The Viennese café
…… (German: (Wiener) Kaffeehaus) is a typical institution of Vienna that still plays an important role in Viennese culture and tradition.
Unlike some other café traditions around the world, it is completely normal for a customer to linger alone for hours and study the omnipresent newspaper. Along with coffee, the waiter will serve an obligatory glass of cold tap water and during a long stay will often bring additional water unrequested, with the idea being that you are a guest who should feel welcomed and not pressured to leave for another patron.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, leading writers of the time became attached to the atmosphere of Viennese cafés and were frequently seen to meet, exchange and to even write there. Literature composed in cafés is commonly referred to as coffee house literature, the writers thereof as coffee house poets. The famous journal Die Fackel (“The Torch”) by Karl Kraus, is said to have been written in cafés to a large extent. Other coffee house poets include Arthur Schnitzler, Alfred Polgar, Friedrich Torberg, and Egon Erwin Kisch. Famous writer and poet Peter Altenberg even had his mail delivered to his favorite café, the Café Central.
The furnishings of a Viennese café can vary from plush and comfy to coldly modern and stylish. The classic look includes Michael Thonet chairs and marble tabletops.
Many cafés provide small food dishes like sausages as well as desserts, cakes and tarts, like Apfelstrudel, Millirahmstrudel (milk-cream strudel) and Linzer torte.
In many classic cafés (for example Café Diglas, Café Central, Café Prückel) piano music is played in the evening and social events like literary readings are held. In warmer months, customers can often sit outside in a Schanigarten.
… and this pretty much sums it up …
Kaffee – Café
A list of Viennese Coffee Specialties
Small/Large Espresso with cream or milk
Sugar cube soaked in brandy, set alight and covered with coffee
Very strong mocca in mocca cups served
Black coffee served in a glass with lots of whipping cream
Black coffee served in glass, with Kirschwasser or rum
Boil 4-5 coffeespoon coffee with cold water, let sit for 5 min, strain and serve with hot milk
Large mocca with fresh egg yolk, cognac or brandy and honey
A with little water prepared espresso
Verlängerter served in “Laufglass”
Small espresso with a few drops of cream
Small mocca in tea cup, filled up with hot foamed milk
Large espresso with cream
Espresso with foamed milk
Very strong espresso
Espresso with rum or brandy
Obers Milch gespritzt
A glass cream/milk with a shot of coffee
Large mocca with 4 cl rum and whipped cream served in special glass
Espresso mixed with cream until it appears golden
Strong coffee (Espresso) without milk
Kaffee Maria Theresia
Large mocca with 2 cl orange liquor in stem glass,
served with whipped cream and colored sugar vermicelli
Espresso with mint liquor
Cold coffee with maraschino, sugar syrup and spices, ice cubes
Cold coffee with vanilla ice cream and whipping cream
Wiener Special Eiskaffee
Wiener Eiskaffee with mandarin liquor
Large cold mocca with coffee ice cream and whipped cream