Vienna Coffee Festival 2019

Now it´s been a good ten days since the Vienna Coffee Festival warmly welcomed hundreds and hundreds of people (about 12,000 visitors in total during the 3-day long event) in the iconic venue Ottakringer Brauerei in Vienna. This January, it was my third time at the, as people labeled it “world´s coolest coffee event”. I couldn´t ask for a better company than the girls I went with – truly awesome coffeemates and we surely had a blast, and several espressos too.

So, in January 2019, the Austrian capital Vienna dedicated itself even more to its coffee culture. For the fifth time in a row, from the 11th until the 13th of January to be precise, the yearly coffee festival took place and today I´d like to fill you in on what my coffee girls and I were up to at this heaven of a coffee island in Vienna. This event stands for quality, sustainability and coffee trends and I´d like to show you why.

Each and every year, the organizers including many, many attentive volunteers at the Vienna Coffee Festival (VCF) ensure you´re having a blast at this yearly coffee event. Right at the entrance, you get a tote bag which comes in handy later on when you are about to collect a bunch of magazines, information material, some chocolate treats or cookies here and there and so on. Then, a wee bit later, the next thing you´ll probably notice at the festival right after walking up the staircase to the actual festival coffee stands, is the stage in the community/market area. This year, I sadly did not manage to watch any performances, however, I´ve seen some clips online and the Irish singer and songwriter Dave McKendry, for example, truly excited the visitors with his indie melodies. I´ve actually seen him perform a couple of times on the streets of Vienna already, so I am sure he nailed it at the VCF as well.

Amongst the exhibitors this year besides many others, were the following: Alt Wien Kaffee, Baileys, Gota Coffee, Dallmayr Kaffee, Fürth Kaffee, J. Hornig, Nespresso, Oatly, Röstwerkschaft… You would find coffee roasters, manufacturers, coffeeshops, distributors and famous coffee brands from different cities and regions from Austria like Vienna, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Burgenland, Carinthia, and Styria – to name a few. Every stand was super unique. I think, probably the most interesting part besides the endless coffee tasting (oh wow, we had a few cups indeed), is the part that you get to hear a story behind each and every product. It´s a bit of both really, coffee tasting and storytelling. Such an opportunity to ask all your burning coffee-related questions plus getting to know some insights and learning about coffee, its background, roasting, grinding and much more, is nothing short of precious knowledge. Moreover, it´s nice to have an actual face to the coffee brand and get to know the team and the creators behind a good you´re enjoying on such a regular basis. Cheers to that!

MY HIGHLIGHTS

One very special experience offered Dallmayr this year. Let me quickly show you some pictures in order to familiarise yourself with the setting and then I am going to explain what this was all about…

Coffee & Food Pairing

The chef who introduced us girls to some different matches – as in coffee, tea, and sweets – really made us curious about this whole coffee and food pairing process.

The lovely chef wearing all-white took us on a whole culinary journey accompanied by many stories. Imagine this: out of one single coffee bean, you get numerous kinds of aroma. As every coffee bean slightly differs, the outcome of variations is pretty endless. Such types of aroma go great with various foods, you just need to know which and how to best combine them. At the VCF for example, Dallmayr prepared four different variations for the visitors. We had two small cups of tea – fruits and herbs and two cups of espresso – a Brasilian yellow bourbon one and an Italian creamy, almost chocolaty one. The treats the chef and his team prepared us, not only looked amazing and special, they actually tasted like that as well. The teas came with the following: a dice out of yogurt and raspberry cream and a crunchy, sticky “Knusperheu” that had a bit of lemon, basil and mint taste in it. The espressos came with a glazed strawberry and the famous Italian almond confectionery Amaretti.
You can tell, we were all high on sugar and caffeine afterwards – cannot complain. 😉

This trend of food pairing actually has its roots in France. You are probably familiar with the famous combination of wine and cheese. That is actually the base of food pairing which inspired other cultures to do so too. Now, it´s pretty common to serve beverages with sweets – depending on where you go and on your choice and preferences of course, but at least it is not a rare thing. Amongst other well-known food pairing examples are the following: the Swedish ritual FIKA, the British tea time or the Italian Dolce Vita.

Overall, there are about 300 key aromas which help to find the perfect match. Whether it´s tea with savory foods or coffee with sweets, it´s about harmony in the end. Just remember this: the more aromas of the same kind, the better to combine.

The Fantastic Coffee Machine

A further stand that enchanted me, was the one from ELBE which distributes Oro Caffè. They had the most amazing coffee machine ever! Can you imagine this model actually weighs around 90kg? I did spend a few moments just staring at it, to be honest… It was almost like a piece of art to look at, very shiny and powerful.
Another product of this coffee distributor headquartered in Carinthia made me curios as well. I did not take a picture, but the team there introduced me to their latest edition of a milk frother. With this product, you´ll be able to even froth cold milk which is great when you´re craving for an iced cappuccino in the summer.

Another thing, I really appreciate about the coffee festival, is the intercultural energy. You meet all kinds of different people sharing the same passion which is great for exchanging opinions and expertise, not to mention getting familiar with new trends and cultural specialties. This year, even a coffee stand from South America was amongst the exhibitors which served delicious coffee rum on ice in a reusable cup. Cups up for that!

Another highlight, I´d like to add to my list here, is one about storytelling. Nespresso Austria took the visitors on a virtual coffee journey through the magic of virtual reality glasses. The visitors could simply escape into a virtual world of coffee – like from production to consumption. While having this virtual glasses on, you instantly felt as you would join the farmers and distributors on the whole coffee value creation chain. You would see how they collect the coffee cherries, what they do with the beans and how this whole process from coffee cherry to the capsule actually happens. In addition to this little virtual coffee journey, Nespresso presented its newest limited editions. To make it less secretly what the latest capsule flavors actually consist of, they prepared a little “tasting exhibition” – on the second picture below you see how it looked like. For example, the purple capsule is a very fruity one and the aroma comes very close to this whole bunch of wild berries and raspberries in the jar next to it.

Besides the coffee tasting and chatting with fellow coffee lovers and coffee entrepreneurs, there are plenty of other things to do too! There are workshops and masterclasses that fill you in different areas of the world of coffee. You can learn so much directly from the experts and this setting allows yourself to improvise and experiment a bit too. I am always a big fan of the live sessions, such as the cupping challenge and the latte art competition. One of the pioneers when it comes to latte art are definitely the MUMAC mates. Every time I see them creating new latte art motives, I ask myself…could I do that too? I am so keen on learning at least the basics someday soon. Luckily I even managed to score a voucher, so one more reason to finally try it out, right? Thank you MUMAC Academy, we will see each other soon!

All in all, if you´re planning to visit Vienna around the winter season, it does make sense to add this coffee event to your exploring list. As January usually surprises us weather-wise, it might be good to know where to have a warm, safe, coffee option to go and have fun. Thank you, until next time!

The Golden 20s

As we nearly made it through the week, I thought it would be nice to share a potential weekend coffeespot suggestion with you.
Well, this literally little gem probably has been featured in each and every travel guide regarding Vienna. Believe it or not, it even functioned as a movie location for an American romantic drama back in 1995.

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The coffeespot I am talking about is called Kleines Café (Little Café). I definitely consider this café as one of the most amazing and ideal stages for a movie. Could be great for..like a mysterious coffee date scene dialogue a la Woody Allen or an arty throwback scene where people are celebrating their golden 20s. So, where do you find this tiny glimpse of golden 20s? In Vienna. In the first district. Just a stone´s throw away from the famous Haus der Musik (House of Music). Fair enough, it is very well hidden though. There is a super cute old fashioned cleaning chores which you spot at one of the pictures below and a vibrant glasses store next door.

It is such lovely enjoying a, let me call it Fairytale Latte, inside (when you are lucky enough to grab a free seat) or on the terrace right in the middle of the quiet Franziskanerplatz of Vienna. I am sure you will have a blast there!! So for now, I have put together a little photo gallery for you below. Enjoy and I wish you a relaxing and well coffee related upcoming weekend! 🙂  – Carmen

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Traunzeit – ohh so sparkly

Sometimes the best things happen when you are not even trying to expect any. Well, that happened to me a couple of days ago while strolling around my hometown (aka village, it is pretty small and country alike where I grew up on that note but super lovely and beautiful at the same time). Strolling around is great for inspiration seeking, thinking, relaxing and just having some time off..usually my strolls include some exploring and when coffee is a thing too, hell yeah they rock.

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(C) Carmen Lenzeder

Speaking of exploring, I am happily introducing you this cute gem called Traunzeit right there. Let me tell you coffee folks, the moment I noticed that an actual local spot which serves food and drinks has made an appearance right next to the river in my hometown, I literally could not believe my eyes. Why? Because since I am living in this area or rather the time I used to live there during my childhood and late teens, there was never ever even a tiny sign of having a meeting place like that right in the middle of the gorgeous bank. Just one bar but I guess that one does not count, especially because it was barely open on a regular basis. – I believe you already can imagine how exciting that news is for me…having a coffeespot almost next door!! I mean, come on…I do feel like over the top. 😀 Spots, in particular coffeespots, in that area are such a rare thing and it goes close to a miracle that there is one now. Just saying…

And ohh this one I am introducing you right away is a gem, trust me. My lovely company and me got to visit it on a Saturday morning and the weather could not have been any better. We got a lovely table literally next to the river which means great view and shadow and sun all at once. In terms of coffee, we went with cappuccino and a black one which both were super delicious. Even the coffee table itself was just a stunning background for both the picture and of course of getting us more and more into the coffee mood. Yes, I do believe and support the idea that a mood like that actually exists. Somewhere but indeed. 😉

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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder

Besides the lovely picked location where the café Traunzeit is situated and the menu including a bunch of creative dishes, the staff is absolutely amazing! I got to talk with the owner who is just a charming woman who made her dream real and could not be happier to host and serve guests each day at that cute location. I always enjoy talks with coffeespot (or whatever they like to call their spot) owners. It is just so inspiring to hear them talking about their passion and fulfilled dreams and it gets even more exciting when that sort of attitude reflects in the way they are hosting their customers and running their business. I love to support places like that and hopefully, they stay there and not consider moving in the near future. – Good luck, sparkly charming Traunzeit! 🙂

Oh and one more thing before you may head over to that said place.. In case you are a fan of experiencing a kind of event factor besides having coffee & snacks (who would refuse that anyways?), make sure to go there on a Sunday during brunch time. A trustful source 😉 told me that they are doing an exotic, creative and fancy brunch served like a flying dinner or so. I guess that is worth trying and a fun activity to end your week, isn´t it?

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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder
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(C) Carmen Lenzeder

For more lovely impressions, head over to their homepage and Instagram.

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(C) Carmen Lenzeder

A lovely coffee related surprise

I am such a winter person. If snow joins me, even better. During the holiday season I had much time to do some short city day trips or hit the mountains for a lovely view covered in snow. One day, the Austrian city Salzburg was on my list. Although it is quite touristy most of the time and I have been there like hundreds of time already, it is always good to come back. I do not know why but the city has a specific charm and always brings along good vibes.

After walking along the famous Makartsteg which includes tons of love locks (and tourists) and a little shopping, I was craving for a hot beverage. And not only because of the freezing temperatures outside. For those of you who are familiar with the pub places along the Rudolfskai in Salzburg, better keep going after you have reached the Irish Pub Shamrock, there is indeed a coffee gem waiting. It is called Kaffee Alchemie.

IMG_7134In my point of view, there is no way of not entering a place which has a tiny xmas tree covered in colourful fairy lights as a welcome decor essential. The Kaffee Alchemie is kind of well hidden, that is true, which makes it even better I guess. To be honest, it is much more comfortable and exciting to discover a city beyond all that typical tourist stuff. The coffee happens to taste even better when there is the chance to sit down, talk and not get squeezed into a corner with a lot of people holding their cameras and stuff. Please do not get me wrong, I am not meaning to judge anybody  🙂 I just want to point out the ups of feeling and experiencing a right and enjoyable coffee atmosphere.

The Kaffee Alchemie in Salzburg is a coffee place which may be able to overload you the first time you are entering. There are quite a lot of shelves filled with coffee material and stuff to buy and a big vitrine offering cakes and pastry. The coffee machine is huge and it is not that easy to watch creating latte art there hence the cups are stacked on it. By the way, the cups are truly special. Most of them are gold! I loved them. They are making a good contrast to the filter coffee inside though. The baristas are good company as well. I promise you, they are more than happy to share their coffee knowledge with you. We even got a little coffee map which showed all the ingredients and coffee flavours they serve and roast. That was pretty interesting to see and to taste certain flavours in our own coffees later on. It is an experience you would not want to miss. We had a flat white and one mild filter coffee which tasted a bit flowery and got a touch of arabica coffee beans. Please enjoy the lovely captions below – we did not act thrifty in creating them. 🙂

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Truly hip – they call it `NomNom´

Yes, they do.

This time I had a little extra help concerning the photography. My sister was totally in the mood to capture a few impressions of this spot in Linz. NomNom is located in the old town of the main capital of the province Upper Austria which belongs more or less to the countryside of Austria. My curiosity about the café raised and raised the first second I saw their Instagram feed and the logo outside the entrée. I tend to see this place as a hip breakfast spot. Basically they are famous for serving incredibly good bowls. Whether you are in the mood for cacao, porridge, fruit, açai, nuts or even spinach – one of the few bowl ingredient combinations will make you happy. That is truly a matter of fact. Well in any case you are craving for something other than a bowl, NomNom serves a bunch of smoothies and salads too.

IMG_7225Isn´t it cute how lovely all the stuff fit together? Nearly everything you may spot wears turquoise. My favourite is definitely the beautiful ceiling. It looks like a big mosaic in Portuguese style to me. Furthermore I am always a fan of colourful cups. Is it just me or is the coffee looking much more impressive and tasty in a coloured one? 🙂

Hope you had a good start into 2017 and are already working on your coffee related resolutions!

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Lake Area 2.0. accompanied with coffee

As I promised last weekend, there is still some coffee content for you which comes along with the year 2016. This one is about the Kaffeewerkstadt in the lovely tiny village St. Wolfgang which is a part of the famous countryside Salzkammergut in Austria. The Kaffeewerkstadt is a combination of a café which serves delicious food as well and a roomy store where you find endless decor stuff. It is very cosy and super ‘crowded’ with stuff but in a good way. Sure, you may have to look twice in order to find a free table or the table itself, but once you have sat down, you can capture the whole cosy and traditional atmosphere. 🙂 I went to this café with my younger sister right before the winter holiday season. Actually that was the best idea ever: we got the biggest table, the coffee was in our hands in a minute, the breakfast was super delicious and all in all, the little town was free from tourists, cameras and noise – we literally had it all for ourselves which was great. More than great and  perfect for relaxing and getting into the holiday spirit. Even some snow joined us.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender[3]FullSizeRender[4]As you can see, we enjoyed a caffé latte and a black one. Both super good, the people there really know what they are doing. The stuff is super friendly at the Kaffeewerkstatt. You may notice a difference when you are in a little town where everybody knows everybody, the people there seem much more relaxed than in a busy town café. My sister enjoyed the day too – some quality time every once in a while is always a good idea! Actually she is pretty into photography and took some of the photos attached in this blogpost. You can check out here online profile if you would like to see more. Whenever you are enjoying yourself in the beautiful lake area of Austria, make sure to stop by this gorgeous spot and say hi from cammy. This café is quite a good place to have a weekend brunch and to sit down for a few hours. So traditional looking and adorable corners to sit and shop.

So far so good, at this point I would like to wish you all a very haaaaappy new year! May your last days of this year be as good as the first ones in waiting 2017. 😉

Have a lovely New Year´s Eve everybody – it was a pleasure sharing coffee content with you in the past half year. You definitely are going to see and read more about inspiring coffee destinations next year – sounds way more dramatic than next week.  🙂 See ya soon & cups up!! Best, Carmen.

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Kaffeeküche – My Love

My dears 🙂 Everyone who knows me quite well would say, it was just a matter of time dedicating a post to the one and only coffeeshop which makes it to my top three list of my beloved coffeespots in Vienna. Since forever, or so. During my Bachelor Studies at the university of Vienna I really went there every single day. Indeed, I am not joking. I have left there soo much money over the past three years, but yeah it is was it is. It was and still is so worth it, folks!

Kaffeeküche = coffee kitchen. I lost my coffee heart there the first time I ordered a latte. The cups are white, the logo as well and the coffeeshop is black from the outside with this huge window and the huge coffee machine you can admire while waiting. Actually waiting is the key word here. The Kafffeeküche only appears a very little amount of times during the day with no queue in front of it. A few paragraphs later on, I´ll tell you some secret time slots during which you may avoid queuing.

But first things first: now to the Coffee. As I told you in my previous blogpost, I am the kind of person who tends to order the same quite often. Now I need to say, for a year I ordered a milk coffee and from there until now, two and half years basically, I am ordering a double melange. Both are the finest, it just depends how much caffeine you want to have. A double melange is like the exact same thing as a stronger cappuccino and the milk coffee is more or less two thirds of milk and one third of actual coffee. At the Kaffeeküche you always have got the option of “einfach” (single) and “doppelt” (double) – pretty easy, either you go with the small cup or the big one. Just for the espresso there is an unique cup though.

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In general the Kaffeeküche is more common for take away beverages. Surely there´s some space to sit and read – they do offer free papers and magazines I recently noticed – but it´s mainly popular for the take away option. Actually I belong to the take away coffee customers, at least so far. In the near future I do wanna sit on the wooden barista bench and enjoy my coffee literally in the coffee kitchen. In facht I like spotting people while drinking coffee. That kind of inspires me, feels relaxing sometimes and simply is fun – coffee with good company is even more better. I do prefer my last thought more 🙂

You find the one and only coffee kitchen just about 1 minute away from the main university of Vienna and maybe 7 minutes away from the Law School. It´s at the so called Schottentor. The perfect spot for your daily dose of coffee. Like when you are waiting for the tram, the bus, the tube (okay is is located on the main level near the tube station and luckily other public transport options are also there). Wait, my list goes on – your daily dose of coffee before uni lectures, meetings, boredom moments, quick chats with friends, interviews, appointments and and and. Take your time though because there are usually three hours during the day when you do not have to wait. Do not take me by word though, maybe that changes and I cannot guarantee, but yeah I do notice many many many people there every time I pass this place. But that´s a good sign and heaven for the coffeeshop owner. So, thumbs up! Back to the ordering slots: I managed to figure them out quite well over the past years. As it feels right to share my secret knowledge concerning waiting and avoiding waiting, I´d like to give you a tip when it´s the best time slot to go there. Not 7.45 – not 12.45 or 14.45 and not 16.15. Try to make it shortly after 7 am, close to 9 am, maybe 2 pm and later on around 7.30 pm. The last slot is not really coffee time which brings me to my next point. Try the lovely snacks and juices as well, they are fresh all day long and you do not want to miss the “hot white schocki” (hot white chocolate) and the chai latte. The names for the beverages drawn with white chalk on their coffee menu boards are quite creative, you will notice them while waiting in the queue! 🙂

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The Kaffeeküche is pretty much ´student mode´ oriented. That means: they open quite early at 7 am and close at 8 pm during the week. So in any case you have classes super early or relatively late, your coffee is saved. Unfortunately no opening on a Sunday or during summer holidays in August and Christmas. That may change during festive days and so on, so better check their site first if you wanna avoid standing in front of closed doors aka the big window.

Why do I love this place so much? Simply, because the coffee tastes like gold. In that case it isn´t really the inside of a coffeeshop accompanied with delicious caffeine beverages, it is the opposite. It is the coffee itself which captured me. And I cannot deny it, it truly is the best coffee in Vienna. I am sure my flatmate and I would win the contest when it comes to competing the amount of the white coffee kitchen cups. Sure thing.

I could write about this coffee kitchen for ages… Nevertheless all things need to come to an end, may the coffee be with you. 🙂

 

Special coffee gem near the lake area – Austria

This place really enchanted me. The Kaffeesiederei Immervoll is located in the small village Bad Ischl which is in Upper Austria. Just a short drive away there are the one and only beautiful lakes from Austria – a really calm area for a coffeeshop. It is kind of rare that I manage to visit the lake area often but everytime I see those gorgeous ones next to the mountains it feels good to be back.

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A tiny little detail worth mentioning is that Bad Ischl used to be the place for vacation for the former emperor Franz and his wife Sissi from Austria – but that´s way too long ago and I do not want to make a sort of history session – actually I don´t really care about that hardcore history stuff.  Hence it is a bit touristy there but not in a bad way. At least the small streets where you´ll find the coffeespot are not crowded at all.

Anyways, the Kaffeesiederei Immervoll is a fancy café for pretty everyone – especially for the student generation it is a good place to hang out, study, meet some new people or enjoy some treats. My family and I also could not resist, so we ordered a slice of plum and cheese cake 🙂

The interior is really cool. In some ways it reminds me a little to the german capital – just so fancy. I really appreciate the lights they use. A good combination of modern but cosy in general. The people of the Kaffeesiederei Immervoll roast their own coffee. They mainly use arabica and canephora coffee. You may find more about that certain topic here (in that case it is only in german).

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There´s plenty of space to sit – you are feeling real cityvibes in a comfortable atmosphere. When it comes to ordering breakfast you´ll definitely have to giggle – just a cute and funny description of the particular breakfast variations they offer! A part of the creative worded menu is listed in a picture below. The stuff is super friendly and motivated. I think you can even book classes to gain some barista and latte art knowledge. Someday I´ll definitely wanna be able to create such stunning latte art as well!

In the end my dear mum bought me one of those lovely light blue cups – they are perfect for cappuccino, caffe latte or even a hot chocolate or a good chai. A really cute innocent cup 😉

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