Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, a small town in the middle of the Palatinate wine region, is best known for its many wine taverns and thousands of acres of vineyards.
Wine, however, is not the only drink to sip when visiting Neustadt, about 40 km southeast of Kaiserslautern on the German Wine Route. Anyone who loves coffee should stop by Blank Roast for a satisfying cup of coffee that beats anything with caffeine from Barbarossa or McCafe.
As soon as you walk through the door, the aroma of coffee greets you. A huge machine made in the 1930s with state-of-the-art controls hums loudly in a corner. The coffee beans are roasted then cooled and wrung out in an open tank.
Master Roaster Holger K. Blank has been at the helm of coffee making since 2007. Blank’s methods are unique; during the roasting process, he adds organic vines from the area, which add moisture and bring out more aroma from the beans, says the café’s Facebook page.
Vanilla, almond and cinnamon are among the aromatic notes created during roasting, said Helmut Lohre, employee of Blank Roast. “We roast the coffee beans for a very long time, about 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.
One recent morning I saw Blank checking the beans as they were cooling. Customers have a front row view of the cafe’s open workspace.
It also means that getting lost in thought or having a conversation over a cup of coffee can be disturbed by the sound of the roaster turning on. But the compromise is to enjoy the fragrant smell of roasting beans combined with a hearty cappuccino.
The daily breakfast options are listed on a table and it is best to inquire about these choices when ordering at the counter. A selection of cakes, pastries and prepared sandwiches are available throughout the day.
The apple cake was particularly good. You can order coffee by bean type and flavor, as described on a table near the cash register. Shots of two kinds of espresso, cappuccinos, latte macchiatos, mochaccinos, latte and hot chocolate are also available.
The cafe also sells coffee beans, whole or ground, by the bag. Other regional food items are for sale, from local wines and jams to cooking oils and holiday cookies.
Stars and Stripes reporter Marcus Kloeckner contributed to this report.
Site: Mussbacher Landstrasse 21, 67433 Neustadt an der Weinstrasse
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm; close on Sunday. Breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Reservations encouraged but not compulsory.
Prices: Coffee drinks cost from 2.50 euros to 3.80 euros (about $ 2.90 to $ 4.35), depending on the size of the drink and the type of bean. Large cappuccinos and latte macchiatos cost 4 euros. Other options such as cakes and pastries start at around 1.50 euros.
english menu: No, but a little English spoken.