6 Places to Drink Coffee in Vienna

Coffee at Kaffein

I had the opportunity to visit Vienna (where I lived for over 14 years) again late last year and was pleasantly surprised to witness a slight surge in specialty coffee offerings, so here’s a quick guide on my top 6 from December 2022 comprising of the new and the classic ones.

Kaffein (newish) Stoss im Himmel

Researching Instagram prior to my trip I came across this coffee shop that I had never heard off before, but I could easily be forgiven as they opened just before the 2020 pandemic. Cruising through their feed I was impressed as soon as I saw that they had modbars (geek alert) I wrote about this extensively here when I visited Bath in 2018. With two locations already, I visited the site at because it was the only one open over the Christmas period plus it was around the corner from where my family and I used to visit the English cinema, Artis.

As you enter, there’s a long corridor dotted with seating before you enter the brewing bar to your left, decked with two modbars and a filter brewing station. The decor is wood throughout with quirky bits.

I went twice, first by myself and my daughter joined, where I tried a natural Peru made by the Greek barista and a second time with my sister, where we had a French Pear tart, met the roaster and enjoyed cappuccinos too.

From my observation, everything is done in-house from roasting their coffee, selling bags (I bought a bag) and of course brewing it with keen attention to detail – including their food, which tends to be homemade non-meat pasta and more together with a strong affinity for French style cakes and tarts – so you can really escape here as although you might be in Vienna you will be served with specialty coffee and French and Italian inspired cuisine. 

So why go? Great coffee, French inspired desserts and good friendly customer service. 

Fenster Café (newish) Greichengasse – 1st district

Prior to my trip, my brother had shared their Instagram profile with me and of course I raised an eyebrow when their tagline said “the best coffee in the World” as I personally think that is very subjective, given brewing styles, roasting styles, customer base, etc. Located about 2 minutes’ walk from Schwedenplatz underground station (take the Rotenturm Strasse exit and then turn left and walk up the stairs) – Fenster Café is literally a hole in the wall coffee stop – there’s likely to be a queue mainly of Tourist, based on their marketing so prepare yourself.

They mainly focus on espresso-based coffee with some house specialities which feature flavourings – their most famous one is the Fensterccino, labelled as the most expensive coffee in Vienna at 9.5 Euros – why? because they pour latte art into a cappuccino in an ice cream cone – you’ve got to give it to them for marketing. I had a flat white to go.

So why go? Instagram pic fensterccino an to get a quici coffee on the go

Caffe Couture (classic), Freyung 1st district 

Rushing around the centre of Vienna I found myself craving espresso-based milk coffee and went to where I know I wouldn’t be disappointed, Caffe Couture. I’ve written about them a few times as they were one of the very first specialty coffee shops in Vienna upon my return in 2012. I was pleasantly surprised to see George Brany himself – the owner and former Austrian latte art champion in 2011, as I know he has been behind the scenes for a long while. Not losing his touch I see, I ordered a flat white on their Synesso espresso machine.

So, why go? One of the first specialty coffee shops in Vienna, so they won’t disappoint – they also serve filter coffee and sell their coffee too

Jonas Reindl (Classic fave) schonttenor 

I’ve been here many times and I must confess although I was in Vienna for two weeks and lived very far from the centre I came here, not once, but thrice – great for meetings and also because they didn’t close during the Christmas break – opening even on Christmas day itself. They roast their own coffee, source exciting coffee, have a very non-Viennese setup think NYC or London, offering Anglo-Saxon inspired cakes too (Cheesecake, etc) plus it’s where the university and solopreneurs tend to hang out – so it has a kind of col vibe appealing a lot to the youth and older ones too – so don’t be shocked if you can’t find a seat.

About the coffee – it’s always good, brewed on a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle (the first in Vienna I think) – had a cortado the first time and a great filter the second time and a cappuccino the last time. I also bought coffee for my fellow coffee geek in Dubai and had to hold myself back from buying more.

So, why go? Lots of reasons, cool vibe, cakes and of course great coffee in Vienna prepared with detail

Balthasar (classic fave) Prater Strasse 2nd district next to nestroyplatz

Well, I couldn’t come to Vienna and not stop here. I actually went by twice but on the first occasion it was so packed I had to leave as I don’t like drinking my coffee standing up in the middle of a shop like a sour thumb. The second time I met a friend and we just found seats. He went for a cappuccino, and I had a filter brew poured by their filter brew maestro. Most of the barista expect one have left so I was pleased to have a brief chat with Owen but pleased to see that the place was buzzing.

So, why go? Coffee focused staff serving their own coffee that you can buy too. They also sell gadgets and filter accessories.

Offerl Bakery (newish) Wollzeile 31, 1st district 

I actually happened to stop by this place as I was craving a snack to eat with my daughter. It is famous as a bakery offering a slightly different twist on their baked goods than the traditional Viennese versions, so expect English style doughnuts and French inspired quiche together with sandwiches.

Goat cheese mini quiche

There is a place to sit down inside along their concrete inspired décor with their open bakery on the left too. I tied their organic focused coffee, opting for a cortado, which satisfied my craving – more on the dark roasted bias but it did the job. They also sell their coffee.

So, why go? Grab great bread and pastries with a cup of coffee on the go.

That’s it…

How I Taste Coffee in Public

Ever wondered how I taste coffee in public when I go to a cafe? Well, here’s your chance, a first video of it’s kind, filmed by my patient daughter.

This visit was actually monumental as it was the first time I was going to Coffee Pirates (Cafe and Roastery), located at Spitalgasse 17, 1090 since it opened in July 2012. My daughter actually went there and told me about it, and I was like “I’ve been there before, but 8 years ago…”.

On my second visit, I went for a Kenyan Coffee from the Nyeri region, prepared using a Hario V60, which tends to bring out the fruitier undertones of the coffee.

 

Coffee of the Week: Balthasar’s Honduras Los Ceibos

This week’s coffee hails from Honduras – Los Ceibos – Microlot, a coffee of the red bourbon variety, grown at 1,380 m, naturally processed with a taste profile of strawberry, rhubarb and caramel, roasted for Balthasar, in Vienna. So, I’m using the aeropress, with 15.5g of freshly ground coffee and about 210ml of 95C hot water. I’m using the inverted method and filming from a sky view so that you can see the process from the top.

On the taste, I picked up the caramel and as it cooled down, a bit of berry taste.   check out the video below for more details. https://www.instagram.com/p/CDCTEGXBiHf/

Coffee of the Week: Rwanda

 
This week’s coffee hails from Rwanda-Umusazi, a coffee of the red bourbon variety, grown at 1,900mroasted for Balthasar, my fave coffee shop in Vienna. It was actually recommended to me by one of the baristi, who used this coffee last ear for a competition. It features the 72 hour fermented coffee processing method again, which almost guarantees a delicious fruity experience. So, I’m using the Hario V60 for this video, but I’ve adjusted the recipe somewhat. Typically, I would use about 15g of freshly ground coffee with about 240ml of 95C boilng hot water, but I found that when I increased the amount of coffee to 16.5C for the Hario V60 filter brewing method , I had the wow factor – what a fruit bomb, with berries, grapefruit acidity and hints of caramel in the middle of my tongue – In fact I’m drinking it now as I write this, yummy.

To summarise; 16.5g freshly ground coffee 95C 245ml hot water Hario V60 Hario V60 filter wet with hot water Makes about 235ml delicious coffee Yummy!

 

check out the video below for more details.

Coffee of the Week: Honduras Coffee

 

The coffee of the week celebrates once again, Vienna based Roaster extraordinaire, Johanna Wechlesberger roastery, Die Roesterin – this time it’s a Honduran Coffee, macerated (another word for fermentation) for 72 Hours.

I know that sounds strange. In fact I had to search what kind of process this was. In summary, the coffee undergoes a 72 hour fermentation process, before it is aired naturally for about 40 days, before it’s green for roasting. You can imagine that such a method will defiantly lead to some kind of different taste profile and it did.

Here, I’m using an AEROPRESS, with the following;

  • 14.5g freshly grinded coffee
  • 93C brewing temperature
  • 212.5 ml of hot water

See methodology in my video and let me know how you brew your coffee using an aeropress.

With this method, the coffee was amazing – like a party in my tongue, tropical fruits and medium acidity came to play, with a long aftertaste around the middle of my tongue.

You can order this delicious coffee, if it is still available from https://dieroesterin.at

 

Enjoy!

Coffee of the Week: Die Roesterin Espresso Blend

I just wanted to let yo know that I’ve been having problems uploading the video above for 3 days, so I’ve decided to share the link with Instagram.

The coffee of the week celebrates Vienna based Roaster extraordinaire, Johanna Wechlesberger roastery, Die Roesterin espresso blend, LIKMI Espresso blend, consisting of Brazilian and Rwandan arabica coffee beans. Here, I’m using a Profitec 700 Espresso machine, with the following;

  • 19g freshly grinded coffee
  • 94C brewing temperature
  • Brewed at 22 seconds to make a double espresso

See methodology in my video and let me know your espresso hacks.

With this method, the espresso coffee was medium citrus acidity and caramel and with milk, it has hints of milk chocolate, with a long aftertaste around the back of my tongue.

You can order this delicious espresso which comes in a 333g bag from https://dieroesterin.at

 

Enjoy!

I was at Jonas Reindl Cafe & Roastery, Vienna

So, this is part two to my earlier post, where I wanted to expand more on Vienna’s latest in city coffee roaster, Jonas Reindl Cafe and Roastery, recently opened on Westbahnstrasse 13, in the 7th district. As I mentioned this is an unusual feat as the City of Vienna have very strict rules about roasting coffee in the city, especially near residences. In any case, as they say “never say impossible, but rather say, I’m possible”.

A bit about the roaster himself – Philip – who I had known for a while on the many occasions that I had visited their first shop, Jonas Reindl Cafe, located at Wahringerstrasse 2-4, opposite the Votivkirche. I asked him about their journey towards becoming a roastery, something they had hinted at for about a year on their instagram feed. I have been saying for a while, based on my experience of my one and only cafe that the real winners in the coffee supply chain are the coffee roasters – why? because if you have ambitions to open more than 2 cafes, then the coffee roaster is very happy – sorry, this isn’t a dig at coffee roasters, who I really appreciate and respect a lot in the coffee game (they are the ones that make the cherry taste great if brewed properly) but when you look at the figures, then if you can and want to really extend your survival then you have to enter the supply chain earlier. If you can guess, my next coffee dream is to get into he coffee supply chain and roast one of these days God willing. I just need to invest in my dream, so anyone reading that has any ideas we can work on together, contact me please.

In any case, Philip mentioned that he has attended some coffee roasting classes but the crux for me, was that he also spent time with the guys at Prufrock Coffee (read about them here) still for me one of the best cafes in the World. Ironically, Prufrock are not coffee roasters (they get their coffee from one of my fave roasters, Square Mile Coffee) but they defiantly know what to look for in coffee. In short, I was impressed with Philip’s attention to detail.

On equipment, as you can see, they have the classic 12kg Probat Coffee Roaster, with all the digital gadgets and you can even witness them roasting on site if you are lucky too.

Now, the coffees. I really loved the packaging, which has the new age coffee bag housed in this lovely box, explaining on the side the origin of the coffee, etc – see below.

 

I already mentioned about my cafe experience in my previous post but what did it taste like at home… good.

However, the one thing that was really distinctive was the SMELL. When I opened the bags of their coffee, I was hot with this sumptuous aroma – it instantly took me back to the late noughties (2000-2009), when I started falling in love with coffee. So, that was the first tick for me.

On the taste I wasn’t let down as it lived up to my expectations – good coffee roasted well with attention should taste well if brewed properly. I bought espresso and filter coffees, which I enjoyed very much.

On the espresso, they were full bodied from Central America, and tasted milk chocolate with underlying notes of dark dried fruits.

The filters, from Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia) were very fruity with a good mouth feel with medium and not over powering acidity. I always like Kenyan coffees in the filter but must confess when I get a natural Ethiopian it is exciting because different cups and different brewing styles (Hario V60 or aeropress) can give different taste profiles.

I also started experimenting with different grinding styles – moving slight more coarser for the V60, which gave a much more fruity feel.

The good thing about their coffees is that you don’t have to live in Vienna to sample them, as they now have an online shop and offer wholesale, so check them out here http://www.jonasreindl.at

 

 

Drinking Coffee in Vienna: An Update

 

I’m glad to report that the specialty coffee scene is improving in Vienna, which is based on two key factors; an increase in people’s appreciation of good coffee and more coffee shops to meet that demand – the demand and supply of specialty coffee – I know it sounds very economist like, for which I confess my guilt of being trained as an economist.

so, let’s move on.

Café EL.AN, Werdertorgasse 4   •   1010 Wien

I start with a confession – this is actually not a new coffee shop, but one that’s been around for about 3-4 years but for which I never had the pleasure of trying out, as they only open from Monday to Fridays, which I find difficulty in visiting. In any any case as soon as the opportunity presented itself when I finally had a day off to wander around Vienna in late Autumn last year, I headed here. Cafe EL.AN is made up of a combination of the owners’ name; Elke and Anna. Coffee is sourced from Austria’s most famous barista and CafféCouture owner, Georg Branny.

It’s very simple in design and as you enter you are confronted with steel bars (see picture at the top) that lines that front of the brew bar and on your right where the magazines and italian style espresso stand up bar is located. Equipped with a La Marzocco GB5 and Mazzer grinders for espresso drinks and an Uber boiler to facilitate filter brews on a range of options; Hariov60, chemex, Syphon and aeropress.

As it was late afternoon and I wasn’t in a rush, I thought why not and ordered an ethiopian coffee brewed on a Hario Syphon. Elke was very relaxed despite a few customers as she was the only one working there. In between pouring latte art and making espressos, she calmly began making my Syphon filter brew. It took about 5-7 minutes to brew but it was worth the wait – a fruity brew, with medium acidity, at the right temperature and easy to consume.

 

The good thing about coffee made on this type of apparatus is that you get quite a bit. As the shop is quite small, a lady with a toddler sat opposite me and as I had quite a bit of coffee, I offered her some so that she could appreciate coffee brewed differently. She was pleasantly surprised and I advised her to try ordering that next time.

 

Wolfgang Coffee .  Zieglergasse 38, 1070 Wien
Opened by a former Balthasar coffee barista, Wolfgang Coffee, is fairly new, located in Vienna’s hip district, populated by the up and coming youth of Vienna. Wolfgang is actually located in Qwstion store, a non-brand concept store, selling hip designs and of course bespoke style perfume for both men and women. In fact when I first visited them on a  very hot day in August – it was 34C – I almost missed the shop. As you enter there’s a  display of their coffees, roasted by Sussmund – one of Vienna’s premier coffee roasters. They pull their espresso on the classic Faema E71 espresso machine and sell some snacks too.
I ordered a cortado as it was hot outside but still wanted a bit of milk.
On another day when I walked past going to another spot, it was crammed on a Saturday afternoon. One additional pull they have is that you can always elapse into the concept store and read magazines will you sip a beautifully crafted cup ion coffee.
Jonas Reindl Coffee Roasters, Westbahnstrasse 13, 1070 Vienna 
Literally around the corner from Wolfgang Coffee is for me the most exciting coffee opening in Vienna. Why? It’s the first time that a coffee roastery has been “allowed” to open in the heart of Vienna. Apparently, the City of Vienna, likened for bringing coffee to Western Europe does not like people to roast coffee in the city where dwellers are because the smell might irritate them – perplexing, especially as coffee has been ranked top three smells that humans love, even though I know that the beginning of the roasting process, the burning smell can be a bot off putting. anyway, many have tried and failed, but now we have a winner – Jonas Reindl Coffee Roasters – the main reason, Philip, the roast master, told me was that the spot was previously owned by a pizzeria that had an oven, enabling them to obtain the very hard to obtain license to roast in the city.
As you enter the shop, cum roastery, the roaster is on the left, giving the impression, righty implied, that some serious coffee business goes one  in here. So, what do we have here? A 12kg Probat Roaster, hooked up to a iMac and other bits, surrounded by baskets to store coffee before they are packed.
In front of you, is the brew bar, with their freshly roasted coffee packed and ready to be bought as the backdrop. To the right of that spot is their new Synresso S200 espresso machine.
If you want to know about this machine, let me let synesso tell you,

The goal with the S200 and S300 was to make an approachable, volumetric machine with the quality we are known for. All internal components are Synesso standard as found in our MVP and MVP Hydra machines. This includes group heads with no wear parts, individual brew boilers, digital shot timers, programmable temperature per group head, and cool touch steam wands.

Extraction is controlled by volumetric programming, with two user-defined programs per group.  The wired hand held display allows control of total water count and optional preinfusion duration, which can be saved across both group heads.

Additional settings include the programmable hot water tap with mix valve, arcade-inspired group purge buttons, and an auto back flush program. (extracted fork Synesso website)

My daughter and I ordered espresso milked coffees the  first time
On my second visit, I went full filter of a guatemalan finca la bella coffee.
They have all the other perks, gadgets, filter brew options, etc, but the definite pull for me is the roastery and beautiful packaging.
Also on offer are artisan teas and cakes and pastries. The spot isn’t too big and you may have to stand during busy hours. They’ve only been opened since late 2018 and I’ve been there thrice already and I’ve picked up three bags of their delicious smelling coffee. More on this next time God willing.
Remember 2019 should be a year of drinking better coffee.

A Cupping Session in Vienna @ Furth Kaffee


This is like Part 2 of my previous post in which I visited Sussmund with an informal coffee society called the Specialty Coffee Society. After that event, I proposed that for our next session we try a cupping session. So I got in touch with Charlie Furth, a Vienna based roaster whom I have known for a while. In short, our kids went to kindergarten together many moons ago, when everyone knew me as a coffee fanatic – I left Vienna for three years to open my cafe in Cape Town, and upon returning Charlie told me guess what ? I’m now a coffee roaster.


In any case Charlie owns Furth Kaffee a coffee roastery, who supplies cafes like cafe la marche, whom I wrote about here. At a little spot on Kirchengasse 44 in the 7th district, Vienna a former barista has taken over the shared space and runs a small cafe, equipped with a La Marzocco GS3 and some small bites. You can also buy coffee and some gadgets. It was in this small spot we had our coffee cupping session. Alternatively, you can shop online at http://shop.fuerthkaffee.eu/home/


I managed to get about 10 people, mostly colleagues including some toddlers to join us one Saturday in late September for a 2 hour session to taste coffees from around the World from as far wide as Mexico, Peru, India, Indonesia to Ethiopia and Kenya, with a guiding lecture from Charlie, summarised as follows;

  • smell coffee in two separate cups to adjust for differentials
  • coffee ground very thick, using water at 92C
  • Smell coffee
  • break bloom
  • Taste coffee from both cups using the cupping method, slurp if you dare
  • assess what you like and don’t like


It was really intriguing to experience the different phases of the cupping experience from smell to taste. In fact some coffees that smelt nice, didn’t quite live up to the taste test. The Peru smelt like vanilla but when I tasted it, it was not quite as intriguing. 


Nevertheless, the Kenyan didn’t disappoint and in fact I’m thinking of going back to buy a bag of it. Most of my colleagues were really impressed as it was their first cupping session and bought some coffees to take home.

Ever grateful to Charlie for arranging this session and I’m now thinking about our next session…. hmm espresso tasting perhaps.

 

 

I was @ Sussmund Kaffeebar, Vienna


A few weeks back a colleague sent an e-mail inviting me and two other guys to meet for lunch because she had never met three people so passionate about coffee. she thought it a good idea to get some coffee geeks together – a great idea. Because before we knew it, we even had a name”Specialty Coffee Society” – we just need to check if we can officially create one at the UN in Vienna. Before you knew it we were exchanging ideas on coffee and just this past weekend we decided to check a cafe out to start our “coffee crawl” missions. So, we decided to try out Sussmund – which means “sweet mouth” in English – how appropriate.

To be honest I’ve heard about Sussmund for a while now. Started by Nikolaus Hartmann, the roaster – it focused firstly on selling roasted coffee to cafes and restaurants, and it still does. One of my fave cafes in Vienna, Cafe Jonas Reindl, usually has sussmund coffee on their grinder as their house blend. In fact for a few months they also had a pop up shop in the heart of Vienna, which I was lucky to visit and had a piccolo (made like a cortado)  see below, where I also met with Nikolaus and had a chat about how he started, his mission and vision too.


But I’m glad to report that at the moment they have a mainstay, Sussmund Kaffee just off the centre, located on Dominikanerbastei 11 • A-1010 Wien – opposite the iconic post office, designed by the renowned architect, Otto Wagner. The cafe is actually located inside a furniture concept store, so you can grab a cup of coffee and sit on designer furniture and relax – of course if you really like the furniture, you can buy it too.

A little smallish but they have all gadgets – the Black Eagle espresso machine, all the filter brewing options using their coffees, roasted coffee for sale and brewing gadgets and accessories.

To try out this espresso milk based skills – you know my pattern now – I tried a cortado using a fruity coffee from Ethiopia and my colleague followed suit. 


She was so intrigued that coffee could taste sweet and not need any sugar and more importantly leave a pleasant fell in her mouth – another convert made to the world of coffee can actually taste sweet and not bitter. In fact, I said that we don’t usually describe coffee as “bitter” but more appropriately, “sour”, running through the 5 taste elements of sweet, sour, salty, hot and finally umami. So, I digress come d’habitude.

For our second round we went full on filter, Hario V60 and Aeropress. I tried a berry medium acidity Guatemalan coffee, complimented by what I must say a rather French tasting croissant – i.e. it was really good. Also on offer, before I forget are chocolate brownie cakes, banana, walnut and chocolate bread, pastries and other treats.


Very laboratory orientated.

A nice brew, sweet and sour at the same time. I also waited for it to cool down to check if it would get more sour, but it didn’t, yay!


We really enjoyed the kaffee – it was Saturday, so very relaxed and before we knew it 2 hours had passed drinking coffee and getting to know each other. Looking forward to our next venture, which I hope will be a cupping session at another cafe, so watch this space for more on the Vienna Specialty Coffee Society.

Before I leave, of course, I recommend visiting Sussmund – check their website too here

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