Unique Collection in Switzerland Offers a Look at Coffee’s Rich History

Anita Vietri’s Coffee Culture Collection chronicles the brew’s journey through 1,500 artifacts.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos courtesy of Anita Vietri

In the rich tapestry of coffee culture, there exists a hidden gem—an extraordinary collection that chronicles the captivating history of our beloved brew. Today, we meet Anita Vietri, an ardent coffee enthusiast and the driving force behind the Coffee Culture Kaffeemuseum in Hölstein, Switzerland.

Fueled by a desire to preserve the essence of coffee, Anita has meticulously curated a treasure trove of more than 1,500 artifacts. This collection weaves a narrative spanning the evolution of coffee from its discovery to the present day.

Anita’s sensory mastery goes beyond coffee, extending to the realms of beer, sake, spirits, tea, and water, as a certified sommelier in each.

The Collection’s Origin Story

Anita’s journey into the world of coffee began unexpectedly with a serendipitous encounter during her pursuit of knowledge in food sensory analysis. Following her engineering studies in food technology in 2008, she stumbled upon a “Coffee Sommelière” course at the Austrian Institute for Coffee Experts in Vienna. Little did she know that this would be the first sip into a lifelong journey.

During the course, a single antique roasting pan displayed in the training room sparked her imagination. “I thought it would be nice to someday find such a roasting pan and use it as decoration in my office,“ Anita shares. Little did she know that this would be the catalyst for a collection that would transcend a mere office ornament.

A glimpse into the diverse artifacts meticulously curated by Anita, showcasing the evolution of coffee makers, roasters, grinders, and more.

“After completing the course, my interest in the world of coffee was piqued, and I wanted to delve deeper into the subject,“ Anita reflects. This led her to the “Coffeologist“ training at the Coffee Consulate in Mannheim, Germany. “I completed the course in 2009, and from that point on, there was no turning back. I have since undertaken numerous education courses in the coffee sector and other sensory areas,“ she says.

Growing the Collection

It started as a quest for a single decorative piece, but it evolved into an extensive collection of coffee makers, roasters, grinders, packaging, books, advertisements, and more. Anita’s dedication to preserving the rich history of coffee is evident in the diverse array of artifacts she has gathered. The collection, financed and assembled since 2010, reflects the evolution of coffee over decades, showcasing changes in design, form, color, and materials used.

“The collection shows the powerful impact that coffee has had since its discovery. It illustrates numerous preparation methods that have developed over time, as well as the outstanding craftsmanship embodied in these exhibits,“ Anita emphasizes.

Anita highlights the outstanding craftsmanship of the exhibit items, illustrating the powerful impact of coffee since its discovery.

Facing Challenges

Preserving such a comprehensive collection comes with its challenges. Anita faces the daunting task of finding a suitable permanent home for the Coffee Culture Collection, as the current location necessitates downsizing to reduce rental costs. Anita seeks a 250-square-meter-minimum space that not only accommodates the collection but becomes its “forever home.“

To address these challenges, Anita initiated a crowdfunding project on WeMakeIt. “The goal is to cover rental costs until 2024 and allow me to focus on the collection and search for space and financing solutions,“ Anita explains. The project aims to secure the future of the collection, and also involves purchasing packaging materials for a safe relocation.

The role of the collection in fostering cultural and knowledge exchange is central to Anita’s vision. “The collection will serve as the centerpiece and connecting element at the new location. We will rebuild our small museum roastery and coffee service, offering changing exhibitions with various themes accompanied by seminars,“ Anita envisions.

Beyond the sheer number of artifacts, the Coffee Culture Collection weaves a tale of cultural exchange, knowledge sharing, and a vibrant worldwide community centered around the love of coffee.

The Path Forward

As Anita navigates the challenges of finding a new home for the collection, she emphasizes the community’s role in supporting the project. “I would appreciate it if people take a look at the project and, if they find something they can use, consider making a purchase. Simply sharing the project would already be a great help,“ she says.

Anita’s Coffee Culture Collection stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of coffee. It is not merely a collection of artifacts but a living, breathing narrative that invites enthusiasts to savor the rich history, culture, and craftsmanship woven into every cup. As Anita continues her quest for a permanent home, the coffee community has the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable journey, ensuring that the story of coffee is preserved through this collection for generations to come.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.

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