Pastry tarts and cakes - fresh every day -, Bergische waffles in different varieties and the Bergische Kaffeetafel - "drinking coffee with all the bells and whistles" - are presented on a slate in Nordrhein-Westfalen advertised. It becomes difficult when we want to enter the café, because three doors lead into this extraordinary café. Thank God the middle one opens and the older man who steps out points to the right door: "Here we go."
Our Bergische Kaffeetafel is full of nostalgia
We feel like Alice in Wonderland when we enter the café: not an inch of space is empty. Pictures, posters, musical instruments, old clocks, carved figures cover the walls. Books, flower pots, vases, coffee pots, cups, gravy boats, old coffee grinders and some things that don't make sense to me at first glance stand on the window sills. A life-size figure with a top hat, glasses and a camera around his neck has its place next to our table. Chandeliers, rustic cottage lamps and old gas lamps with enamel decoration hang from the ceiling. Several round tables are distributed in the room, lovingly set with tablecloths in different colors, which contribute to the colorful variety. In one corner there are several sofas in a seating group together in front of a wall with an open fire for comfort.
A cafe like the living room at home
The guests obviously feel comfortable in this ambience. Two middle-aged couples sit at the tables next to us, conversing in hushed tones. A few minutes after us, a group of older women who are clearly regulars at the café enter the room. They steer purposefully to one of the larger tables and order their waffles without even looking at the menu. You know what the café has to offer. The sofas in the corner of the room are the retreat of several gentlemen quietly chatting by the fire. We almost have the impression that everyone sees the café as a living room, the environment is so familiar to them.
There is a reason for that
There is a good reason for this, as the owner of the café tells us a few minutes later: "Many guests have contributed something to this café and keep bringing things that they no longer need at home." This has to do with the history of the origins of the Cafes, because actually it wasn't planned that way. The owner lived in Portugal for many years, but then returned to his hometown in North Rhine-Westphalia. "I like to drink coffee," he says. “When I came here, there was no café in town. The only hotel was closed and I had to drive a long way to get coffee and cake.” Without further ado, he asked the owners of the empty house if he could use the ground floor.
“I got an old table and a couple of chairs from the neighbor and sat down at the table with the door open at 15.00 p.m. every day with home-made coffee and a piece of cake that I got from the bakery. The people who knew me from before came in to say hello. Word got around that I had coffee, so I soon got more tables from the neighbors and asked my visitors to contribute. That's how it started,” he laughs.
We want to get to know the Bergische Kaffeetafel with him.
The Bergische Kaffeetafel
The Bergische Kaffeetafel is only available to order, as a slate in the café confirms. From six people you can enjoy this culinary experience. Traditionally, it was intended for several people. "The Bergische Kaffeetafel is a social event, not a culinary specialty," explains the café owner.
“In the past, people in the Bergisches Land were at work during the week and didn't have time to meet for talks. Therefore, they visited each other on Sunday. Even business meetings then took place because everyone knew that the business partner could be reached that day. They sat down between two and six o'clock. What came on the table was what was there: fresh bread, rice porridge, fruit, jam, sausage and more. ”
What is a drum mina?
"Coffee used to be served in a dröppelmina, a three-legged coffee pot from which the coffee was tapped," reports our waitress. These were placed on a warmer to keep the coffee warm. "Dröppelmina" is the name that is common in the Bergisches Land. In North German they are written with "nn".
"The pot originally comes from the Arab world, from where the Dutch brought it with them," the café owner tells us. One of these crane pots stands on our invitingly set coffee table as a souvenir, the coffee is served in the café from a pretty coffee pot with a blue and white decor.
One should have hunger
A Bergisches Kaffeetafel is definitely one. Delicious, sumptuous, and very extensive! You have to bring time, if you want to experience it yourself. You need three to four hours if you want to enjoy the four courses of such a feast.
The first course consists of slices of white bread, which we spread with butter and plum jam "to the brim", as the waitress advises us. This is followed by a layer of rice pudding, which is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. This is followed by a Bergische waffle sprinkled with sugar. With hot cherries and a thick dollop of cream, this ensures that we are already full after the second course.
The third course is savory and consists of rye bread with a ham and cheese plate with lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers. Finally there is black pudding with onions and rye bread. It is best to avoid lunch and dinner - then you can create a Bergische Kaffeetafel. We did well!
Reservation is usually necessary
If you want to experience a Bergische Kaffeetafel yourself, this is rarely possible without a reservation.
The café where we enjoyed our Bergische Kaffeetafel no longer exists. Instead, you can try them at one of these cafes:
- House Wald-Eck. Verr 14. 51674 Wiehl. 02262/2939.
- Hotel to the post office. main street 8-10 51674 Wiehl.
- Holstein's mill. Holsteins Mühle 1. 51588 Nümbrecht. 02293/6956.
- Hotel/Restaurant Ponyhof Knotte. Roemerstr. 51674 Wiehl. 02262/93152.
- Waldhotel stalactite cave. Pfaffenberg 1. 51674 Wiehl.
Petar's video gives an impression of our Bergische Kaffeetafel:
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Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline