A German “discovery” – Blümchenkaffee (don’t expect to find it on a menu)

Let’s do a bit of coffee-history…

Coffee used to be expensive, and by that I don’t mean forking up 5 Dollars at a local coffee shop for one cup – no I mean buying coffee beans. And with everything that is expensive you gotta be careful -right? Don’t waste it once you get your hands on it, save it for special occassions…

So once an ordinary person would get its hands on coffee and “waste” his money on let’s say a handfull of coffeebeans, he would be really gready with those, meaning he’d use only a few of them to make coffee (it was as well common to use them a couple of times, or to stretch them with substitutes like roasted grains). This coffee was so thin, that you could actually read your newspaper through it.

But as coffee was really expensive and you want to drink your coffee in style in order to celebrate its luxury, you get the really good porcelain and those at least in Germany were mostly handcolored and did have motives on the inside as well. So it wasn’t that unusual to find a flower or a bird at the bottom of your cup (painted, of course, not real), which brings me to the word “Blümchen” which is a German word for small flower. You probably already put 1 and 1 together.

Right, Blümchenkaffee (or as sometimes pronounced and even written: Bliemchenkaffee) is really thin coffee, you are actually able to see the bottom of the cup -and if you have the right cup the flower painted there –  without having drunk any of it yet. I haven’t seen it anywhere on the menu, yet (I really wonder why ;-)) so I tried to create one – just for you – it was the 6th double espresso that came out of the machine while using the same coffee ground!


One more thing, this word originates from the east of Germany around the Saxony area, so if you get a weak coffee there and want to complain, you can actually use this word and they will understand you. But so far I’ve never gotten a bad coffee there, yet – they really do love their stuff! Last time I got one of those I was actually in GB and it wasn’t coffee for sure and definitely no tea as well…



  1. Carrying the matter one step farther would be coffee of the “brand double sword” (Marke Doppelschwert). That would be coffee that weak you could even see the logo on the underside of your Meissen coffee cup (two swords crossed)


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