viennese coffee precisely
January 9, 2011 10:42 PM   Subscribe

Need precise recipes for various Viennese coffee variations. Too many websites either list competing information, or seem to have carelessly copied other sites' lists without any sort of editorial fact-checking.

I've been to Vienna. I have photos of bilingual coffee menus, but even those I don't trust. e.g. Cafe Schwarzenberg lists "Kaffee Verkehrt" as "Coffee Upside-Down", where "verkehrt" really translates as "incorrect".

Additionally, some websites differ widely in their descriptions. Sometimes one drink includes espresso, sometimes another site says it's "strong coffee". Yeah, espresso is coffee that is strong, but is an espresso machine used? I think it is, but brew time is much longer, i.e. up to 60 seconds versus ~20 seconds for typical espresso. Yes? No?

Are all of these drinks made with an espresso machine that brews for a longer time than usual?

Is a "Verlängerter" espresso plus water (as an Americano), or is it just watered down strong black coffee?

And how exactly do lattes and Cappuccino's differ from a Melange? How exactly is a Franziskaner different from an Einspänner?

Some sites list up to 30 different variations, but I am primarily interested in the basic, universal ones: Verlängerter, Verkehrt, Melange, Einspänner, Doppelspänner, kleiner/großer Schwartzer/Brauner, Kapuziner, Franziskaner.

This is all just maddening.
posted by umlaut to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In "Kaffee Verkehrt", "verkehrt" means "the incorrect way around". "Ich habe meine Hose verkehrt angezogen" > I've put my trousers on the wrong way around.

If you understand a bit of german, this seems useful. Keep in mind that there's no Kaffeepolizei, and that everyone can and does prepare coffee their own way.
posted by stereo at 11:53 PM on January 9, 2011

The thing is, various Viennese coffee houses do use varying recipes. I haven't yet found an authoriative coffee handbook and if I did, there are certain to be reputable coffee houses disagreeing with its contents.

The most prestigeous Viennese coffee house is the Landtmann. They have a selection of their coffees here:

Here is a nice list: (You can also see what a Kapuziner is: Black coffee (espresso) with just enough drops of unwhipped cream to colour it the colour of a Capucin monk's robe. So much for a recipe.)
posted by Omnomnom at 1:26 AM on January 10, 2011

Actually, you'd probably be well off to ask a genuine coffee brewer. Berndt Querfeld of the coffee dynasty that owns the Landtman and a couple of other places would probably be able to help you get more information - he's a kind fellow:
posted by Omnomnom at 1:29 AM on January 10, 2011

In "Kaffee Verkehrt", "verkehrt" means "the incorrect way around".

Corresponding (linguistically, at least) to the Dutch koffie verkeerd, which, as the Wikipedia piece shows, can be served at least a couple of ways, though more typically in the bottom configuration at cafés.
posted by holgate at 9:22 AM on January 10, 2011

The list here (linked by stereo) seems pretty accurate. All of the Viennese coffee drinks are made with espresso. A quick summary in English:
  • A Schwarzer is an espresso (Kleiner Schwarzer is a small one and Großer Schwarzer is a large one).
  • A Brauner is an espresso with hot milk (again, Kleiner Brauner is a small one and Großer Brauner is a large one).
  • A Melange is like a cappuccino -- espresso with hot milk, topped with milk foam.
  • A Verlängerter is like an Americano -- espresso with hot water.
  • A Verkehrter is an espresso with lots of milk (that is, like a Brauner the wrong way around -- more milk than coffee rather than more coffe than milk).
  • A Franziskaner is like a Melange with whipped cream instead of foamed milk on top (a few cafés actually call this a Melange, but that's generally considered to be incorrect).
  • An Eiskaffee is chilled espresso with ice cream, topped with whipped cream.
  • An Einspänner is an espresso topped with lots of whipped cream.
  • A Fiaker is an Einspänner with rum added.
  • A Kapuziner is an espresso topped with a little bit of whipped cream.

posted by klausness at 3:00 AM on January 13, 2011

A correction: A Brauner is generally made with light cream (or half and half) rather than milk.

Also, this wikipedia page (in German again) has a longer list of Viennese coffee varieties.
posted by klausness at 3:07 AM on January 13, 2011

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