Last Monday I made a little trip to Langnau in the canton of Bern, where Kafischmitte, Roger Wittwer’s coffee roastery, is located. If you expect to see signs or something that says “coffee is being roasted here” you’re terribly wrong. You’ll have to use your sense of smell to find it, believe me, you cannot mistake the smell of freshly roasted coffee!
Kafischmitte is a small roastery well known throughout Switzerland for its high quality and standards. The business is entirely specialty coffee oriented, but still in a way that the common customer can relate to it. Roger, as most of the professionals I know, wasn’t born with coffee as an already existing business in his family and his interest towards it was “officially identified” eight years ago when he started roasting coffee on a small roaster…on his balcony. And since then it has been trial and error, nobody knew that Kafischmitte will become a respected specialty coffee roastery like it is now. The coffee for the Swiss Aeropress Championship this year was roasted by them, where Roger himself was judging, and they are also roasting for the espresso bar at World of Coffee Rimini this year.
Maybe it’s time to say who actually are “they”. Except Roger, there’s only one other guy in the roastery who had joined around three months ago. That’s Michal Otte, a passionated barista who’s been competing actively in Switzerland even though he’s Czech. The two of them do everything – roasting, sampling, packaging, sending even sourcing. Most of the beans Roger has sourced himself either by meeting farmers in person or online. Everything is absolutely fair and transparent as it can be, because that’s a substantial part of the noun “quality”, right? The other thing I realized while being there is that he’s not “just making money” – he knows his limits and cares for his customers. He’s concerned for the well being not only of his business, but of his suppliers, customers and employees (that’s actually one employee for the moment).
In the roastery, except the small stock of freshly roasted beans you can find a variety brewing and grinding equipment for sale, so if you live around Bern, that’s your place. If you’re not close you can also order directly through his online shop on kafischmitte.ch Thank you Roger and Michal, it was very nice talking coffee with you! See you soon, latest in Rimini 🙂