It’s been a long time since Vienna was the capital of Europe’s largest empire, but it remains a cultural center unlike any other. Majestic palaces and cathedrals pay testament to a bygone gilded age, but a new wave of contemporary coffee shops prove that Vienna is a city very much in the present. In addition to Jonas Reindl Coffee Roasters (read our full review here), we enjoyed these four Vienna coffee shops during our recent visit.
The first time I walked into Coffee Pirates I accidentally stumbled upon the 2019 Austrian Aeropress championship. As baristas from around the country dialed-in their practice brews, I squeezed in at a large communal table and marveled at the odds. Having organized, competed in, and judged Aeropress competitions, it was my first time attending as a guest.
When not hosting internationally sanctioned coffee competitions, Coffee Pirates is the definition of a roomy, third-space coffee shop. With ample seating and large tables, Coffee Pirates is the sort of café you can comfortably post up with a book, get some work done on your laptop, or meet with a friend. All coffee is roasted on the premises on a Diedrich IR-5 coffee roaster. Over the course of several visits here I enjoyed their espresso, cappuccino, and filter coffee. The latter was probably the most memorable: a juicy natural process Ethiopia brewed with a Hario V60.
Just a stone’s throw from the bustling Neubaugasse Ubahn stop, Kaffemik is a small multiroaster shop. What it might lack in seating, it makes up for in well brewed coffee from roasters such as Round Hill Roastery. Kaffemik take its name from “a traditional Greenlandic open house in which coffee is served.” Kaffemik is on of the few cafés I visited in Vienna to offer batch brew. When I visited it was a sweet and fruity Burundi– one of the best cups of filter coffee I enjoyed in the Austrian capital.
The Pelican Coffee Company
With its shiny Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine and twin Mythos grinders, The Pelican Coffee Company has one of the prettiest bar set-ups I saw in Vienna. The interior is airy and spacious, with a warm, welcoming aesthetic. I enjoyed a double shot of their sweet and syrupy house espresso, roasted by local roasters Süssmund Kaffee.
Balthasar Kaffee Bar
Every city has a café that’s an industry hang out– a coffee shop where chefs and other culinary professionals go to relax before a long night of work. In Vienna, that café is Balthasar Kaffee Bar. I went there to interview a sommelier for another article, but met several other culinary professionals in the process. Balthasar is a very visually striking café, as exemplified by their distinctive exposed boiler espresso machine (with their branding, no less). After enjoying a shot of their house espresso– a touch on the darker side with notes of bitter chocolate and dried fruit–, I grabbed an iced latte to go, a refreshing treat in the midst of an intense heatwave.