Despite its approximately 13 million inhabitants and place as the economic and cultural center of Russia, Moscow has historically had some difficulty establishing itself as a great coffee city. Until recently, the city was dominated by a few large local chains, such as Kofe Khauz and Shokoladnitsa, although unique, quality-focused upstarts are now finding room to bloom.
For some Moscow cafes, certain logistical, financial and labor challenges create an uphill battle for any kind of prolonged success. Extremely high rent, high prices for top-quality ingredients, a very small pool of experienced baristas and difficulties in keeping fresh-roasted coffee delivery schedules are all significant obstacles. Thankfully, an increasing number of quality-focused trailblazers are accepting these challenges head-on.