Coffee and Cake (Kaffee und Kuchen)

The informant (A) is the daughter of two German immigrants. She was born in Germany, spent time in France, and grew up on the East Coast of the US. She is a college student.

A: “So coffee and cake – Kaffee und Kuchen in German – is basically just a thing German people do sometimes where they get together to drink coffee and eat cake and just like relax and hang out. When I visited my grandparents in Germany we’d do this a lot with them and people they knew, and they’d always just hang out for a while and gossip and stuff while they ate cake. 

Me: That’s so cute! So when and where did you guys do it?

A: It’s usually around early afternoon-ish when people are free; sometimes people would just come over and bring cake and pastries and stuff but there were like cafes that were specifically for coffee and cake where you could sit and hang out for a while. I remember there was one cafe we’d always go to called Cafe Mayer. It closed down a few years ago and we were pretty sad.

Me: Is there any special significance to coffee or cake?

A: Um, I don’t know…I guess a lot of women like it because it’s like…less than a meal. Like, we’ll just drink coffee and eat some cake and it’s not as filling or as an entire meal and it’s less calories I guess.

Me: do you remember what you guys would talk about or anything?

A: I mean anything really, the adults would gossip and just small talk and stuff. It’s super chill.

Context: This was told to me during a recorded in person conversation.