At a historic factory site in Düsseldorf-Lierenfeld, a coffee shop with a wooden interior and cosy ambience is ready to welcome visitors when they come through the factory gate. A steel stove near the front creates a warm, cosy atmosphere, while an impressive roaster made of black cast iron is gently roasting the next batch of coffee beans in the back. Small seating areas and wool blankets spread across two floors invite you to spend time there. ‘At our place, you can take your time and slow down.’ This is how Arthur Fuchs describes the ambience. Seven years ago, he and his business partner, Erkan Karakaya, opened Rösterei Schvarz, which specialises in fine coffees originating from different countries around the world. ‘We only offer fairly traded and gently roasted green coffee,” explains Fuchs.
From San Francisco to Germany
Arthur Fuchs discovered his passion for coffee early on. After studying hotel and hospitality management, the trained catering professional worked for a large coffee shop chain for several years before opening his first café in 2007. In 2010, he was drawn to North America , where he spent two years travelling the West coast from Vancouver to San Francisco: ‘I realised that the American coffee society was much more advanced than the German one at that time,’ he recalls. ‘While different coffee specialities were already being advertised there, the selection in Germany was pretty scarce and mainly focused on the classic Italian or German filter coffee varieties; and the standard wasn’t particularly high.’ After talking to many local roasters on his trip, he learned that coffee roasting companies can be more than just suppliers for the hospitality industry.
Working together to make the coffee world a little bit better
‘We now supply around 100 local hospitality industry partners in Düsseldorf and the surrounding area,’ Fuchs reports. In addition to supplying hospitality industry and private customers, his team also provides hospitality consulting services and develops new recipe ideas with customers. Furthermore, they offer training in espresso basics or latte art and run a mobile coffee catering service. ‘My job doesn’t feel like work at all,’ the METRO customer says laughing, ‘because with every cup we make sure that delicious and eco-friendly coffee gets into the espresso machines of restaurants and private households.’
High demand for plant-based beverages
As well as the sustainable coffee products, his customers also place value on choosing the right milk ‘Our guests frequently ask for vegan alternatives to cow’s milk,’ Fuchs reports. He adds that nowadays it is standard for a café or hospitality business to offer one type of cow’s milk and at least one or two plant-based drinks for hot beverages. In his opinion, the bad CO2 image of cow’s milk and the trend toward vegan nutrition in particular have greatly increased demand for alternatives and this trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
It’s all about getting the right bean
Thanks to his many years of experience, the coffee expert knows what to look for when he is preparing hot beverages: ‘The composition of the coffee must be balanced with the vegan alternative. A nutty, chocolatey coffee, for example, goes very well with oat-based drinks, whereas a coffee that is too fruity can have the unappealing side-effect of making the plant-based drink taste bad.’ Fuchs reveals that he also likes to add an oat drink to his own coffee in the morning, especially when he is in a rush. ‘When I have time, I like to make myself a macadamia-almond-date milk. It’s a really delicious and simple recipe, which has to soak overnight. But it’s worth the wait.’
Arthurs favourite recipe
- Soak all ingredients in a container for at least 12 hours.
- After 12 to 24 hours, blend in a blender on the maximum level.
- Strain through a cheesecloth, cotton cloth, fine sieve or similar until the milk has a silky consistency.
- The milk needs to have a silky consistency.
- Store in the refrigerator and consume within five days.
METRO Chef 🌿
The vegan organic plant-based drinks from METRO Chef bring variety and flavour to the kitchen and café. The five varieties – rice, oat, soya, almond and coconut – can be used in a variety of ways: The coconut drink, for example, is a great option for smoothies or curry dishes due to its natural sweetness. In addition to the standard varieties of almond, coconut, oat and soya, the barista editions are specifically designed for foaming. The standout feature of the METRO alternatives: Their short ingredient list does not include unnecessary additives and the packaging consists of 80 per cent renewable raw materials such as wood and sugar cane waste. The products are available at METRO in Germany and in 15 other countries.