CAFE RENVERSE SWITZERLAND'S SECRET WEAPON
COLUMN The word mill
Milk and Nespresso are national treasures for the Swiss.
A discreet marriage of the two makes for a winning formula.
Enduringly popular despitethe on slaught of exotic innovations.
CAPPUCCINO, LATTE, FLAT WHITE, MACCHIATO – WITH OR WITHOUT CREAM, SPRINKLED WITH CHOCOLATE, A DASH OF VANILLA OR PINCH OF CINNAMON… BARISTAS IN EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD, HUNCHED OVER GLEAMING MACHINES, HAVE A GIFT FOR INVENTING ORIGINAL COFFEE RECIPES. Every culture has its own speciality: from the Portuguese galão – one part espresso to three parts hot milk, served in a glass – to the Hong Kong style yuanyang – three parts Arabica, plus seven parts milky tea. Amidst all these subtly different national drinks, where does Switzerland fit in? Alongside Nespresso, milk is a national treasure. It goes without saying that these two Swiss perfections are made for one another. Even better, Switzerland has long boasted a traditional blend of coffee and hot milk – despite being less well known abroad. This drink is known as a renversé in the French-speaking parts, die Schale in German-speaking Switzerland or macchiato lungo in the Ticino area. The secret behind the recipe is, as the name suggests, a reversal of the proportions of coffee and milk – 40% coffee and 60% milk. From the pretty Genevan suburb of Carouge to the luxury hotels of Lausanne, the baristas we met assured us that the café renversé is enduringly popular despite the onslaught of exotic new innovations, and is definitely preferred at breakfast and with snacks. The success of this simple yet bold recipe is something to be proud of.
Text Francis Dolric Illustration Mac Nooland