how to survive in Germany, Deutschland without cultural barriers, best and worst of Germany

What you should know before ordering coffee in Germany

Coffee with so called milk in Sommer bakery in Germany (C) BestAndWorstOfGermany. You can use this text and picture with an active link to

Coffee with so called milk in Sommer bakery in Germany (C) BestAndWorstOfGermany. You can use this text and picture with an active link to

This simple picture has a few messages in it. Let me be the postman and deliver them to you readily digested if you do not mind.

In many countries where I have been, it is enough to order coffee with milk or Cafe con leche or in whatever language they can understand, you are likely to get some good coffee with a thick foam of milk. Not in Germany. If you order coffee with milk you are going to get exactly what is pictured above. I.e. a cup of warm so-mild-you-can-see-it-through coffee cup with a few doses of packed coffee cream on the side. I think it is the most similar to American coffee, maybe a little bit stronger and comes not in a plastic cup if you want to have it right there.

I have been fooled so many times. To be frank, I fooled myself this way by asking for the same thing all over again and each time expecting a proper European coffee with at least proper heated milk on the side in a small jar. And each time moaning in disappointment after getting this thing again.

Filter coffee is so popular in Germany that you literally have to put extra effort to avoid it. In case its not your favorite kind. In two places out of three this is going to be the only kind of coffee that you can get.

So if you are like me and like more of proper European coffee with proper milk, foamed or not, make sure you look for a proper bar coffee machine and then order something like capuccino or the second most popular kind of coffee in Germany Latte Machiato. Yes, they would serve you capuccino also after 10:30 in Germany.

Another thing, and you might observe that in the picture, is that it comes served on a tray. This is also very popular everywhere you go. In many places you do not get seated and served at the table, you have to go to the bar and order yourself, get the tray with all you ordered, take it yourself to the table, eat out of it and then remove the dishes yourself to the designated shelf.

I guess this is so cause in Germany people in all workplaces earn relatively not little when looked from cost perspective. Therefore all businesses in order to be profitable search ways to reduce cost, and saving on expensive manly labor is a good way to cut the costs down. Therefore when in Germany reset your mindset and accept and get used to that you will have to do a lot of things yourself.

Why I mentioned eating from the tray separately? Because not in all cultures it is an accepted behavior. In the culture I come from eating from a tray is considered not well mannered. Here in Germany it is very widely spread and seems to be in line with good manners. As long as you leave your place as clean as possible after you are done.

Have a good coffee!


8 comments on “What you should know before ordering coffee in Germany

  1. Charlotte Steggz
    December 23, 2014

    I’m so glad I’m a tea drinker…

  2. Coral Anders
    January 29, 2015

    First of all, ordering “proper coffee” in a bakery, is almost like ordering “proper food” at McDonalds. If you wanted a “proper coffee”, why ever did you not go into a “proper Café”? Backeries only offer coffee-to-go in Germany – not “proper European coffee”. You should have gone to a “Café” or a “Konditerei”.

    • vidavidav
      January 29, 2015

      Are you German Coral if I may ask? Or someone lived in DE long time?

  3. Alex
    April 17, 2015

    Order a “Milchkaffee” and you will get what you are looking for. 😉

    • vidavidav
      April 17, 2015

      Also Kaffee mit Milch is not the same thing as Milchkaffee???!!!

      • Alex
        April 17, 2015

        “Kaffee mit Milch” is a black coffee served with seperated milk.
        “Milchkaffee” is a coffee with a lot of heated milk and foam on top.

      • vidavidav
        April 17, 2015

        Thanks a milliin! I guess this is cultural too. In the culture I am from there are many similar ways to call the same thing and get the same one too! In German each slightest version has its own separate title and you get exactly as you ordered! So you need to know the exact title rather than try to describe it. Got it 🙂

      • Alex
        April 17, 2015

        You are welcome! 😉

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2014 by in Business, Food, Going out, Survival tips and tagged , , , .
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