Posted in Kafevend Blog

Austria has far stronger associations with coffee than with tea and it's café culture is legendary with a history spanning almost three and a half centuries. Yet it was borne out of the most trying circumstances...

The first time the Ottoman Empire laid siege to Vienna was in 1529. It was a failed attempt, but that didn't prevent them having a second go in 1683. Following a two month siege came what is known as the Battle of Vienna on the 11th and 12th of September. It wasn't a case of the Viennese mounting an effective force of their own; this was a war between Empires – the Holy Roman Empire versus the Ottoman Empire and suffice to say the Ottomans failed again. Things started looking up for the Viennese as not only did they survive the siege, but the spoils of war included coffee which they immediately put to good use, the first coffee house opening in the same year – 1683.

Coffee houses quickly became a meeting place for writers, artists, scientists and politicians – a place for discussion and a place to sit and read or work, sometimes for hours at a time. These coffee houses and cafés are still there and they've had ample time to build up a repertoire of coffee styles and terminology. The following represents a metaphorical toe dipped in the waters!

Kleiner Brauner or Großer Brauner  literally translates as little brown one or large brown one. The cream is served separately so that you can determine your preferred shade of brown.

Kaffee verkehrt  translates as backwards coffee; a large cup of foamed milk, served with a small jug of coffee.

Verlängerter is coffee 'lengthened' or diluted with more water and generally served with milk.

Melange is the Verlängerter with foamed milk added, similar to a cappuccino.

Kaisermelange is the same as the melange, but with the addition of an egg.

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