CaffeCouture, Garnisongasse 18, Wien (Vienna), Austria
On our first day in Vienna we went to a cafe/restaurant called Madiani. We had a good espresso and met with the owner whom suggested that we visit CafeCouture because he could see we really love to explore coffee. CafeCouture is located in the University area of Vienna. Unfortunately it was closed for the first 10 days that we spent in Vienna because we were here over the Christmas holidays, which is exactly when the University is closed. It was worth the wait! We had an excellent coffees on both days; actually world class coffees. The barista/owner Georg mentioned he competed in the Czech National Barista Championship, and also competed at the World Barista Championship two times.
The atmosphere of the cafe is very clean, crisp and has a minimalist feel. Georg made perfect hot thickened milk, via the La Marzocco machine’s steam wand (a new model being tested by George for La Marzocco) to add to an excellent espresso that comes from a blend of five beans; Brasilia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, (and El Salvador?) And a small amount of Indian robusta. The taste was like a cherry liquor chocolate (perfect for Vienna tastes), cigar, ash, fruits, perfectly balanced, lots of different chocolate notes. It was criminally delicious with a type of minimalist balance of flavours. No unpleasant shakes or burning from the added robusta. Though not politically correct in some purist Arabica coffee circles, Georg pulled off a real good one, demonstrating the proper use of a fine robusta mixed with arabicas. Congratulations Georg!
Earlier in the morning--well we just had to do it-- we triedt a Nespresso “Ristretto”(meaningless marketing and misuse of a espresso making term) and “Arpeggio” (another meaningless deceptive marketing attempt to give poor coffee a musical feel--maybe appropriate after all: arpeggio--can literally mean a “broken cord”!) and we both got shocked by the immediate burn, almost a chemical feel in the mouth. One or two sips was enough. One could almost get fooled by the first sip...but...and then...a mono-tone flavour profile. What does Nestle do to that coffee? Amazing, the crema looks good (how do they do that?) but are Nespresso fans drinking, tasting and smelling coffee? Or is it all about drinking a upscale design concept (with a poor ecological foot-print) and getting a quick, no fuss, no mess, no craft caffeine hit?