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Vienna’s Coffee Culture – or: How to order the right coffee

Coffee is an important part of Viennas culture but compared to other european capitals it’s not that easy to order the coffee you intended to have as you might think. Beside the fact that there is a wide variety you also have to deal with strange names. But which is which?

Actually i flew to the beautiful City of Vienna for a Business Trip – possibly my last one this year. I’m sitting in front of a Café having a “Wiener Melange” right next to one of the most famous sights: the Stephansdom.

This article is part of the free Backpacking in Europe Guide where you find more great information, resources and destination guides to plan & organize your trip to Europe!

Wiener Kaffeehaus (= center of Vienna Coffee Culture)

Im Kaffeehaus

Im Kaffeehaus By: André

I love Vienna for different reasons: ancient buildings from the K&K time, large parks, castles, the Donauinsel and…the so called Viennese coffee house culture! Would you have known that it is part of the UNESCO Intangible cultural heritage? True story: the typical “Wiener Kaffeehaus” is not only a place to drink a coffee, it’s also a spot to relax for hours by reading books, newspapers or even write and exchange ideas with others by just having one cup of coffee!


Order a Coffee

“One coffee please!” – unless you are in a touristic area this order will lead to much more questions to be answered. So: be prepared and have a look at the following list with 8 typical coffee orders:

Kleiner Brauner, Großer Brauner
= small brown, big brown: standard coffee with some milk – just decide which size you are up for.

Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup By: Pete

Schwarzer or Mokka
= black or mocha: just simple black coffee.

Coffee Time

Coffee Time By: Jonathan Rubio H.

Kapuziner
= black coffee with only a little bit of milk or whipped cream (= “Obers” / “Schlagobers”).

Bit of Milk

coffee & bit of milk By: the Italian voice

Melange
= half coffee, half milk mostly topped with milk foam (delicious!).

Wiener melange

Wiener melange By: Michela Simoncini

Einspänner
= black coffee with a big whipped cream topping served in a glas.

Coffee & Whipped cream

Coffee & Whipped cream By: Okko Pyykkö

Fiaker
= Einspänner with rum or fruit brandy (hui!). The picture shows the original Fiaker, a horse buggy which is also very typical for vienna.

Vienna Fiaker By: John W. Schulze

Franziskaner
= small black coffee with a lot of milk, whipped cream topping and chocolate powder on top.

coffee By: YUCHIA CHUNG

Maria Theresia
= black coffee with a shot of orange licquor (they somehow like it to put alcohol into their coffee, huh?).

black coffee

black coffee By: Ghita Katz Olsen


Hm, my coffee is almost finished and i guess i know what is missing here: more time. More time to do just that – sit down in a Café, enjoy doing nothing, watching people and don’t matter about the time.

Damn! I’m in Vienna -one of the most interesting cities in Europe and i just have 2hrs to explore a litlle bit of it. I’m done with buisness trips – it’s time for TRAVELING! 1 month left until i say goodbye to my nice colleagues and start my RTW trip. I guess the way of enjoying a coffee will change ;)