Why Rüdesheim Coffee is a Unique Treat in Rüdesheim Germany

Vineyards near Rudesheim GermanyRüdesheim Germany is located in the midst of Riesling country, that precise region along the banks of the Rhine River where Riesling grapes grow in abundance.

And while the Riesling produced in this region is the best in the world, during our AmaWaterways river cruise, we discovered that Rüdesheim Coffee is an equally enjoyable treat.

 

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What is Rüdesheim Coffee

A waitress pouring brandy into Rudesheim coffee.Rüdesheim Coffee starts with brandy, specifically Asbach Uralt brandy. Hugo Asbach began making brandy here in 1892. Business had its ups and downs over the years. That tends to happen when two world wars are fought in your front yard, back yard and the neighbor’s yard.

But as Europe was patching itself together in the 1950s, a chef decided to mix the brandy with coffee. This wonderful new treat, served hot or cold, known as Rüdesheim Coffee or Rüdesheimer Kaffee.

What makes the coffee so flavorful and such a fun part of your visit to Rüdesheim is watching the process the coffee-making process. We found a bar on the Drosselgasse, a winding, narrow alley that we were told was the craziest street in all of Europe. It was fun, but we would have to engage in significantly more research before we could verify that “craziest” claim.

Making Rüdesheimer Kaffee

Burning brandy in a cup of Rudesheim coffeeThe waitress came to the table with a tray load of cups and saucers that are unique to Rüdesheim. The cups are narrow at the bottom and have no handles. The waitress puts a sugar cube in the bottom of each cup and then adds brandy until the cup is about a third full. Then she lights it on fire!

After about a minute, she puts out the fire by filling the cup almost all of the way full with hot coffee. The next step includes a huge dollop of real whipped cream then sprinkles of shaved dark chocolate.


Whipped cream and chocolate topping a cup of Rudesheim coffee

You must lift the cup to your mouth by the rim because the rest of the cup is still hot from the flaming brandy. You have to be extra careful or you end up with a blob of whipped cream on your nose and lips.

Neither Bruce or I are big coffee drinkers, but I admit, I really liked Rüdesheim coffee. What we liked most was the history, the tradition and the showmanship the waitress and others demonstrated. It’s certainly a thing that tourists do in Rüdesheim, but we were told that this is something that locals frequently enjoy in the privacy of their own home, long after the tourists are gone.