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Viennese Coffeehouses
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Vienna coffeehouses, Hotel Imperial Café

ABOVE: Imperial Café in the Hotel Imperial, Vienna.

What to order

Coffee is the main stock in trade of the coffeehouse, as you might expect, but the beverage choices are different from what you might expect at home. Cleanse your mind of familar Italian names like "espresso" and "cappucino" and memorize these choices instead:

Schwarzer. Strong black coffee. A kleiner Schwarzer is the equivalent of an espresso; a grosser Schwarzer is a double shot. Also called a Mokka.

Brauner. Coffee with a dash of milk or cream.

Goldener. Coffee with milk; similar to "regular coffee" in New York.

Mélange. Equal amounts of milk and coffee with froth.

Kaffee Crème. Coffee with a miniature pitcher of milk on the side.

Kapuziner. Cappucino. (Same name, different language.)

Kurz. A single shot of espresso.

Mokka. See "Schwarzer" above.

Verlängter. Coffee with hot water added; a good choice for North American and English visitors who like their coffee weak. 

Einspänner. Coffee in a glass with a hefty dollop of Schlagobers or Schlag (whipped cream).

Fiaker. Espresso in a glass with sugar and Kirschwasser (a dry cherry brandy), topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Pharisäer. Espresso in a glass with sugar, whipped cream, cocoa, and a shot of rum.

Many coffeehouses serve other variations on the coffee theme, such as Eiskaffee (coffee, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream) and alcoholic combinations. Also, you can usually count on a tasty assortment of pastries, especially in the afternoon.


TIP: Viennese coffeehouses fall under two general headings: traditional coffeehouses (where your coffee may be served on a silver tray with a glass of water) and modern cafés that cater to a less hidebound crowd. Some cafés call themselves Konditoreien, or pastry shops, which simply means that they offer a wide assortment of baked goods and attract a female clientele.


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