Ordering coffee in Germany

One of the first things you usually learn as a beginner is how to order a coffee in Germany.

You learn that a cup of coffee is ‘eine Tasse Kaffee’:


And a pot of coffee is ‘ein Kännchen Kaffee’:

So, I was really surprised when during our holidays in Germany I spotted this:


Two thoughts went through my head:

  1. Oh no, they Germanised the English ‘pot’ and instead of Kännchen they now also say Pott.
  2. I could do with a pot of coffee ☺

So we ordered it. We had a really nice piece of cake and ….

… a mug of coffee!

Whenever I taught the words for cups of coffee I always also got the question about a mug of coffee. When you look in dictionaries you’ll see that mug usually gets translated as ‘Becher’. To me and many others a Becher means a plastic mug mainly used for young children –  hardly the utensil for hot coffee!

According to Wikipedia, ein Pott Kaffee is used in parts of Germany. Unfortunately it doesn’t mention in how many or where exactly. But if you’re in Germany and would rather have a mug instead of a cup, you can now get a Pott Kaffee, enjoy!

PS. Don’t forget:
Ich möchte…
… eine Tasse Kaffee
… einen Pott Kaffee
… ein Kännchen Kaffee.

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4 Responses to Ordering coffee in Germany

  1. tbk says:

    In Austria it becomes a bit more varied. You can order a “kleinen Braunen”, “Häferlkaffee”, “Melange” and a great variety of other coffee specialities ….

    • Thanks for commenting. You are absolutely right! You can also get a variety of coffees in Germany (although probably not quite as many as in Austria). This blog post is about the different types of coffee containers, maybe I’ll write another post about different types of coffee.

  2. Freya says:

    The word ‘(der) Pott’ is common in Low-German (e.g. Plattdütsch) and can be used to describe a big mug/cup, a saucepan/pot or really anything that can hold liquid and can be considered a kitchen utensil. There is a building called ‘Der Teepott’ in Warnemünde by Rostock. It was originally called ‘Teepavillion’ but for most people it was easier to say ‘Teepott’ and the name stuck.

    • I know the word Pott from Plattdeutsch but until now (okay, I don’t go to Germany that often) hadn’t seen it in cafés. Maybe it’s also because I hadn’t seen mugs in German cafés…

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