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Glass of water to the coffee

Glass of water to the coffee

There are numerous stories around the glass of water that is served with the coffee. The best known is certainly the fact that coffee draws water from the body and can be used to compensate for it.

The truth is of course different and can be found in the history of the Viennese coffee house.


At the beginning of the 18th century, when coffee began to establish itself more and more in Viennese bars, it was above all the nobility who ordered the new drink. In fine society, however, it was considered unfine to simply lick off the spoon or place it on the saucer after stirring.

This is why resourceful coffee house owners came up with the idea of serving a glass of tap water in which the spoon could be placed after use.


Around 1700, however, the quality of the water still left a lot to be desired. Due to impurities and bacteria, it resembled more a brown broth than the wonderful drink we know today.

In the kitchen, of course, it was still used, because cooking killed all the bacteria. But to the nobility, on whose money one was dependent, one wanted to spare the sight of the contaminated water.


So resourceful Viennese coffee house owners came up with a groundbreaking idea: they agreed to use only clean water in their coffee houses and invested in a common water treatment system.

Soon they were proud to be able to add a glass of crystal-clear water to every coffee.


This Viennese “water for coffee” idea was of course enthusiastically received by the population, and at the latest since the Austrian World Exposition it has become internationally accepted.


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Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse, the misunderstood dreamer, who always started a new journey.

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