Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Germany

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Germany! Our coffee guide provides insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene, offering information on coffee origins, popular drinks, and cultural customs tailored for expats. Join us on a coffee journey through Germany!

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Germany's coffee origins are diverse, with both locally grown beans and imported varieties available. Locally grown coffee is typically Arabica, while robusta is more often imported. In Germany, the main coffee-growing regions are the Harz Mountains and the Black Forest.

To understand German coffee, it's worth exploring these regions. Harz Mountains coffee plants thrive in lush, green valleys, while Black Forest coffee is grown at a higher altitude in misty, cool forests.

Experience the local coffee traditions for yourself by visiting one of the many coffee plantations or farms in Germany. Some popular options for expats include the Hof van Cleef coffee plantation in Saarland and the Saas-Fee coffee plantation in the Swiss Alps, which are close to the German border.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Germany has a vibrant coffee culture, including traditional brews, specialty blends, and popular coffee beverages unique to the region.

  • Cappuccino: cappuccinos in Germany are similar to those found in Italy, often featuring equal parts milk, espresso, and steamed milk foam.
  • Cafe Au Lait: cafe au laits are prepared by pouring half coffee and half hot milk into a cup.
  • Kakao Kanne (Hot Chocolate): a traditional hot chocolate, often prepared with milk and chocolate powder, and flavored with cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Melange: a blend of coffee, steamed milk, and hot milk foam
  • Kaffeezeltsch (Espresso): espresso is one of the most popular coffee drinks in Germany, featuring a strong flavor and served in a small cup

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee is deeply engrained in German culture and plays a significant role in daily life and social interactions. It's customary to drink coffee after a meal in Germany, as a way of digesting and relaxing.

When enjoying coffee in social settings, etiquette is essential. It's customary to wait for others to begin drinking before doing so yourself and to avoid adding sugar until the host has added it. Waitstaff in cafes will generally offer a small sweet treat alongside your beverage.

Recommended Expat-Friendly Coffee Shops and Cafes

Expatriates looking to explore German coffee culture will find plenty of options to suit their tastes. Here are some recommendations for expat-friendly coffee shops and cafes:

  • Café Philosophers (Berlin): offers cozy seating, a wide selection of coffee drinks, and a relaxed atmosphere
  • Daniel's Coffee Corner (Hamburg): a popular spot for coffee lovers, featuring organic coffee, homemade sweets, and comfortable seating
  • Café Peter (Düsseldorf and Cologne): offers a cozy, intimate atmosphere, with a wide selection of coffee drinks and pastries
  • Café Bar Claims Money (Berlin): known for its experimental coffee blends and cozy seating arrangement


Whether you're a seasoned coffee lover or a beginner, Germany offers a diverse and rich coffee culture that's worth exploring. By embracing local coffee traditions, trying new coffee styles, and seeking out expat-friendly coffee shops and cafes, you can deepen your appreciation for this complex and fascinating culture. Join us on a coffee journey through Germany, and experience the unique flavors, customs, and traditions that make this country's coffee culture so special!