-by Simone Zanetti
ince October 2011 the “Viennese Coffee House Culture” has been listed as “Intangible Cultural Heritage” in the Austrian inventory of the “National Agency for the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, a part of UNESCO. The Viennese coffee house is described in this inventory as a place “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.”
The Viennese coffeehouse tradition goes back to the year 1683 when the Turks besieged Vienna. Georg Franz Kolschitzky, who knew the Turkish language, went through enemy lines to Poland’s king Sobiesky who sent an army to free Vienna. According to tradition the Turks fled off head over heels. As the rescuer of Vienna Kolschitzky had first choice of booty. He left gold, weapons and other goodies. He only was interested in sacks of brown beans nobody else wanted. You see, Kolschitzky knew about coffee from his travels to Turkey and he knew a good thing when he saw it.
In due time he opened the first coffeehouse and named it ‘The Blue Bottle’ (‘Zur blauen Flasche’) – the basis of the old tradition. This story was published by the Catholic Priest Gottfried Uhlich in 1783 in his History of the second Turkish Siege, and he took some liberties. In reality, Kulczycki’s coffee house missed being the first by more than a year. The first documented founding of a coffeehouse was in January 17, 1685 when Johannes Deodat opened his coffeehouse in his home at Haarmarkt, today Rotenturmstrasse 14. He held a ‘Privileg’ (what a licence was called this time) for retail of coffee. Until 1700 there were 4 more licences by Kaiser Leopold I. By 1804 there were already 89 coffeehouses and after the Vienna congress (1814/15) there were 150 Cafes, and around 1900 the number increased to about 600.
The typical offering was coffee specialities, cacao, tea, milk, chocolate, mineral water, lemonade, ice cream, wine, spirits and liqueur. and at the beginning only men went to coffeehouses. Around 1870 it was up-to-date to go to coffeehouses with the family. Even ladies’ parlors were opened. In the sequel new types of coffeehouses developed: Kaffee-Konditorei (with bakery), Espresso und Cafe-Restaurant.
Viennese Coffee-Specialities –
Variations of that drink as it is served in Vienna.
~Only strangers order simply COFFEE, here those in the know order precisely.~
- Mokka or Schwarzer ~Small or big Mokka. Pure coffee with creme, not milk.
- Doppelmokka or Mokka gespritzt ~Mokka with brandy
- Verlaengerter ~Mokka with much water
- Einspaenner ~Double Mokka with much cream (Schlagobers – only Germans say Sahne).
- Tuerkischer ~Mokka strained
- Brauner ~ Big or small Brauner. Schwarzer with milk.
- Kapuziner ~Brauner with not little milk.
- Gold ~Brauner with much milk.
- Kleiner Brauner ~Double portion pure coffee served with cream, good brown.
- Melange ~Pure coffee with effervesced milk and chocolate.
- Fiaker ~Powdered sugar and cherry brandy heated, double Espresso with much cream, cherry on top.
- Maria Theresia ~Big Mokka with Orange-liqueur, powdered sugar, cream and coloured pieces of sugar.
- Pharisaeer ~Sugar, cacao-powder, rum heated, double Mokka, cream, cinnamon and rubbed lemon
THE MOST FAMOUS VIENNESE COFFEEHOUSES:
- Café Demel. Mr. Demel was the baker of the King. You will be served by “Demel-Girls” dressed in black Livrées. Worldwide known for the sweet-and-tartes masterpieces. Expensive.
- Café des Hotel Sacher Here the world-famous “Sacher-Torte” is ~homemade~.
- Café Hawelka This Café is legendary ~and famous for its “Buchteln”
- Café Museum. Constructed by Adolf Loos around 1900. Lots of students.
- Café Bräunerhof. A classic Vienna Coffeehouse best known for being the preferred café of the famous Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard.
- Café Central. Est. 1876, Lenin, Trotsky and Sigmund Freud came every day here. Every chair is as it was then.
- Café Sperl. The most ancient of the coffees, originally restored.
Gumpendorferstr Str. 11
- Café Schwarzenberg. Tageszeitungen liegen aus, preiswerte Snacks (Daily newspapers & cheap snacks.)
Kärntner Ring 17
I leave you with something for your soul – Coffee Recipes for a late evening:
Put three teaspoonfuls of chocolate sauce and two teaspoonfuls of rum punch into a cup and fill up with hot coffee. Garnish with a crown of whipped cream.
In a coffee cup with 1- 2 crushed bar of “After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins” pour strong, hot coffee. After that serve the coffee with coffee cream and sugar. (A bit of Jamaican rum is optional.)
Put in a coffee glass vanilla ice and fill it up with hot coffee. After that, decorate with whipped cream and cover it up with cocoa powder.
RUMBA, WIENER VELVET, MIDNIGHT COFFEE – sounds as it tastes – VIENNA DREAMS -SPECIAL FOR YOU!
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