It seems that all good things come to those who wait and sometimes they kind of creep up on you. So, one fine sunny day in Vienna, after a fine lunch, I was rushing again and what did I notice, a La Marzocco Strada to my right in a shop – of course I stopped, walked in, saw a friendly guy behind the brew bar and state of the art espresso machine and said “wow! is this a new place…. you’ve got a La Marzocco Strada machine… erm… I’ll be back” And sure I was in 10 minutes and ever since then, several times, taking colleagues, the wife, the daughter, the son and more.
It also helps that Balthasar, is about 15 minutes walk from where I live and about 10 minutes on the underground (in Vienna it’s called the u-bahn) from where I work, so very easy access.
So, what else is there to know about Balthasar apart from the flashy machine.
Well, it’s run by Otto Bayer, a very friendly guy, whose family have been in the catering business for over a century, who gets his coffee from a specialist coffee roaster in Germany, who sources coffee “directly” and often visits the farmers themselves.
On one occasion coffee from the long mile coffee project in Burundi was on offer. In any case, all the gadgets are here, two Mazzer grinders, cold brew system,
V60 brew bar and semi-retired La Marzocco G3 (Otto trained on it, but as he spends all his time in his cafe, it might as well be in the cafe.
On offer also are cakes, brownies and some savouries, as well as tea and Otto’s other speciality, wine – he loves the relationship between wine and coffee and of course the tasting experience of both.
His customers usually order a coffee and then a glass of wine afterwards. Balthasar has been opened for a few months and is decked out with new age furniture like Kartel and palettes, topped with magazines and low hanging light bulbs.
You can also buy coffee and gadgets like V60, the filters, aeropress and other bits. The good thing is that it’s opened from 7:30am to 7pm everyday except Sundays, so visiting on Saturday are great even Otto though must be exhausted but he really loves his job and his cafe.
The coffee menu is not extensive but to the point like the top end cafes in London – cappuccino, flat white, espresso and cafe latte
and a new way of brewing an Americano – brewed for 45 seconds on 5 bar of pressure.
So, what else, just go visit and you won’t be disappointed.