Coffee around the World: Germany

in Did you know?

Continuing our coffee tour of the world, let’s stop in Germany for a cup of “Kaffee”. While Germany’s most famous drink might be beer, it’s trailing coffee in yearly consumption per capita – studies showing that an average German drinks up to 150 liters of coffee compared to 110 liters of beer. This means that Germans are quite avid coffee drinkers, in fact they rank in the top 10 coffee consumers per capita in the world.

Origins of coffee in Germany

It’s not surprising that coffee was first adopted in the North Sea ports (in 1670s) like Dresden and Hamburg, as these were the entry point of this “exotic” drink to this part of Europe. It was almost 50 years later when first public coffeehouse was opened in the country’s capital, Berlin. At the time the coffee was only a privilege of the well off - "I need to have coffee, coffee; if you want to give me a treat - pour me a cup of coffee," Johann Sebastian Bach wrote in 1732. And while Germans do not grow their coffee, they contributed to the coffee drinking culture around the world in their own way – inventing paper coffee filters in 1908 (by Ms. Melitta Bentz). Simple, effective, German .

Cafés and Bakeries

German cafés differ from the ones you might be used to in the US – they serve alcohol and tend to look more like bars. It is not unusual that they get louder in the evening with tables cleared out to make room for the crowd. Don’t worry, they are quiet and relaxing during the day, so you’ll be able to enjoy your book with a cup of coffee.

Another option to get your coffee is Bäckerei – bakery. Bakeries are quite incorporated in everyday life and you can get a less pricy coffee there as well – although your choices of coffee types might be limited.

Which types of coffee do Germans drink

Vast majority of Germans drink at least one cup a day (73% on average), with morning coffee usually made at home. Cafés are the source of coffee during other hours of the day. German coffee drinking habits differ by the region, with people preferring strong coffee with addition of milk in big cities, espresso in Southern regions (Munich area) and cappuccino being the drink of choice in Berlin area. Still, long coffee (filter or American) is quite popular throughout the country. A word of caution – when ordering cappuccino, it’s wise to ask if they prepare it with cream, as in some places they actually do.

You might still prefer German beer to German coffee, and know Germany by quality cars, soccer team or sausages, but it’s still a coffee loving country. And if you get a chance to visit, its easy to order a cup of coffee: “Ein Kaffee, bitte.”


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