Festive Coffee Talk – Café Eiles – Interview #3

A good couple of months ago, I had the honor to have a chat with one of the most impactful entrepreneurs of the Viennese coffee scene. Coffee house owner and business man Gert Kunze and I talked about his beloved coffeehouse right in the heart of the Josefstadt, Café Eiles. The partly in Mallorca living Austrian has traveled all over the place, as well as has done projects in Germany and the US. Now, he´s running the Café Eiles in Vienna and has been enjoying it ever since.

I remember showing you a glimpse of this coffeespot like a year ago, however, today it´s time to talk about the person who runs it! You may remember, besides the Café Eiles is one of my favorite go to places when it comes to having a classy melange or breakfast, I personally consider this coffeehouse as the hippest traditional café you can find, at least what Vienna concerns! Yup, cups up for interview round number three!! Enjoy and stay warm, forecast is snow! X

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Coffee Talk at Café Eiles – Vienna 

C: Bonjour! Thank you so much for your time! Soo great having you as my next interview guest for my coffeeblog! I am very curious what you´re sharing today..
G: Sure, thank you for having me!

C: I need to say, your café is like my go to place when it comes to breakfast, especially during the wintery times. It does feel like a big classy yet cosy living room in here. I really like the decoration as well, very carefully selected. My top favourite item is probably the old cash mashine which looks like a type writer near the entrance.
G: Happy to hear that! To me, the most important thing is to make the customers feel at home! I take pride in getting to know my customers. It´s so nice to have so many regulars here already as well!

C: I was going to say, seems like every third person walking in here knows you!
G: I have got such a variety of people coming here regularly. Actors, ministors, journalists… It´s a place where culture and politics are made!

C: I can tell, with having both the parliament and the theatre Josefstadt just a stone’s throw away! I see there lot´s of young people as well, especially your staff.
G: Yes. I am so grateful for my team! In a way, they are the café and my customers partly come because of them. They feel welcomed and appreciate good company.

C: I can see that. They seem to really enjoy their job – I see them smiling!
G: To me, variety is an important aspect. I employed many internationals and the thing I am asking for, is to make an effort in speaking a proper language with the customers. I want them to speak German in the café, it´s a Viennese place after all and I want, that Café Eiles represents exactly that: a heartwarming and classy spirit.

C: It is a place which invites people to chat, read, watch and enjoy.
G: I believe, particularly my team adds so much positive value to this place. Customers come in and the first thing they see is the classy coffee counter – then they take their seat. Also, the whole café is a non-smoking zone.

It´s very important to know your customers. You need to listen, to understand and to be patient. – Gert Kunze

C: Though it´s quite full in here – literally every table is taken at 3.30 in the afternoon on a weekday – it doesn´t seem packed or noisy at all. You can hardly get that in a coffee house, it´s quite a rare thing.
G: True. There is a lot of space and the arrangement of the desks is perfect as people have their privacy. Plus, there is room for exchanging opinions with others if they want to! And the windows are so huge, they brighten up the room characterised by mainly dark furniture so well.

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C: So, what´s the story behind it? Was it more or less a coincidence to end up running the Eiles or initially your plan?
G: Well, the café exists since 1840. It was a little long-run project really. I started from scratch – you know, I build it up and focused on creating an identity. The Eiles was so different back then and it really took much effort to create a new and welcoming place. Along with it comes passion, know-how and expertise. You need an excellent team. I wanted to create something where people felt comfortable and welcoming. A coffee house to come to whenever you feel like. It´s open. Also, the quality needs to fit.

C: I wonder how it was back then. Clearly, you´ve made a lot of changes and people seem to love it, including me! Are there any other projects coming up?
G: Thank your. In fact, yes. My latest one is the Cobenzl. I am just in the process of refurbishing it and make it my next place where people enjoy coming to. I am aiming it to be just very similar as the Café Eiles. This will take around two years from now.

C: Sounds exciting! And, since Christmas is coming – will people have the chance to visit your café around the holidays? 
G: Of course, a 100%! Café Eiles is open all year round. It´s 365 days a year from 7am to 12 pm. It´s important to me that people have a place to come to, where they feel at home. Especially for families or anyone really, it´s great to spend some relaxing time before the holiday celebrations are about to start! It´s a very peaceful environment.

C: That´s wonderful. So, if you were to describe your café in just three words…
G: Those would be: open, heartwarming and consistent.

C: Generally speaking, what do you think does a true coffee house actually need? Is there a secret formula?
G: Every coffee house needs the right intention and drive. Obviously a good team is important which you can trust. It should be welcoming and heartwarming, like coming home.

C: Are you happy you chose Vienna over Mallorca for running your coffee house?
G: Totally! Vienna is the place to be, it´s the heart of the coffee house culture and people are admiring our country so much, I can see that when talking to my customers. Even though the Austrian tends to moan quite a bit, we often forget what a privilege it actually is, to live in Austria. It has very good life quality.

C: I agree! To end up our talk, I´d like to close our chat with the question I am always asking: what´s your favorite coffee?
G: I personally prefer a good classic melange. It´s just wonderful, like round and fancy.

-Thank you, Gert!

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Here´s to 2017.

Coffee folks!  It´s melange time. Ironically this post was meant to go up way earlier, last year actually, hence the title. Well, now we´ve reached 2018 and it´s still melange time. So, never mind. 😉 And I wish you all the best for this year. May it be full of health, love and laughs! And (a bit of) coffee.

Before I am going to introduce you one of my current top coffeeplaces, I want to share a little personal paragraph regarding 2017 with you. No worries, I´m not willing to write up a whole ‘looking back’ kind of post here. I just want to dedicate a word accompanied by some thoughts to my previous year.

If I had to find a word which suits my 2017 best, it would be ‘wave’. I am truly grateful for certain moments, people and changes the year had brought. Some remained, some kept away. It was a truly interesting year. I´ve also learned a lot, especially about people. Hilly wavy moments no matter about which angle you´re currently thinking of.

IMG_1752Now to the coffee gem.

During the holidays, I had some time to visit my beloved Vienna. Of course I took advantage of that and visited as many of my favourite coffeeplaces as my time allowed me to. One of them was Café Eiles.
It´s no secret at all that Vienna is full of coffee gems. The Café Eiles is definitely one of them. The café is located in the eighth district Josefstadt. I kinda love strolling through the Josefstadt district, I really enjoy the vibes there. It´s a nice combination of culture and coffee. Try it out sometime and you know what I mean. 😉

Maybe you´ve already been to or discovered Café Eiles a wee bit earlier than me. I admit, finding myself in this spot in late August for the first time (considering the fact that I have passed this spot many many many times before) is quite late for a coffee lover as me. Well, don´t they say, good things need a while? Whatsoever.

Though, I find myself mostly in third wave coffee places rather than in traditional ones, I need to make an exception this time. I consider Café Eiles as the hippest traditional café in Vienna. It has a special vibe. The atmosphere is great. I really appreciate the lovely staff. Each and everyone is so kind and attentive. Moreover, the breakfast is nuts. I can dearly recommend you the so-called ‘Shanti Shanti’ breakfast which comes with porridge including fresh fruit, lovely bread and cottage cheese and not to forget a heaven of a melange. Actually, I had that dish twice, one time in late August and one time in mid December – as it was festive season, the melange came with a xmas cookie!

I like the fact how they remain on the traditional Viennese café style including the Thonet chairs and at the same time provide a stage for pop culture media, papers, flyers for the latest exhibitions and events and much more. A lovely café family alike atmosphere all day long. Loads of wordy flowers for this coffeeplace which deserves it so much.

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Cupcakes and Shhht.

Almond Latte, I love you!
– I am not a vegan, let me clarify that first. Also not a real milk drinker either. Actually, I cannot even remember the last time I actively bought a bottle of milk. [Facts: usually drink my coffee black, sometimes in the afternoons I´d prefer a cappuccino or flat white.] But yeah, milk is not an ingredient I´d necessarily miss. Concluding, I do enjoy the idea of experimenting a little when it comes to lattes. That´s why I choose to order vegan ones every once in a while and when they are yet delicious as the one I am about to tell you in this post. [Wow what a glamorous introduction, erm.]

img_2767-2.jpgThe very first weeks of living here in the UK, I stumbled upon a pretty cute gem. It is a vegan spot (I kind of mentioned that already, I know) – so probably my aforementioned words about the ‘milk issues’ are meant to smoothly connect you to the spot I am happy to introduce you right here. It is called Cupcakes and Shhht. Located in South East London within a very urban and hip setting and run by the most lovely staff ever! And let´s face it, what a vivid name!

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We are nearly approaching the christmassy season, coffee folks. Slowly but surely. Cupcakes and Shhht would be the most perfect spot where you find seasonal delicious bakings and pastry. Every time I enter this café, I am amazed by the amount of sparkly and lovely decorated cupcakes, brownies, cookies and loads more. Each and every piece is charmingly decorated and you can tell that they have a passion for. Just lovely to look at. The café is cosy, almost a little ‘Alice in Wonderland – Disney alike’ setting where you may want to hide during freezing days like right now. It´s not a secret that November days are not so tempting to actually leave the house, the flat, the boat or simply the bed. Wherever you may live. Even though the vegan café is really small and there are hardly any typical seating options, it´s rather benches with cosy pillows and outside tables under heat lamps fyi – you are definitely wanting to kill some time there. Chilled music, nice reading stuff and friendly staff you can chat with.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend, folks and enjoy your fairytale coffees! 🙂
I am literally stuck in front of my laptop and working on assignments….loads work to do right now, but hey, the uni term is almost over and Christmas markets are starting soon!

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Café Au Lait Frappé

It is official. Summer season is on, yeees. It has been very quiet on the blog here lately, I wish it was different but sometimes writing flows are not making an appearance like on a non stop regular basis. Anyways, I guess the current summer vibes are the reason for that lack of posts lately but also happily motivating me more than in a long time to share beautiful coffee related impressions with you. Like this one. 🙂

Let me introduce you the lovely gorgeous cute (three adjectives are still not enough but let us stick to them..for now) café “Les Jardins du Café Francais“. Oh what a gem. Truly!

So, we had a table right in the middle of the frenchy happening. I went there with two good friends of mine which I actually had not seen for quite a time. Sure we did but indeed had not that much time for sitting down and actually catching up and stuff. What better place to do that than on a lovely summer day like this? We had a blast and I am sure it was not the last time we made a visit to the cute café gem. Though the drinks are a little pricy (blame the tourist spots nearby) the coffee tasted absolutely delicious. Worth having a second glas – in that case it was actually a glas rather than a cup. All in all, the setting is just beautiful and you may get in a sense of relaxing mood instantly. Surrounded by big trees, cute flowers on the desk and bright and arty furniture, not to mention the cute waiters too 😉 – you have got everything covered for a lovely afternoon spent with friends.

Okay and now to the deets: The café is an additional spot to the well-known café francais near the university of Vienna. The parc edition is located in the kind of big Stadtpark in the third district of Vienna. Basically the coffee place is open non stop weekly, from 11 am to midnight except on Sunday and Monday until 6 pm. So, there is plenty of time to make a visit and try one of the lovely iced coffee including french tunes which means café au lait frappé. 😉 And maybe you are in the mood for a Caesar´s salad and one Rosé as well – almost obligatory because it is french, as I said.

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Crème de la Coffee

It is a shame that I could not snap more pictures as it was soo so busy – not to mention that there was actually a fashion photo shooting going on early on a Saturday – but at least we managed to get a nice table and that is all that counts, right? 🙂

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You find Crème de la Crème in the ninth district of Vienna just in the middle of the Lange Gasse basically. It is very close to the uni campus but also to the lovely Josefstadt district which offers all you need in terms of culture, shopping and food. The coffeespot itself has a good size, I suppose. There is plenty of seating options both inside and outside which look great especially because those include lovely flower vases as well. The coffee is amazing, no kidding. I had two (of course!). One black coffee and a classic cappuccino were on my craving list that morning. I promise you, I will make a second visit soon – not only to provide you a picture of the awesome coffee machine they have. 🙂

All in all, le café est très belle pour se tisser et vivre un peu de style de vie francais. On that note, my French classes are a bit far away already, but hopefully my previous french sentence did make a little sense at all..or so. 🙂 Have a lovely day!

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Ohh so french, Café au Lait

Craving for a wee bit of a holiday spirit but there is no sign of leaving the country just by now? Well, thanks to places like the one I am going to share with you this Friday, you do not even have to leave your district at all (if you are ridiculously lucky). Otherwise you should reach the coffeespot within a fairly acceptable expenditure of time anyways.

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There it is, La Mercerie! The moment you are seeing it, the time you are spending at and the feeling you are having afterwards is truly french. I guess this spot provides all what it takes to feel like you are staying in a little part of Paris for a bit. This cute little french café happens to be in the ninth district just a few minutes away from the summerly Danube canal and the main university. It is a pretty student friendly area obviously. Kind of fancy having a little french traditional café right in the middle of Vienna, isn´t it?

The whole setting at this coffeespot is super lovely. Very traditional, dark furniture, bright minimalistic lights, little decor and a gorgeous vitrine filled with croissants and a nice coffee machine in the background. Of course, the setting charmingly forces you to order the most typical french coffee, café au lait. That was nuts – so so so good! Mostly, when you are ordering a latte anywhere, it is likely that it consists only of a tiny bit of caffeine and the rest is pure warm milk. Not at la Mercerie, coffeelovers! Their café au lait has the perfect amount of both, caffeine and milk. Definitely one, I am going to dream about the next night or so. Loved it.

On another note, the best thing besides coffee at La Mercerie is probably that you do not have to have any french language skills at all. The people are happily serving your orders and responding back to you in German and guess what, English as well. HA! 😉

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A piece of art – Café Hornig

The other day, one special coffeeplace really enchanted me. Seriously, it got me like..*.* This place in the heart of the Siebensternstraße is like just around the corner where I am currently living in Vienna. It is a very big, bright and super trendy and comfortable café in general. I am curious visiting new spots, especially when they are in the beginning of their coffee serving period! Usually, it takes a bit before good coffeespots get crowded and I really enjoy the time while it is a wee bit of a secret and a meetingpoint somehow for all the crazy coffeelovers like me.

I went there with a friend of mine who is pretty into coffee too, we had a blast and spent there two hours or something catching up and enjoying our lattes at one of the most beautiful corners the café J. Hornig is offering. Take a minute to look at this coffee table, please. I love it! Let me call it a piece of art.

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One thing I always appreciate about coffeespots, is when the baristas are happily giving you some time before ordering something – studying the coffee menu takes a while 😉 – and I like getting a bit of advice in terms of coffee beans choosing and stuff. My friend and I went with two gorgeous latte which perfectly matched to the coffee table setting. The prices are absolutely good and fair at J. Hornig, especially when comparing those with other cafés in Vienna. The Viennese coffee in general is not really one of the cheapest, we all know and naturally get used to that though, so if the coffee is really THE one (and trust me, after a while of tasting some in the city you know what THE one means) I am always willing to support coffeespots which are literally living and serving gorgeous quality coffee. At J. Hornig you pay a fair price but also get a more than fair amount of caffeine and a certain event feeling as you can watch all the steps creating it because you have the barista counter aka coffee stage directly in front of you.

J. Hornig is just a charming place. From now on, I guess I can speak for us both, a new café just made it to one of the top 5 coffeeplaces we are happily visiting on a regular basis in Vienna. Sure thing. As the café does offer enough space and seating options and is super bright due to the quite big windows and oh yeah, I do appreciate the floor as well, J. Hornig might be an additional place stopping by when there is a need to get some uni work done. Give me some coffee accompanied by fresh flowers, maybe a glass of water and not to forget some music in the background, I am definitely happy staying plenty of hours at a good café which happens to have super friendly and competent baristas too. Looking forward to visiting this place again soon!

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A tiny bit Marrakech

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Sunglasses, straws in fresh drinks and a daily dose of caffeine – elements which should not be missing during a fun vacay. Thanks to mad recommendations and a ton of convincing pictures, one of my dearest friends and I happily booked a flight to one of the most colourful places which are reachable in about four hours by plane from Austria. Frankly, I never really planed to or even thought about visiting this place someday, but I am glad my curiosity kind of forced me to. Marrakech, the heart of Morocco, is definitely worth a visit. Despite the fact that we have not been so lucky in terms of accommodation choosing and the first eve was a little cultural shock indeed, I would recommend stopping by in the city anyways, we had a blast. Whether for a short weekend stay away or a whole week including visiting some other places nearby such as Casablanca, Fès or the Atlas Mountains, it is a nice fit especially because it offers both relaxing and exploring stuff. I guess Marrakech is now transforming to a pretty trendy holiday spot these days, not only during off-seasons. Haha ok, back to coffeespot basics, I am not willing to write a whole travel dairy here… 🙂

Once upon a time…

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Zwin Zwin is the spot you should add to your list while you are busy strolling around the markets of Marrakech. Actually finding this café was kind of a coincidence and I am so glad we were courageous enough to walk up those turquoise stairs in the middle of a busy tiny street including loads of crazy people on motorcycles and some trying to sell their goods like 24/7. Zwin Zwin Café is literally the perfect spot to settle down during a fast but exciting first stroll through the Medina (old town) of Marrakech. It is very well hidden and super small though but on the top there is this little terrace which offers a stunning view over the city and palms do say hi as well. We spent like 4 hours talking there and enjoyed some delicious fresh orange juice and latte. At Zwin Zwin´s you also get healthy and not so healthy food and the music puts you in the right holiday mode. We went there two times in a row and most of the time we had the rooftop for ourselves because we chose some not so ordinary hours for stopping by. The orange juice they are serving at this café is like a vitamin heaven coming true, the coffee is fine, nothing too special but the best Moroccan one I had during our holiday stay – folks, that means something!

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Just checking in – picture based today

Good morning 🙂 It is Saturday finally, kind of good news, right? I am just checking in very briefly. Due to a bad cold, I need to stay in bed all day anyway, but hey sun´s out! Happy being able to spot some from my bed though.

I´ve put together some visuals of one café I got to visit with my dad some days ago. So traditional – we had tea and a small breakfast. Café Sperl is literally living the Viennese lifestyle. Don´t get me wrong, I don´t want to make any judgments here, but in some cases I´m not sure if this is a good thing. 🙂 Anyways, if you are curious about real, traditional, old cafés in the coffee city Vienna – you may wanna visit this one someday. Enjoy the visuals, I think they speak for themselves and help you make a decision whether stopping by or just walking across the street and spot it from the outside.
Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

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