Melange, also known as Viennese coffee, is a popular coffee beverage that originates from Vienna, Austria. It is a unique and traditional way of preparing and serving coffee in Viennese coffee houses.
Melange is made by combining equal parts of coffee and steamed milk. The coffee used is typically a blend of different coffee beans, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. The coffee is brewed using an espresso machine or a Moka pot, resulting in a strong and aromatic base. The more famous mix is – half a cup of brewed coffee with half a cup of steamed milk, topped with milk foam.
Melange is characterized by its creamy and frothy texture, thanks to the addition of steamed milk. The milk is heated and frothed until it reaches a velvety consistency, and then poured over the brewed coffee. The ratio of coffee to milk gives Melange a rich and smooth flavor, with the milk providing a slightly sweet and mellow taste that complements the coffee’s robustness.
Traditionally, Melange is served in a glass or a bowl-like cup called a “Melange cup.” The glass allows the coffee’s color and layers to be visible, enhancing the visual appeal of the beverage. Some variations may include a dollop of whipped cream on top or a dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon for added flavor and presentation.
Melange is often enjoyed with a side of water, usually sparkling, to cleanse the palate between sips. This practice allows the coffee’s flavors to be fully appreciated. Additionally, Melange pairs well with Viennese pastries and desserts, such as Sachertorte or apple strudel, making it a delightful treat to enjoy during a coffee break or afternoon tea.
Melange embodies the Viennese coffee culture, known for its relaxed and unhurried atmosphere. It is a beverage that encourages conversation and leisurely enjoyment, making it a staple in Viennese coffee houses and a symbol of Viennese tradition and hospitality.