Tribeka: Graz's young coffee culture

Posted on Sat 17 March 2012 in random notes

If you've never been to Tribeka while being in Graz, you've seriously missed something. Tribeka is the most famous brand of coffee and in-style café in Graz. It's a meeting point for businessmen, students and hippsters alike. The cultural variety of people you're going to meet when enjoying your hot beverage or cool juice at Tribeka alone is enough to be impressing alone, but during the day it also manages to leave an astonishing impression of open-mindedness amongst its visitors.

Graz houses three different locations of the Tribeka.

at the Grießkai

There's one at the Grießkai, which is the bigger one of the two I've yet visited. It's lower floor has quite some modern chairs and tables, as well as some high bar-like tables with the corresponding high seats. There's a long waiting table and a glass case containing all sorts of delicious treats for a sweet tooth. Usually there's already a line of at least two people in front of you even though the waiters and waitresses are always busy. Sometimes maybe a little busy with themselves but this is a case where I really don't mind since I feel in this venue that behavior actually even improves the atmosphere.

The upper floor houses a lot more tables and chairs. This is - combined with the free WiFi (I'm not using that. At least not without VPN.) - one of the reasons that I've seen a lot of workers with laptops and tablets there. During the holidays it's mainly a students' meeting point since they're not in school. Or pretty much all other days it's a healthy variety of university students (more), business people (less) and walk-in customers. I'm rather sure I've also seen some designers and journalists there according to the stuff on their screens (no, I'm not gonna pretend I'm not curious).

You can get that weird feeling sitting there. This belonging and not belonging thing. When you're among strangers and know you fit right in there. It's definitely an in-café. So actually I'm still wondering why I get that feeling there. I'm usually far away from mainstream. Maybe it's the fact that the personnel is around my age that makes me feel comfortable there.

near the Old University of Technology / Mandellstraße

That's the place I visit more frequently than the first place. It's not exactly close to my home (about 10 min with the tram) but the closest Tribeka. And since their Hot White Chocolate is mind-bogglingly delicious 1 I can definitely imagine being there every day. I mean, I could. I think this place just isn't as cozy as the other. There's no second floor and the first one is very crammed with tables and seats - especially during the colder seasons. You might as well sit outside when it's warmer or take your beverage with you but I think you're losing a part of the style that way.

Nevertheless you may want to consider it when looking for a nice place to sit down for an hour and have a long chat with some friends, like I recently did with Pete and Matthias.

Judging from the amount of laptop users I've seen there I will simply assume there's also free WiFi at the place.

the last refuge

There's also a third venue which I haven't visited yet. I may do that sometime in the future and update this article with my thoughts on that.

conclusion

Tribeka also has its coffee delivered to several restaurants all over Graz (e.g. the Rondo). These restaurants often display this prominently and proudly.

I might not like coffee at all but I can enjoy a great café all the same. Tribeka is part of the student culture that's very prominent in Graz and should therefor be checked out by visitors to get a feeling for Graz's coffee culture.


Update: I seem to have some trouble remembering the Markdown syntax lately. This is the second post which had bad links before the update. Even worse, this article was published while it was still unfinished. I'm terribly sorry for that and pulled it. When you read this it will already be the finished version. Again, I'm terribly sorry.


  1. I haven't been able to enjoy my white chocolate at another place after being mesmerized by Tribeka's. It's quite a shame.