A few fun finds…

MY love affair with coffee in almost all its permutations continues apace and in the past few months I’ve come across a few more “finds” to keep my caffeine levels topped up while on the go.

Boréal Chill at Mont-Blanc 17

Boréal Chill, a new walkthrough café near Cornavin, has a cozy sitting area looking out onto Chantepoulet Square. Photos: Boréal.

In reality I found Boréal coffee shops — Switzerland’s popular alternative to Starbucks — some years ago, and this ever-expanding chain has just opened an attractive new outlet called Boréal Chill at Mont-Blanc 17, just off Cornavin Plaza.

This new take-out/sit-down shop has taken over an empty commercial space just one building removed from Boréal’s cosy (some would say minute) outlet at Mont-Blanc 15, which is now exclusively for takeout and aptly renamed Boréal Go!

The architects have been very clever with Chill’s new layout, having punched out a stone wall at the rear to install a glass window/door so that patrons can walk in and out via Chantepoulet Square and also enjoy the view from the adjacent sitting area. I’ll be heading there for my favourite autumnal pumpkin spice latte..

 Crystal clear cold-brewed in Annecy

A cosy, comfy spot ideal for a coffee solo or with friends. Photos: CLG.

One of my go-to stops for sewing notions is Mercerie Loisirs Créatifs in Annecy and after my last visit this summer I was ready for a caffeine pick-me-up.

So it was handy that the Brumes specialty coffee shop had recently opened up a few steps away in the same secluded square at 2 Passage des Bains.

While I enjoyed the excellent iced latté, my husband opted for their crystal-clear cold brew, which proved to be coffee at its purest.

The comfy Scandi-style decor coupled with probably the crispiest-chewiest chocolate chip-and-pecan cookie I’ve enjoyed in Europe so far (I judge it by my high Canadian standards) ensures I’ll be stopping by next time I’m in Annecy and I suggest you give it a visit, too.

Coffee on the go!

Small mobile coffee bar, BIG tasting coffee prepared by David Philippe Tobler of Tobler’s Tea & Coffee. Photo: CLG (l) and Tobler’s (r).

While enjoying a visit to ArtOpen 18 in Saint Prex* last weekend, Market Day was simultaneously underway on the main street of this beautiful 13th-century town on the shores of Lac Leman.

I followed a line-up till I came face to face with the smallest ‘tuk tuk’ mobile coffee bar I’ve ever seen … in fact it’s the only one I’ve ever seen.

Opting for a cappuccino, David Philippe Tobler prepared me one using freshly ground coffee beans and a gleaming Italian espresso maker. The resulting drink was deep and satisfying with a great balance of coffee to milk and froth.

Tobler’s Tea & Coffee offers the full range of espresso-based coffee drinks, from flat white to Americano, ristretto to renversé (latte) as well as high quality hot chocolate (not from a packet) and black and green leaf teas.

The business (toblersco) was founded in Switzerland last year by David Philippe and his brother Sébastien, who have traveled in South America, Africa and Asia for more than ten years and who have a passion for traditional and local culinary arts.

Philippe is a connoisseur of spices and Ceylon tea, while Sébastien, who lived in Ethiopia and Brazil, is a coffee lover particularly interested in extraction methods.

They created the Tobler’s brand in 2017, trained as baristas, and transformed a tuk tuk into a mobile coffee bar. You can try one of their coffees for yourself on the last Sunday of each month at the Saint Prex Market; on Wednesday afternoons between 4pm and 7pm until end-December at Gland Winter Market, and on Friday mornings at the Market in Rolle. Tobler’s mobile bar can also be hired for special events.

Who’d have thought it possible to come up with a new coffee concept? Yet with imagination and a spirit of adventure it seems the Tobler brothers have managed to come up with one, and a deliciously winning one at that.

Tip: For an ultra-smooth renversé, try the Carasso coffee bar at the Payot Geneva branch at Rue de la Confédération 7.

*In 1973, St-Prex was awarded the Wakker Prize given by the Swiss Heritage Society for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage.

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