Sunday, May 23, 2010

Postcards from Germany: Leipzig, Cafe Baum - Eurpoe's oldest cafe

I took a drive to Zwickau to visit the August Horch Museum...a treasurehouse of Eastern German carbuilding...from the early days of Horch, Audi and later the Trabant. From Zwickau...about 1hr40mins from Dippoldiswalde, Leipzig was another 1hr40mins I decided to go meet a friend there for a spot of the city.

I had to visit the famous Cafe Baum, reputed to be the oldest cafe in Europe...I had always thougt the Italians were the first to introduce coffee in Europe and hence the Venetians should have the oldest cafe, but the literature and fame of Cafe Baum in Leipzig takes this claim. They even have a 3 storey museum showing the history of coffee...from the Arabs to the Italians..and entry is free. The cafe is housed upstairs of the cafe and restaurant.

A Probat sample roaster was one of the exhibits, as were countless implements to roast, grind and brew coffee. I spotted this beautiful coffee machine at the highest level:

The inside of the cafe was those I saw in Venice, Milan or Rome...

I ordered an Apple Strudel and a cappucino.

The strudel was delicious. No vanilla ice cream, but just plain vanilla cream, with a dollop of fresh cream. The apple provided some tartness, but the concoction was sweet, and spicy (cinnamon, mainly, but also a bit of nutmeg and other spices). And ably suppported by the rich taste of the vanilla cream and fresh cream.

The cappucino was rather ordinary...

A huge head of foam...nice, with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The coffee was regular espresso...and typical in Germany, which is larger in volume of water than those served in Italy. I guess some traditional cafes in Italy would call this a lungo (long) instead of espresso.

Interesting visit, Cafe Baum.

Cafe Baum
Kleine Fleischergasse 4
04109 Leipzig, Germany
0178 8592199

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