Monday, December 27, 2010

Rüdesheimer Kaffee

I told you all that we recently went up to Rüdesheim am Rhein with Megan and Will. One of the the highlights of that day trip was drinking one of the most amazing coffees, developed in, and unique to, Rüdesheim and, hence the name, Rüdesheimer Kaffee.

If you like sweets, coffee, cognac or fire you'll love a Rüdesheimer Kaffee. If you love all four then you'll be in absolute heaven after a sip of this unique German culinary delight. Of course, this coffee tastes incredible but what makes it really special is the production of the coffee which takes place at your table, right there in front of you.

When the waiter arrives at your table he brings all the ingredients ready to be mixed right there. A Rüdesheimer Kaffee starts with a very unique cup, in shape and color. (Here's the cup on the right. The flame will be explained in a second.) Only a Rüdesheimer Kaffee can be made in this cup. When it arrives at your table, there are already two sugar cubes inside the cup. The first ingredient poured into the cup, on top of the sugar, is cognac. Not just any cognac, Asbach, which is produced right there in Rüdesheim. (To be completely correct, Asbach is technically a cognac but according to the Treaty of Versailles only French products can use the term cognac. Kind of a strange stipulation and penalty written into a peace treaty. Anyway, Hugo Asbach, founder of the company, coined the term "weinbrand," a name for German cognacs.) Once the cognac has been poured over the sugar the contents of the cup are set aflame. A brilliant blue flame results and the waiter will theatrically toy with the fire and, if more than one coffee is being made, transfer the flame from one cup to the next with the lit spoon. Once that show is over, hot coffee is poured into the cup, quickly followed by a very large dollop of whipped cream, which has already had chocolate shavings sprinkled on top, all gently placed afloat on top of the coffee. The only thing better than this whole production is the taste.

Now, if you happen to have the good fortune to sample a Rüdesheimer Kaffee right there in Rüdesheim and decide that you just can't go on without more, you can buy a complete kit to take home with you. It's got everything, Asbach cognac, excuse me, weinbrand, cups, plates, and long spoons. I think the whole thing sold for 45 Euro, about $60. We'll take orders, with a small handling fee, from anybody that's already had a Rüdesheimer Kaffee and really needs one or anyone that hasn't had one but just wants to take a blind leap of faith and try this great German treat. Of course, you could make something similar at home without the kit but remember, if it's not a Rüdesheimer cup, it's not a Rüdesheimer Kaffee.


  1. That waiter was so funny! I really enjoyed him.

    I liked watching the video and hearing the music. Brings back such wonderful memories.

    Very interesting about the Treaty of Versailles and that only the French can use the term cognac. Thank you for the history lesson!

  2. Hi! Our family loves Rudesheimer Kaffee. I recently borrowed my mother-in-laws set to share with friends. I would love to have my own set, but they are difficult to find.

    May I purchase one through you? Please let me know. My e-mail address is

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Christine MacMahon

  3. I would like to order the set if you are willing to ship to Newberg

    1. I am so sorry I unfortunately do not live in Germany any longer. I would have mailed you one if I did.