Coffee is Germany’s favourite drink, more popular than water and even beer. German adults drink an average of 165 litres of coffee per year, compared to 140 litres of bottled water and a mere 107 litres of beer, according to the most recent figures from the Deutscher Kaffeeverband (German Coffee Association).
Coffee was introduced into Germany in the late 17th century, when coffeehouses began to become popular across Europe. The beverage on offer at the time would have been very different to that served after German coffee lover Melitta Bentz invented the modern drip coffeemaker in 1908. Bentz’s innovative paper filter made a grounds-free, less bitter cup of coffee; variations on her invention remain in use today.
Visitors to Germany will enjoy discovering the long-standing tradition of kaffee und kuchen: a good cup of coffee and a slice of something sweet. Düsseldorf isn’t short of venues that serve great coffee and cake, whether you prefer elaborate French patisserie or an artisanal brew served in ultra-chic, minimalist surroundings.
Olga Knoebel named her café Pure Freude, which translates into English as ‘pure joy’, after her family’s punk and new wave record label. Even in winter, the café’s courtyard is lovely to sit in, snuggled in the blankets and rugs provided, but it’s the spectacular French-style patisserie that those in the know head here to enjoy. The only hard decision is which sweet treat should accompany your coffee. The macaroons, available in a rainbow array of colours and flavours from lemon to violet, are too pretty to resist, but it’s also worth keeping room for a freshly baked croissant, dainty petits fours and a scoop of homemade ice cream.
Pure Freude, Hohe Strasse 19, 40213 Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 8632 0149
The Dolcinella café and deli is known and loved for its homemade products. Owners Diana Struck and Fenja Fürer use organic ingredients whenever possible, and everything from cakes and cookies to jams and flavoured liqueurs is made by hand and thoughtfully presented in homemade packaging. Dolcinella makes a great cup of coffee but is also rightly proudly of its British-style afternoon tea, which is served every Friday and Saturday at four o’clock. Expect freshly baked scones served with luscious mascarpone, along with delectable mini sandwiches and cakes, accompanied by a steaming pot of English breakfast or Earl Grey tea.
Dolcinella, Tannenstrasse 35, 40476 Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 4685 0693
A well known spot in Düsseldorf’s trendy Bilk district, Ugly Deluxe’s chic, understated atmosphere makes it a perfect place to refuel and revive. After dark the restaurant and bar has a great dinner and cocktail menu, but the café’s daytime offerings are a highlight. Ugly Deluxe has mastered freshly brewed, flavourful coffee which is served all morning alongside a breakfast menu that includes piping hot panini with homemade pesto. Come afternoon, pair a slice of the café’s legendary New York cheesecake with your coffee; this fortifying combination will guarantee that you power through the rest of your day.
Ugly Deluxe, Karolingerstrasse 80, 40223 Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 311 9354
Suli’s is the kind of neighbourhood café that you wish was your local hangout. Located in Pempelfort, the café has a cheerful and friendly atmosphere, helped by its simple but thoughtful interior, which is decorated with fresh flowers and trinkets, and the outside terrace is popular all year round. The coffee menu sticks to classics made well and there’s a decent selection of speciality teas, from Indian chai to an infusion of fresh mint with ginger and orange. The food menu offers plenty of savoury options in the form of soup, salads and filled baguettes, as well as a very tempting selection of cakes, freshly made every day.
Suli’s, Tussmannstrasse 5, 40477 Düsseldorf, +49 (0)211 5985 1470