Kaffee und Kuchen

A "new" tradition at Magnolia Square Market

As with most other customs, the German tradition of afternoon Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) is observed in different ways by different folks - you might join friends at a café at around 4 on a Sunday afternoon for cappuccino and a piece of Apfelkuchen or Himbeertörtchen, or perhaps it's traditional coffee and Rhabarberkuchen at your grandparents' Schrebergarten, or rewarding yourself after a few hours of Bergwandern with Pflaumenkuchen and cream at an Alpine mountain hut, or maybe Käsekuchen and espresso on your own at a Konditorei on some random winter weekday. Sounds Gemütlich, doesn't it? Kaffee und Kuchen time doesn't even have to mean coffee and cake - it could be peppermint tea and cookies, hot chocolate and Apfelstrudel...

(I think a Café Mocha and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte on a Saturday afternoon at your favorite local German deli and bakery sounds pretty good myself... :)

The first time I experienced this German tradition, I honestly don't think I had ever had coffee in the afternoon in my life. It was July of 1991 in Jena, Thuringia, where I was attending a summer language immersion program sponsored by UCF and Friedrich Schiller Universität, and one of our professors invited us to her weekend garden haus for Kaffee und Kuchen. I don't remember the dessert or much else about the afternoon, I only remember thinking - along with all the other students - "Why on earth would anyone drink coffee and eat dessert outside when it's 85 degrees?? Where's the beer and Brats??" That same summer, though, I did have the opportunity to experience this Kaffee und Kuchen tradition in style, at a swanky café in Vienna - in the air-conditioning - where the coffee was strong and the dessert rich and tasty. And pricey - I think it was around the equivalent of $15 for one slice of Sachertorte and one Kännchen of amaaaazing Viennese coffee. I just sat there for about two hours, taking my time and testing my German skills with a leisurely reading of Der Kurier. You know, an actual newspaper. Back in the Dark Ages before smartphones. Anyway, that's the day I learned that "Kaffee and Kuchen" is just another way of saying Gemütlichkeit.

At Magnolia Square Market true German deli, we're in the process of making some exciting additions to bring the Kaffee und Kuchen experience to our guests. Come see us in the heart of the beautiful Downtown Sanford Historic District for one of our homemade desserts, coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte or hot chocolate - and, as always, unlimited Gemütlichkeit.


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