Men in Black—The Bohemian’s Guide to a Viennese Coffee House TRAVEL

Men in Black—The Bohemian’s Guide to a Viennese Coffee House

( words)

Welcome to the Club

(German translation below)

cafe central treasury

Once you enter a Kaffeehaus, you are on stage. Everybody is watching you. There is nothing else to do. Having been inspected by the crowd, you are either accepted and from then on ignored, or you are ignored from the start, which means that you have already been accepted. The man in the black tuxedo and bow tie who balances a minimum of 12 small oval and three rectangular trays with glasses of water and the occasional cup of coffee all on one hand, is called Herr Ober, a commonly used abbreviation of Oberkellner (head waiter). It is useless trying to attract his attention by gesturing wildly, with whistles or shouts. He knows that you are there.He noticed you three streets away, at the precise moment you decided to come to the Kaffeehaus.

Be considerate if Herr Ober does not recognise you on your first visit. The aloofness stems from the days when there was an average of one point nine Nobel prize winners seated at every table in a Viennese Kaffeehaus (most of them long b e f o r e they received this accolade). This has changed dramatically, and some of the long-serving staff have personally witnessed the decline. It is now up to you to prove that you have profound knowledge of the available dozens of different kinds of coffee served on the premises (and that you are a potential Noble Prize winner).

Be precise. Order the desired colour, consistency and quantity. Studying page 76 of this book can help. It is unusual to order more than one coffee per morning or afternoon. The true professional sits for hours in front of his cup, being automatically and constantly supplied with glasses of clear drinking water as an expression of the host’s limitless hospitality. Once you have received what you ordered – and you will always have ordered what you receive – the man in black will show his esteem for you by serving everything with a warm and friendly Gnädige Frau or Mein Herr. When you finally ask to pay, after hours of reading, chatting, thinking and drinking water, the waiter expects a tip. Give 15%, as good waiters are rare, and you might require his services again in the future. And you will definitely come back. It is quite an entertaining experience to gaze at the world over a coffee cup, to look up from a newspaper or to interrupt a charming chat just to watch a newcomer enter your domain for the first time. And now please follow me back to the days when it all started....

 

 

Willkommen im Klub 

Sie haben vom ältesten Kaffeehaus in Venedig gehört und schon in einem feinen Pariser Salon in der Rue de Rivoli eine Tasse Tee bestellt. Doch jetzt sind Sie in einem der berühmtesten Kaffeehäuser der Welt gelandet. Hier steht die Wiege der Welt von Gestern und blickt mit neugierigen Augen auf die Kultur von heute. Seit über hundert Jahren ist das Café Central in Wien das Kaffeehaus der Monarchie, der Republiken, des Gestern und des Heute. Bankiers wie die Rothschilds, Persönlichkeiten wie Theodor Herzl und Leo Trotzki, Kapazitäten der Medizin und der Wissenschaft, Akteure auf der Weltbühne und ihre Zuschauer, sie alle verwandelten das Central in ihre Bankkontoren, Rednerpulte, Kanzleien, Wohnzimmer und Praxen. „Das Café Central ist nämlich kein Caféhaus wie andere Caféhäuser, sondern eine Weltanschauung.“, schrieb einst Alfred Polgar über sein Stammcafé. Das war vor über fünfzig Jahren. Heute ist das Kaffeehaus – diese urwienerische Einrichtung – noch immer ein Ort der Ruhe und Beschaulichkeit, der zum regen Gedankenaustausch oder zum versunkenen Studium der aufliegenden Tageszeitungen, Magazine und Wochenschriften einlädt. Ach ja: und zum Kaffee-, Tee- oder sonst etwas trinken. Lassen Sie uns also in diesem Büchlein die Zeiger der Uhr zurückdrehen und einen Blick in jene Tage werfen, in denen diese Institution weltberühmt wurde. Nirgendwo fällt uns dies leichter als eben hier, im Café Central.

Booking.com

Most Popular

Half Moon

Half Moon

In 1954, a group of wealthy individuals including Donald Deskey, the fabled designer (among his works the Radio City Music Hall); Harvey Firestone,...Read More

Prince de Galles

Prince de Galles

A hotel with two names! The rumor persists that in the 1920s the Prince of Wales influenced the naming of this house. So it was called (see...Read More

Metropole (Sofitel Legends)

Metropole (Sofitel Legends)

If you haven't been to the Metropole, you haven't been to Vietnam! "The Metropole is one of the last grand hotels of the exotic East. I...Read More

Strand Hotel

Strand Hotel

  A book of history, stories and memories of all the artists and writers who found inspiration at The Strand. "The Strand" — what a...Read More

The Peninsula

The Peninsula

'I feel like a million dollars!' became the immortal first impression of a lady walking through the corridors of The Peninsula at...Read More