In Germany only sweet foodstuffs are served, with cream-based cakes
taking priority (such as Black Forest gateau), although drier forms of cake, fruit tarts and pastries may also be served. In modern times, because of work and lack of time, a Kaffee is an event reserved for Sunday afternoons with a carefully set coffee table, tablecloth, and invited guests.
The practice of consuming extremely rich concoctions flourished during the German economic recovery period — the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s and 1960s — as a reaction against the austerity and rationing of the war and immediate post-war years.
Traditionally coffee is the preferred drink served (with cream, or condensed milk, and/or sugar), but in recent decades tea has become more popular also to the common German people. In North Germany, e.g. Lübeck, Bremen and especially Hamburg, as well as in Friesland especially East Frisia, however, tea has always been traditional. Also, in the upper class and the German bourgeois esp. of the 19th and early 20th century tea was the preferred drink, they also called it "tea" instead of Nachmittagskaffee, they had their Afternoon Tea and also tea parties. People like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe were known for their tea parties, and authors like Heinrich Heine were known as fanatic tea lovers. The afternoon tea at the home of Thomas Mann was also quite famous (a TV Station in the 1950s produced a documentary called Afternoon Tea with Thomas Mann, in which Mann invited the viewer to tea and then served a cup of tea to the camera). In the late 19th and early 20th century, tea was also extremely popular in Berlin and in parts of today's East Germany. The origin maybe lies in the German tea culture, esp. of the Prussian aristocracy, which dates back to the 17th century.
Germans are also well aware of the U.K. custom, and refer to it by the English words "tea time". Friends may sometimes gather to have an English-style tea instead of the usual Nachmittagskaffee.
The term coffee cake can refer to either of the following:
- A cake, often sponge cake, which is made with coffee or has a coffee flavour.
- Coffee and Cake: A cake served with coffee or eaten as a dessert. Under this definition, a coffee cake does not necessarily contain coffee. Coffee cakes are typically flavored with cinnamon, apple, nuts, and fruits. Blueberries are also a common fruit to add as an ingredient to this dessert, and one might hear the phrase "blueberry coffee cake". These cakes sometimes have a crumbly or crumb topping called Streusel. (Coffee Cake Recipes)
In some countries, notably in northern Europe, coffee parties are a popular form of entertainment. Besides coffee, the host or hostess at the coffee party also serves cake and pastries, sometimes homemade.
You may also want to research foods served with coffee:
Bundt cake / Kugelhopf / Ontbijtkoek / Gooey butter cake / Madeleine / Teacake /