Vienna is one of those cities where coffee is much more than just a drink. Many coffee houses in Vienna date back to the 19th century, when there was little private heating, and people used the coffee houses as a second living room, because they could not afford to heat their homes.Unlike some other café traditions around the world, it is completely normal for a customer to linger alone for hours and study the omnipresent newspapers. 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 welcome and not pressured to leave. Many cafés provide small food dishes like sausages as well as desserts, cakes and tarts, like Apfelstrudel and Linzer Torte. In many classic cafés piano music is played in the evenings and social events like literary readings are held.
Viennese Coffee BasicsIf you just order coffee in Vienna, don’t be surprised if the waiter continues to stare at you - he’s waiting for you to be more specific. Below is a selection of the most popular coffee variations served. Most prominent are the Melange or a large and small Brauner. Most cafes will also serve cappucino or café latte.
Brauner Llarge or small black coffee with milk added for getting its brown colour
Espresso Large or small black coffee from the Espresso-machine
Einspänner Double espresso with whipped cream
Mokka Large or small black coffee in a large or small mocha-cup
Melange Large cup of coffee with hot milk foam
Kaisermelange Large mocha without milk, but stirred with an egg yolk, honey, cognac or brandy
Kapuziner Small mocha with some drops of cream