Austria is famous for its coffee house culture. There is a difference, however, between the best coffee and the best traditional Austrian coffee houses. Traditional Austrian coffee-houses are more about the atmosphere than about good coffee.
If you are like me, a coffee lover, and always keen on finding the best specialty coffee beans together with the most professional baristas, this is for you. In this article, I will introduce you to the best coffee shops and coffee roasters in Salzburg.
As always, I don’t get paid by the places I recommend. I recommend them because I love them. With the “220 Grad” and “Kaffee Alchemie”, that they brew the best coffee in Salzburg, which is rather a fact than my preference. Let me tell you why!
220 Grad – Origin of the Best Coffee in Salzburg
Alois and Margret Macheiner founded the 220 degrees in 2008. By doing so, they introduced specialty coffee to Salzburg. Coffee is their passion, and they were not only brewing coffee but were striving to become experts in specialty coffee beans.
From time to time, at least in the past, the cafe closed for a few weeks because Alois and Margret traveled to South America and Africa to meet the coffee farmers and choose the coffee beans they import and make sure the beans are fairly traded.
Where are the Best Coffee Beans in Salzburg roasted?
Two hundred twenty degrees is the temperature on which to roast coffee. The roasting happens in Maxglan, on the outskirts of Salzburg. The Maxglan branch of the 220 degrees seems more like a laboratory than a cafe. That’s also where they organize workshops to teach people how to brew the best coffee. You could go to Maxglan to buy specialty coffee beans, but you can also do that in the 220 degrees cafe in the old town.
The 220 Grad Cafe in the Old Town of Salzburg
The area you visit for the original cafe is in one of the oldest parts of Salzburg, in the Kaiviertel quarter. Chiemseegasse, where the 220 Grad is, is only 3 minutes walking from the Mozart statue but away from the tourist hotspots. There are around 30 seats inside and another 30 seats on the terrace. The interior of the 220 degrees is modern, and most of the time, the cafe gets busy.
The New 220 Grad Coffee Bar in Nonntal
If there is no space in the cafe in Chiemseegasse and you have time, you could head to Nonntal, where the Macheiner family opened another 220 Grad branch in 2018. Walking there from the cafe in Chiemseegasse will take you 15 minutes.
They call the new branch a coffee-bar. It’s the same great coffee but a slightly different concept and vibe. The building the new 220 degrees moved into was once an old motor workshop, and it’s kept in the same industrial style.
Specialty Beans and Coffee Preparation
When you order coffee at the 220 Grad, you have a choice of various preparation methods. My favorite is the french press. That’s how I prepare coffee at home, but in Nonntal, they have very fancy ways of brewing coffee, and the cafe is equipped with the highest tech machines.
Furthermore, you choose your beans. Four selections and some single origins are available for brewing. The single origins not in the grinder that day can be bought as ground or whole beans to take away.
Delicious Cakes and fancy Breakfast
The cakes they bake are heaven. Just as the 220 Grad is not a traditional Austrian coffee house, the cakes are not traditional either. They are their creations, and the selection changes daily. Whatever cakes are available, I promise you will love them.
Breakfast and the other dishes offered at the 220 degrees is excellent but pricey. If you don’t mind the price, go for it! To find out where I would go for breakfast instead, read this article on Breakfast in Salzburg!
Chiemseegasse 5, 5020 Salzburg
Nonntaler Hauptstraße 9a, 5020 Salzburg
Kaffee Alchemie – World Class Coffee
Founded in 2011, Kaffee Alchemie is all about the art of brewing the best coffee. Run by a barista world championship judge; it’s, in fact, world-class coffee. John is from Norway and brought the long Scandinavian tradition of good coffee and the third wave coffee trend to Salzburg. If you are like me, a real coffee lover, don’t miss out on this experience while you are in Salzburg!
Where the Coffee Beans comes from?
The Alchemie Kaffee doesn’t roast coffee. Their beans, however, are directly traded, mainly single-origins, selected by them, and John and Andreas work together with the best Coffee roasters in Europe. The details, like the time and the place of roasting, are known. They offer a wide variety of specialty coffee beans to buy, including fancy and expensive types of coffee.
A simple Way to World-Class Coffee
At Kaffee Alchemie, you can get coffee from a modern espresso machine. Their specialty, however, is the Aeropress, a special kind of filter coffee. A simple way of brewing coffee. Coffee from the Aeropress is what I would recommend trying. Their coffees are often fruity. Too fruity for me. I prefer more nutty varieties of coffee, but you have a choice of several different beans every day.
Get your own Aeropress for home use!
The Alchemie Kaffee also sells the equipment you need to brew Aeropress coffee. Together with specialty beans, this could be a coffee lover souvenir or a gift from Salzburg. The Alchemist’s staff would also be happy to tell you how to use it. They, after all, also host barista workshops. As a minimalist, I love the Alchemist’s approach to coffee preparation. The conviction that it doesn’t take high tech to prepare excellent coffee.
Both of the cafes I recommend are less than 5 minutes from the place where my free walking tours finish.
Kaffee Alchemie, the same as the 220 Grad, is a few minutes from Mozart square. It’s by the river facing Kapuzinerberg mountain. I love the seats facing the window. You should sit there and watch people, bicycles, and cars passing by with the mountain as a backdrop. If available, you could also take one of the two seats in the corner and grab a book.
Why I love the no Laptop Policy
There is a no laptop policy at the Alchemie cafe, which I appreciate. It makes the coffee shop a place to disengage and come down. Often also a place where conversations with strangers take place. The no laptop policy also comes from the limited space. The cafe is tiny, with less than ten seats inside. Sitting outside is like sitting on a windowsill, a cute, creative way to make use of the space.
Rudolfskai 38, 5020 Salzburg
Like everywhere in the world, many locals in Salzburg turned into coffee gourmets in recent years. Coffee shops opened, and many of them are good. Kaffee Alchemie and the 220 Grad, however, were the first to become institutions. They are on top of the coffee game. Even if you stay in Salzburg for several days, you don’t need any other place for coffee.
I only recommend culinary places I believe offer an experience unique to Salzburg. Places I consider worth your limited time. I don’t get paid by any of the places I recommend on this website or the Free Walking Tour City Map.
And again. Traditional Austrian coffee houses have little to do with the best coffee. They are more like a time machine to the 19th century. More on the topic in this article about traditional Austrian cafes in Salzburg and Austrian coffee house culture.