Melange Is The Viennese Cappuccino With A Lighter Coffee Roast

Black coffee is delicious, but the beverage shines when prepared with milk, too. Whether topped with a little bit of foam in a flavorful macchiato or crafted into a long milky latte, the many types of coffee showcase varying attributes based on the milk ratio.

In Vienna, one of the smoothest preparations is called a Wiener melange. Although similar in style to a cappuccino, the beverage has a much less bold taste. The utilized coffee beans are often a lighter roast — which gives a flavor reminiscent of a latte without the extra milk. However, it's in the mouthfeel that the drink especially stands out. A delicate combination of part steamed milk and the other half milk froth lend a delectably airy texture.

Frequently served in Viennese coffee shops alongside a glass of water, the melange is a delightful afternoon drink. Part of a broad range of offerings in Viennese coffee shops, it's a showcase of the city's storied cafe scene. Let's dive into the details of its preparations.

How a Melange coffee is prepared

Melange translates to blend or mixture — alluding to the drink's defining combination of two milk preparations. Such a striking combination arises from local methods of crafting the beverage, which emerged in the city over centuries of tradition. Along with other classics like the Eispanner (espresso and whipped cream), they're now defined as creations singular to Vienna.

Every coffee shop crafts its melange differently; patrons prefer varying renditions throughout the city, some with more milk than foam, and others with only creamy foam. The most common deviation is the omission of steamed milk. As a result, the amount of milk atop the coffee can vary — although it's dependably less than in a cappuccino. In the drink's most classic version, the steamed milk is first poured over the light-roasted espresso. Then, the froth is added on top, often with an aesthetic flair. And for a creamier rendition — called a Franziskaner — a dollop of whipped cream completes the drink. Both a sight to behold and delight for the senses, make sure to seek out a melange during your next Vienna trip — or try making it at home with a light roast coffee.