"In other parts of the world you have new, modern things. But the old things, I think, are more important."

The history of Austria's capital is inconceivable without its coffeehouses. The Blue Bottle Coffee House, which opened in 1686, was one of Europe's first. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists and philosophers would gather at Viennese coffeehouses to read, work, and debate—some were so wed to the routine, mail carriers would deliver their letters directly to their preferred cafes.

This short documentary, filmed by Orlando Gili and produced by Jungles in Paris, considers the place of the coffeehouse in modern Vienna. Inside two Viennese institutions, Café Sperl and Café Hawelka, coffeehouse owners discuss how old-world culture has survived amid cups of melange and plates of buchteln. "In other parts of the world you have new, modern things. But the old things, I think, are more important," says Gunther Hawelka, whose family opened their cafe in 1939.

One more thing: Fans of Before Sunrise should pay close attention to the scenes filmed inside Café Sperl. They'll look very familiar.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Yes, 311 Nuisance Calls Are Climbing in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

    A new analysis by the Science vs. podcast team crunches the numbers on which New York City blocks are seeing spikes in calls complaining about other residents.

  2. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  3. A pink-shaded map of Los Angeles showing student debt burden
    Equity

    The Neighborhoods Buried In Student Debt

    How much of your paycheck goes towards student loans?

  4. Equity

    How a Booming City Can Be More Equitable

    In Durham, North Carolina, abandoned factories are becoming tech hubs and microbreweries. But building a shared commitment to its most vulnerable citizens could be a trickier feat of redevelopment.

  5. Equity

    Why Are So Many People In San Jose Fighting Housing for Teachers?

    The school system’s plan to build affordable apartment units for the city’s teachers has triggered a fierce backlash in one affluent area.