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Austrian and Viennese Coffee Culture

Viennese coffee and its traditions – a Viennese coffee introduction

 Coffee Culture in Vienna
Coffee Culture in Vienna

In Austria—and especially in Vienna coffee is much more than just a drink. Coffee is, without a doubt, a fixture of Vienna’s everyday culture. Viennese coffee houses are meeting places not only for those who crave a freshly brewed “Mokka”, “Melange” or “Kleiner Brauner”, but also intellectuals, politicians, businesspeople and the proverbial “Joe Average”. They go to chat, relax, discuss and read the papers. Vienna’s coffee houses are famous for their laid-back atmosphere, and some guests have long since made this or that particular coffee house into their second living room. This entails a large variety of coffee specialties and, naturally, the attendant pastries and goodies.

At Restaurant Kronprinz Rudolph and Café Bar Stefanie, we serve you various typical Viennese coffees with the appropriate “Schmäh” (Viennese humour) , which refers to the sort of attitude that a Viennese coffee house waiter just has to have. Let yourself be surprised!

Viennese coffee lexicon

Unlike the inhabitants of Germany, Austrians pronounce the German word for coffee (“Kaffee”) with the emphasis on the last syllable. Many centuries bore witness to the creation of that institution which, today, is inseparably associated with Austria and Vienna. Vienna occupies its central position here due to the city’s having been unsuccessfully besieged twice by the Turks (in 1529 and 1683). But was it these particular Turks who actually brought coffee to Europe, or perhaps not? (Diodat and Kolschitzky).

Ordering from a coffee house waiter is something of a cultural rite. One doesn’t, of course, simply order black coffee called “Kaffee”—in Vienna, the selection is simply too broad.

So select your coffee

'Brauner', large or small

black coffee added with milk for getting its brown colour

Espresso, large or small

black coffee from the Espresso-machine


double espresso with whipped cream

Mocha, large or small

black coffee in a large or small mocha-cup

„Kurzer“ (Shorty)

Mocha, prepared with less water

Mocha squirted

Mocha with a little rum or brandy


Large Mocha with 4 cl rum and whipped cream


large cup of coffee with hot milk foam


large mocha without milk, but stirred with an egg yolk, honey, cognac or brandy


small mocha with some drops of cream

Kaffee „Verkehrt“ / Coffee contrariwise

small mocha infused with hot milk and milk foam


with maraschino, spices and liquid sugar, served cold with ice-cubes in a special glass

Schale Gold / Cup of 'Gold'

Coffee mixed with cream to get a golden-brown colour (looks brighter than a 'Brauner')

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