Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Corner View" Coffee in Germany

In 1773, exactly 200 years before I was born, colonists in Boston threw entire shipments of tea overboard in protest against high taxes that the British government had imposed on the tea. Some say that those events at the Boston Tea Party catapulted Americans into finding an alternative... coffee.

I would generally say that coffee is an equally as loved beverage in Germany as it is the U.S., but it seems to be incorporated into the culture quite differently. Traditional "coffee and cake" time in Deutschland is a far cry from the stryrofoam cups, travel mugs, and Starbucks "I'll-take-it-on-the-go"concept that seems to dominate the lives of coffee drinkers in the States.

In the summer, the cafe's in Germany are filled with people sitting outside enjoying coffee in every possible way... cappuccino, latte, espresso, regular... you name it. What strikes me as interesting is that most often coffee would be served in regular china or porcelain rather than styrofoam. This is not just at cafes, but also at bratwurst kiosks and even at carnival stands... for two reasons: Germans are very green and they also just like to drink out of regular cups.

At family gatherings, afternoon weddings, or parties one would expect that "coffee and cake" time would be observed. It is not so much that it is a specific time or an everyday thing, but many enjoy the afternoon pause of relaxation, enjoyment, and social time. I can remember my first such family gathering, I was so fascinated by the sweet little sugar cubes decorating the table that I could only reminisce about movies I had seen where the proper English lady hostess would offer her guests "one lump or two".

Should one ever travel to Germany, you would have the luck that most Germans are quite fluent in English, so ordering your favorite beverage would be no problem (unless you can't speak English) But if you would prefer to do it like the locals, the proper way to order two coffees with milk would be... "ich möchte gerne zwei kaffe's mit Milch, bitte"

... So how do I take my coffee?....

...I'll have just the cup and saucer (minus the coffee) since I am a tea drinker and do not partake of this morning pick-me-upper drink... but I do have a thing for the beautiful cups, especially espresso is served in.

Funniest conversation over coffee....
... "so tell me again, why do you have the mocha cup (and spoon) in front of you if you aren't going to drink any coffee?"... for more conversations over coffee visit Jane at Spain Daily.


  1. True, the whole coffee culture is different over in Europe. And I can't fanthom espresso in styrofoam!

  2. You've got some good quality beans there: better than the ones in my picture.

  3. Iteresting post and beautiful photos. I like these little espresso cups, they are my weakness too.

    Hope you're having grest day,

  4. Dont you think that coffee tastes so much better in a nice coffee cup?

  5. ha ha! thanks allison. fab coffee cups! besos-jane

  6. Taking time out for a cup of coffee is a gift and shouldn't be rushed...that would be so anti-coffee! A real cup is the only way to go, and that goes for tea as well. Glad I found your blog and thank you for the nice comment :)

  7. Wie schön!! Ich habe dich über den Corner View gefunden und bin sehr erfreut auf deutsch schreiben zu können.
    Schön zu hören wie du die deutsche Kultur der "Kaffee und Kuchen Zeit" siehst!
    Ich komme bestimmt wieder vorbei. Liebe Grüße! Nicki

  8. Funny conversation. I've visited a couple of -- oh, what do you call them -- places that seem reserved for cakes and coffee. It's nice, don't you think. Sit. Relax. Talk. Enjoy.

  9. I'm with you! I would take the fancy cups and hold the coffee. Would it be a faux pas in Germany to get those mini expresso cups and drink my diet coke out of them? ;)

    Great post!

  10. .. and they don't have bagels there?? I'm sorry!

  11. I am so in love with your cups and saucers!! Enjoy... xoxo

  12. my friend drinks tea without the tea bag,lol
    hope one day we will have a cup of tea togehter

  13. sometimes just beautiful coffee cups is enough, no need for coffee;)

  14. Always a joy to read your posts about the differences between Germany and the US.
    And I too love the fact that they serve the beverages in glass or porcelain at all kind of outdoor festivities. Sometime you have to pay some extra money, which they will return if you bring back the mug or glass. Perfect for me...I hate to drink out of plastic cups or even worse styrofoam.

  15. what a lovely post. and great photos too. thank you.

  16. Thanks for sharing. I too take tea over coffee.

  17. Love that foamy shot!

    Happy Day!


  18. Wonderful post and great observation. I learnt that too that Americans love things on the go - the rest of the world don't mind taking things in slow.I love your picture and observation even though you are not a coffee drinker.

  19. OOooaaahhh....I'm totally in love with all thos coffee cups!! I want them badly.
    I don't like the german coffee at all i must say, sorry...
    I had to laugh about your first line in this post...
    have a nice day, Carmie.

  20. :) i so know what you mean!

    i remember my mum often laid the table for 'kaffee and kuchen' when guests came over and i helped her fold the napkins into little butterfly thingies sitting on the little forks. that was fun!


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