunately, it’s a different story today. In the meantime, the machine has earned pride of place in Christoph’s bedroom, so he doesn’t even have to leave his room for his morning espresso.
Christoph grabs his bicycle and we leave Café Noir and head towards the Amboss Rampe. He has almost as much passion for his two-wheeled vehicle as for coffee, beer, wine and chocolate. His “daily ride” is the most reliable means of transportation of all and has never let him down. Every year, he embarks on a longer bike trip with a few friends. It all started with a trip to the Europa-Park, with 20 hours in the saddle being the longest stretch they’ve done in one day. With fond memories, Paris, Montpellier, Salzburg and Ljubljana were among the destinations already reached. “It’s amazing how far you can get. And you get to see so much of the landscape, which is very nice.” It becomes a challenge when there are no cycle routes and they’re forced to use hiking trails instead. “Rather unsuitable for cyclists, but doable,” he coolly says with a wink.
Christoph had his first Züri beer at Amboss Rampe and so his love affair with this beer began. It has been a regular ever since. The venue is known for organising great events and has become the pulse of the city. “A beautiful place with beautiful people. I’ve never had a bad evening here.”
Our walk takes us to a cycling store. While he looks for a new gadget for his bike, we talk about the changes in the food industry. “With the obvious changes in the global ecosystem, the demands of buyers are rightly changing. People are increasingly demanding sustainability and transparency – a future-oriented, but challenging process that affects the entire industry.”
It’s difficult and probably not necessary to try and define Christoph in a simple sentence. Whether he leads tours at the Urania Observatory to help people discover the cosmos, hires baristas in London to employ them at ViCAFE, or wants to develop his own food: Christoph is an inspiring companion with a lot of passion for everything he tackles.