A guide to coffee-drinking in Austria

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Drinking coffee in Austria is an experience to remember, not particularly because of the taste of coffee, because it's pretty strong and certainly cannot be drunk in quantity.

Coffee is a warmer, after a day on the ski slopes, but it's more than that.

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Unlike in neighboring France and Italy, coffee in Austria is more austere and serious. People do meet but the culture isn't the same as the street cafe culture of France, Italy and Spain.

You will be served black coffee unless you ask otherwise, though in recognition that the coffee is strong, you are often also served a glass of water.

Many tourists think that the glass of water is to dilute the coffee, but it is to be drunk in complement to the coffee rather than used as a direct diluter.

The cake scene in Austria is rich, and extremely filling compared to France and Italy.

Strudels are the order of the day, and these are ordered to have with coffee, and can be served steaming hot or cold.

They are a rich folded pastry of delicately thin folds that make into a large cake, enhanced with fruit, and really is a meal on it's own.

If you want Cafe Latte, it really hasn't caught on in Austria, although you can have coffee with milk and order milk on the side, as well as a half and half mix of espresso coffee and milk, warmed up with steam.

The variety of coffees in specialty coffee houses is extensive, and the flavors come from all over the world, though again, will be served black unless asked otherwise.