What is Viennese Coffee?

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In the grand world of coffee, Viennese coffee holds a special place as a luxurious and indulgent treat that embodies the elegance and sophistication of Vienna’s historic coffeehouse culture.

The Viennese coffee is the perfect choice for those seeking a sumptuous coffee experience that marries bold flavours with sweet and creamy accents.

In this Coffee Expert guide, we’ll explore the origins, characteristics, and variations of Viennese coffee, helping you better understand and appreciate this opulent coffee creation.

The Origins of Viennese Coffee

A Historic Coffeehouse Culture

Viennese coffee is named after the Austrian capital, Vienna, which is renowned for its rich coffeehouse culture that dates back to the 17th century.

The city’s historic coffeehouses are elegant establishments where people gather to socialise, discuss intellectual topics, and indulge in exquisite coffee and pastries.

Viennese Sophistication

Viennese coffee embodies the sophistication and grandeur of Vienna’s coffeehouse culture, offering a luxurious and indulgent experience that sets it apart from other coffee beverages.

The Components of Viennese Coffee

Coffee Base

The foundation of Viennese coffee is a strong coffee base, typically made with a dark-roasted blend of beans.

The coffee is brewed either as espresso or using a traditional Viennese method such as a Moka pot or drip brew, which use different coffee grind sizes.

Whipped Cream

The key component that sets Viennese coffee apart from other coffee beverages is the addition of a generous dollop of whipped cream, which provides a rich and velvety contrast to the bold coffee flavours.

Sweet and Spiced Accents

Viennese coffee is often garnished with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg, adding a subtle touch of sweetness and spice that complements the rich coffee and cream components.

The Classic Viennese Coffee Ratio

Balance of Flavours

The traditional Viennese coffee is composed of a carefully balanced ratio of strong coffee and whipped cream.

This ratio creates a harmonious flavour profile that allows the bold coffee and the smooth, rich cream to shine without overpowering one another.


A classic Viennese coffee is typically served in a larger cup or glass, holding approximately 200-240ml (6-8 oz), ensuring that the coffee-to-cream ratio remains consistent and the beverage maintains its characteristic indulgence.

How to Make Viennese Coffee

1. Brew Your Coffee

Begin by brewing a strong cup of coffee using freshly ground dark-roasted coffee beans. Aim for a robust and full-bodied extraction, as the coffee will provide the core flavour in your Viennese coffee.

2. Whip Your Cream

Whip a generous portion of heavy cream until it reaches a thick and velvety consistency. Be cautious not to over-whip the cream, as it should remain smooth and spoonable.

3. Assemble Your Viennese Coffee

Pour the brewed coffee into a large cup or glass and gently spoon the whipped cream on top of the coffee. To finish, garnish with a light dusting of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg.

Enjoying and Pairing Your Viennese Coffee

Sipping and Savouring

When enjoying a Viennese coffee, take your time to appreciate the rich aroma, bold flavour, and contrasting textures of the beverage.

Notice the interplay between the strong coffee and the velvety whipped cream as they combine, creating a luxurious and satisfying experience.

Pairing Suggestions

A Viennese coffee pairs beautifully with a variety of Austrian pastries, such as apple strudel, Sachertorte, or Linzer cookies.

The indulgent and rich nature of the Viennese coffee can complement and enhance the flavours and textures of these traditional desserts, creating a truly decadent experience.

Variations of Viennese Coffee


The Einspänner, a popular variation of Viennese coffee, is made with a double shot of espresso and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

This variation is typically served in a tall, narrow glass with a handle and is often enjoyed alongside a glass of cold water to cleanse the palate.


The Melange, another Viennese classic, is a milder and creamier version of the traditional Viennese coffee.

The Melange consists of equal parts espresso and steamed milk, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, making it a smoother and more delicate beverage.

Flavoured Viennese Coffee

Experiment with adding flavoured syrups, such as caramel, hazelnut, or vanilla, to your Viennese coffee for a personalised and unique twist on this classic beverage.

Be mindful of the syrup quantity, as the Viennese coffee’s charm lies in its balance of bold coffee and rich cream, and excessive sweetness can overpower the delicate harmony of the drink.

The Viennese Coffee in Modern Coffee Culture

Specialty Coffee Scene

As specialty coffee culture continues to evolve, the Viennese coffee remains a beloved and indulgent choice for its luxurious blend of bold coffee flavours and the smooth, rich taste of whipped cream.

The Viennese coffee’s opulent nature and contrasting textures make it a favourite among coffee enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike.

Viennese Coffee vs. Other Coffee Beverages

The Viennese coffee is distinct from other coffee beverages, such as the latte, cappuccino, or mocha, due to its generous use of whipped cream and its characteristic sweet and spiced garnishes.

These components set the Viennese coffee apart by offering a more indulgent and sumptuous coffee experience that showcases the elegance of Vienna’s historic coffeehouse culture.

Our Conclusion on Viennese Coffee

The Viennese coffee is a luxurious coffee creation that expertly balances the bold flavours of strong coffee with the smooth richness of whipped cream and sweet, spiced accents.

By understanding the origins, components, and variations of Viennese coffee, you can better appreciate this opulent beverage and confidently create it at home.

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a newcomer to the coffee scene, the Viennese coffee offers a rich and indulgent experience that is sure to captivate your taste buds and transport you to the elegant world of Vienna’s coffeehouses!