Die "Kaffee und Kuchen"-Tradition

The "coffee and cake" tradition

Coffee and cake - how a 17th century German tradition makes us relax

Germany, 14:59. It's almost time, just a few seconds until my favorite time of day. Three... two... one... the minute hand bounces to twelve, I jump up. Finally 3 pm - time for coffee and cake.

Even if the day times does not run as planned, I never lack the time for a break. Of course, this does not have to take place exactly at 3pm. But in Germany, "coffee and cake" is a long-standing tradition that usually takes place between three and four in the afternoon. But where does the sweet combination actually come from?

We have a look 347 years in the past. Into the year 1673, that is the year in which history is written in Germany: in the Hanseatic city of Bremen opens the first coffee shop. Here, the popular hot beverage was offered to the general public for the first time. At that time, the invention of the portafilter machine was still far in the future and coffee was brewed using other methods. It was served in a traditional "Dröppelminna", a pot with a pot-belly on three legs and a tap. At that time, coffee was still the brown broth with a bitter taste, so it wasn't long before coffee houses began to expand their range. Not only by a can of sugar, but also by fine baked goods. It depended on the region in which cakes and tarts were popular. Schwarzwälderkirschtorte was especially popular in the south, Frankfurter Kranz a little further towards the center and Friesentorte was taken to heart at the very top in the north. 

Especially on Sunday, people enjoyed making elaborate cakes

During the week, lovers of coffee and cake tradition are also content with a simple Rührkuchen or Kleingebäck - Teilchen, as they are affectionately called in the Rhineland. It is therefore important to always have a good cup of coffee to go with it, regardless of whether it is a cappuccino, latte or a simple espresso. The good old filter machine may also be used for this occasion.

What should not be missing at any coffee party is good company and enough time to enjoy.

The tradition of coffee and cake has spread over national borders long ago. In Austria, the coffee culture flourishes with the famous "Mehlspeisen" in the U.S. is celebrated on April 7, the "National Coffee and Cake Day"

By the way, coffee and cake goes both in our 19grams cafés and at home with homemade desserts. In order to always be prepared for unannounced guests, we recommend the insanely delicious marzipan recipe from our 19grams baker Kendall. The marzipan creation can be kept refrigerated for up to two weeks, but I'm sure you'll have it polished off in less time during your regular coffee party ;) 

Kendall's marzipan recipe

Ingredients for 10 rolls

250g ground almonds

250g powdered sugar

5g rose water

3g salt

5g lemon juice

30ml water


Mix the ground almonds, powdered sugar and salt in a blender. Whisk water, rose water and lemon juice in a small bowl and add the liquid to the almond mixture until a ball forms. Divide this into ten pieces and form them into small rolls. In the refrigerator, these can be kept covered for up to two weeks.

If you're still looking for a suitable coffee for your next coffee conversation, I recommend our Ekata filter coffee. With its flavors of milk chocolate, strawberry and macadamia, it not only goes well with marzipan, but also makes for a wonderful morning wake-up call ;)