How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
We started out in coffee after getting hooked by the lifestyle and fun driven coffee culture we experienced while on the Big Island of Hawaii for the 2007 Ironman World Championship. Coffee and endurance sports have a long and close history. Coffee can be a great source of energy and motivation before a workout and also a nice treat after a hard effort. In Hawaii, the coffee culture was a lot different to what we had in Switzerland, it felt fresher and fun and was more of a lifestyle thing. So, we started out with the goal to make coffee in Switzerland fun and cool as well.
In early 2010 we got the opportunity to learn how to roast on an old Probat UG22 - or rather how to turn the coffee beans from green to brown as there was little to no adjustments possible on the roasting machine. But it was the start of our roastery which we initially named "Gipfelstürmer Kaffee" (German for Peak Performer Coffee): Coffee to give you good and positive energy to master any challenge and have fun doing so.
At the time, Specialty Coffee in Switzerland was still at its very beginning and there were barely any resources available on roasting. But over time and through a lot of trial and error we found our unique roasting style focussing on lighter roasts in general and offering special filter roasts which is still rather rare in Switzerland.
Luckily, Switzerland in general and Zurich (our Roastery is located just outside) in particular became more international and savvier about Specialty Coffee within the next few years. But we found we hit the language barrier with our name which for non-native German speakers was difficult to pronounce, to remember and to spell when searching online.
So, at the start of 2017 we rebranded to Vertical Coffee Roasters which carries the same spirit of positive energy and fun but is easier for everyone to pronounce.
At Vertical Coffee Roasters, we still live by our initial aspiration to make Specialty Coffee fun and accessible. And to showcase the complexity and diversity of the coffee world in an unpretentious way.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
Working with our hands, head and soul and holding a real product in our hands at the end of the day is super rewarding.
Probably the best part of running a Roastery is that we get to play a key part in making the great work done at origin accessible for the consumer. We love how - through roasting - we can "translate" all the flavours which are kind of slumbering in the green coffee and can give our customers a tasty experience and put a smile on their face.
What's your proudest accomplishment?
We take pride in having bootstrapped our Roastery over 10 years ago, built our coffee (and business) knowledge and developed our own unique roasting style.
What three words best describe your Roastery?Energetic - Fun - Tasty.
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
Any juicy, fruity filter coffee prepared in the AeroPress somewhere outdoors.
What's roaster do you use?
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
Australian Shepherd & a blue Vertical Coffee Roasters Beanie.