Testa Rossa Caffe, Mahlerstrabe 4, Wien (Vienna)
Conveniently located to most museums and the downtown area; this cozy little cafe on a side street is in the heart of Vienna. Luckily for us, the espresso was good and the barista and owner of the cafe, "Michael", were open to making a coffee for us that was designed by us. We enjoyed the well balanced and flavourful cortados (1:1 espresso ‘cut’ with warm steamed micro-foam milk) that was prepared with care. A complete difference and refreshing experience to the general Viennese cafe scene.
To speak more about this particular idea: in many cases, when we enter a cafe, restaurant, or any place of business, and ask for a style of coffee, whether it be a cortado, machiato, cappucino, etc., generally no matter what we order, we are going to be served what the server (barista?) deems to be served, and not particularly what we have asked for. Get our drift: “you get what I serve you!” I suppose many people are happy to order from a menu and not ask how it is being made, or ask for a coffee the way they enjoy it. And few people seem to care if what is being made is up to national or international barista standards.. But,, maybe there is another way, that isn't so blasé! Perhaps to ask questions about what and how something is being made is not appropriate in some cases or cultures, but if done in a friendly, interested way, sometimes this can be a delightful and rewarding experience for both the person requesting and the server/waiter or baritsa.
Most cafe's we enter that are new to us, are not only a cultural experience, but more importantly a hopeful encounter with an excellent open-minded barista, cafe owner etc. This can be a practice for those interested in being mindful too... Mindful of how they are communicating their request and how it effects others, mindful of how they use their body language to make a request and how it effects others..It is not really about getting what we want, but the excitement of what will come out of the human interaction. And, it is enjoyable to be surprised!
On our second visit for lunch and a coffee, we had another pleasant encounter at Testa Rossa: the waitress on our second visit was exuding a kindness through generosity that is rarely experienced. At the end of our lunch and coffee, the waitress and barista spontaneously responded to a question we had about the coffee cups (we liked the design and logo) by giving us two cups and plates for free: a pleasure to encounter bright and generous staff.