Coffee is generally associated with being a morning drink. But, in Vienna, the afternoon is the perfect time to pause your routine and have a cup of coffee with a thick piece of pastry or torte. This tradition has survived since the imperial days of the city. Today, the Viennese coffee houses keep holding to that tradition with pride and care.
The History of Viennese Coffee
Vienna served as the heart of the expansive Austro-Hungarian Empire for nearly 640 years. The ruling royal family of Hapsburgs led a life of extravagant leisure. They built strikingly beautiful palaces, ordered Mozart and other court composers to write dramatic music for them, and sipped their afternoon coffee with royal Sacher Torte and delicious pastries especially invented just for them. The empire fell at the end of WWI. But, the remnants of that imperial past have remained part of Viennese culture. Today famous coffee houses of the city act as a revealing window to that glorious royal past.
The Viennese Coffee Culture and Coffeehouses
Coffeehouses are truly the living rooms of Vienna. A thriving coffeehouse culture is still deeply ingrained in the Viennese lifestyle. From the modest mundane to extravagantly elegant, each coffeehouse in the city serves its fare with a touch of pride and class. There are different types of coffee drinks common to the Viennese culture. Ever-popular Melange is a delicious extended espresso with frothy milk. Modest Einspänner is a regular mocha topped with whipped cream. In the coffeehouses, coffee is often served with flair on an elegant silver tray. There are more than 2500 coffeehouses to choose from in Vienna. From the bohemian Café Sperl to the regal Café at the Art History Museum, from the historic Café Central to the traditional Café Diglas, there’s a place for all styles.