My husband had his first Starbucks coffee a few weeks ago. When I asked him how he liked it, he said it was alright, but not worth the money. Sometimes, his down to earthiness can be a bit annoying. Of course, he is right. I remember how shocked I was years ago when a friend invited me to a cup of overpriced caramel-whipped-cream-madness. I had forgotten and he brought things back into perspective.
After all, I am from Austria, a country that knows -and serves- at least 40 different kinds of hot coffee creations. The cold-ones, the Cold-Brew or the Frappuccino are just a byproduct.
In Austria, the coffee culture is unlike other parts of the world, where people buy coffee as a takeaway or something they drink when they wake up. Austrians have a culture where coffee is part of their daily routine all day long.
Coffee is served fresh everywhere, even at a gas station, or at the ski slopes. The coffeehouses are still full every day, people meet for business or pleasure, to gossip or just to read one of the many newspapers from all over the world, which are still offered despite smartphones and tablets. It’s the ambiance that makes it so special -and of course the coffee.
In the summer months, I set the coffee pot at night, so my husband gets finds his morning coffee when he goes downstairs. When I know friends come over, or during the weekend, I cook a full pot. He drinks one or two cups before he goes to work, and the rest of the coffee will cool down for a few hours and wait for me, until I am back in the afternoon.
Everybody who has been to our home knows that I always offer a special dessert when it’s hot outside. It’s something I learned from my grandma and all the other women who lived closed by on the neighbor farms.
Austrian Ice Coffee:
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup medium-strong filter coffee/drip coffee, cold
- Heavy or regular whipping cream (1/2 cup or 120 ml will be enough for 2-4 beverages)
- Unsweetened cocoa for dusting, optional
- Dark chocolate shavings, optional
- Cookie, a straw and a long spoon on the side -a must!
- Put 2 scoops of ice cream in a dessert glass. Pour the cold coffee into the glass.
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream. If you have a pastry bag with a star tip, even better. But a dollop of cream put on top with a spoon will do the job just fine.
- If you like, you can dust the whipped cream with cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate shavings (no chocolate sprinkles). Served with a special cookie or a wafer.
The possibilities are endless. Add chocolate syrup or caramel syrup to the iced coffee, or add more milk or mocha for your own Frappuccino or Latte.
For kids, we use cold chocolate milk, instead of coffee. Also,, for an ‘adult version’ you can add a shot of Baileys, Kahlua or Whiskey. I heard it’s really good! 😎
And here, is a list of the Austrian coffee madness:
Kleiner Brauner and Großer Brauner (Braun=Brown)
Translated into English it literally means Little Brown One or Large Brown One and comes close to what people consider to be ordinary coffee: black coffee with a bit of milk. Usually the coffee is not filtered, but steamed like an espresso. The milk or cream is usually served in a tiny pot with the coffee so the guest can decide how much to put into the coffee.
Kleiner Schwarzer / Grosser Schwarzer (Schwarz=Black)
single Espresso / double Espresso
One of the most popular variations of coffee, the Melange is a mix of frothed milk and steamed coffee. The Viennese coffee company Meinl specifies it as having “equal parts steamed milk and foam”, and serves theirs dusted with cocoa powder. The Viennese melange originates from Vienna, hence the name, and is typically served in a glas.
Kaisermelange (The Emperor’s Melange)
The Kaisermelange consists of strong black coffee, an egg yolk and honey. In a cup, the egg yolk is mixed with honey and while stirring the mix the strong black coffee is added slowly. In Vienna, a shot of cognac is also added to the mix.
Milchkaffee (Café latte)
Not typical Austrian but never the less very popular. It is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed or frothed milk.
Einspänner (Mocha with whipped cream)
Strong, black coffee usually served in a glass instead of a mug with a dash of whipped cream on top.
The Fiaker, who is named after the famous horse-and-carriages in Vienna,is strong, black coffee served in a glass with lots of sugar, a shot of rum and whipped cream on top.
Similar to a Fiaker but served cold. The Mazagran is a strong, black coffee served with ice, a shot of rum and a bit of sugar. This delicacy is especially good during the hot summer months.
A diluted and weaker, but larger version of the Großer Brauner, typically served with milk and optionally a bit of sugar.
Fine black coffee doused with foamed milk and served with whipped cream and cocoa powder.
Named after the famous empress, this exlusive Viennese coffee variation is prepared from black coffee with delicious orange liqueur.
1/3 of black coffee in a glass mixed with 2/3 of hot and foamed milk.
Served in a glass, the black coffee is topped with fresh Baileys, whipped cream and cocoa powder.
A double espresso served with vanilla ice cream and freshly whipped cream.
Black coffee with a shot of liquid cream.
Black coffee with whipped cream and a shot of apricot liqueur.
Black filter coffee with a lot of milk served in a coffee mug instead of a cup.
Strong Espresso topped off with a mix of egg yolk and sugar. The egg yolk is mixed with sugar and whipped until foamy before put on top of the coffee.
A small black coffee mixed with liquid sugar, red wine and vodka.
Hot chocolate with a shot of strong espresso.