I’ve talked about coffee before [http://eduvel.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/coffee/], when I actually said: I .. realised a long time ago that .. I just don’t like instant coffee (‘instant coffee’ is an oxymoron). I do however enjoy drinking coffee – proper coffee made with fresh ground beans and very hot, not boiling, water. I love the taste of coffee, I adore the smell of coffee. I am (despite being a tea drinker) a coffee addict.
As a result of my personal taste, I find it hard to get the hot drink preparation operatives (I hazard to say the word Barista, as they are patently not so qualified) employed by national chains to understand that I want less water in my Americano – or that I need just a little hot water adding to my double espresso. And I just want a little hot milk adding (preferably on the side): I don’t want it making with milk and I don’t want foam. As Ellen said in my earlier post “you can tell when someone cares enough to spend a little bit of time to get it right.” In Vienna, my requests were adhered to, easily and without note until one day a waitress said “ah yes sir, you want a large brauner” (she actually said this in German and I understood every word – how cool is that?).
So, I then asked for a ‘large brauner‘ everywhere we went. The taste was superb too. It wasn’t just strong, but it was flavourful and not burned – i.e. left on the grounds for the correct amount of time and not stewed. It was the same at breakfast time when large pots were placed on the table. Unlike most hotels and conferences in the UK, the coffee actually tasted nice, stay hot and was carefully prepared.
Another pleasant custom in Vienna, is that they always serve your coffee with a glass of cold water. It’s never questioned – they just bring it. This is a pleasant custom aimed, I suppose, at helping to rehydrate you after the ‘caffeine hit’.
As those Twitter followers who accessed the Julius Meinl web page I posted recently will know – there is a huge variety of coffee tastes avaialble in Vienna. Anything from the sublime [small or large brauner] to the ridiculous [Kaisermelange]. As much as I like coffee, I’m not sure I would want that!
I did buy a big bag of Julius Meinl ‘brauner’ beans at the airport and it’s a pot of coffee made from those that has prompted this post. MMmmmm coffee.