Coffee came to Hungary with the Turks, but at that time the black drink was not that popular. The creation of coffee fashion is due to the Hungarian aristocrats and military officers who often paid a visit at the Viennese court.
The first coffee house in Hungary
The first Hungarian coffee house opened in 1714 and after a few years German and Italian coffee houses also opened their doors to the public of Pest. The coffee-drinking habit spread so quickly that more than 500 cafés and coffee dens were active by 1896. By then, coffee houses became centers of intellectual and social life.
The next 200 years became the brightest era of domestic coffee culture. During this period the number of coffee shops in the capital increased 166-fold. Coffee houses as the New York Coffee House, Pilvax, Helvetia or Berger were the primary venues for socializing. From the early 19th century until World War II, the cultural life of Buda and Pest took place in the cafés.
The decline of domestic coffee culture
After the communist takeover, almost every cafe closed and the remaining few were not recommended to visit. As a result, domestic coffee culture began to decline. Coffee became a kind of luxury item in the years of state socialism, while the quality deteriorated. After the regime change, domestic coffee culture slowly started to bloom again. Nowadays, coffee is an indispensable part of everyday life. However, the circulation and the social role of coffee houses is less significant than before. Anyway, many cafés open day to day that are trying to satisfy the tastes of everyone.
A large selection
We may find Café Macchiato, Cappuccino, Latte machiato on the drink menu of every coffee house besides the traditional espresso coffee drinks. And we may even choose more and more coffee specialties such as Latte bianco (vanilla, white chocolate latte macchiato), Choco-Latte (chocolate latte macchiato), Black & White (chocolate cream, whipped cream espresso), Latte Verde (mint latte macchiato). In really upscale coffee shops, alcoholic coffee specialties such as Irish Coffe, Coffee and Baileys are also available.
Neither will we be disappointed if we desire a cold coffee drink during the hot summer. We can choose really delicious cold coffee drinks, which are already available in several flavors, since iced coffee, almond, coconut and caramel iced coffee are there to please you. Most commonly, this tenebrous drink is consumed with milk and sugar, but cream and whipped cream is also a popular option.
Hungarians, the ultimate coffee lovers
An average Hungarian coffee drinker consumes 1-2 cups of coffee each day. 80 percent of the population drinks coffee, 71% uses espresso coffee machine, electric coffee maker or traditional clucking coffeemaker for brewing. The Hungarians prefer strong coffee. The primary place of coffee consumption is the home, the second most common location is the workplace and other catering establishments such as cafes or restaurants.
The Hungarians like to sit in a coffee shop where they can drink a cup of strong coffee with a mineral water or a soft drink. In the afternoon, however, long coffees with whipped cream or cappuccinos are more usual. These drinks are primarily popular among the ladies, men rather prefer the strong espresso. After eating the lunch in a restaurant, people usually order a coffee besides the dessert. But this custom is also fashionable at the family diners or festive occasions. It is the correct thing to serve a coffee after the lunch.