The English have Afternoon Tea, and the Germans have Kaffee und Kuchen. Around 3:00 pm, people will stop for coffee, cake, and a chat.
Actually, I did some research, and most cultures have some type of break around this time of day. I wrote about it on my other blog - How to Beat the Afternoon Slump.
I find this tradition endearing because it makes the day feel more complete. When you slow down for a bit, refuel, and then get on with your day; personally, I feel calmer and more focused. Kaffee und Kuchen may not happen every day, but when a date is set with a friend, time is taken to enjoy both the treats and the company. I love that it is looked forward to when gathering.
In Germany, Kaffee und Kuchen can take different forms. It can be a brief stop in the day to catch your breath, or perhaps you call a friend and meet up at a local cafe. It was fun to watch people gather in pairs and share their stories, whether at a coffeehouse or even at the bakery inside the grocery store. If you are invited to someone's house in the afternoon, some form of coffee and cake will definitely be offered.
It can also be more festive with beloved china, freshly baked cake, and deliciously brewed coffee. These moments aren't meant to be rushed but instead savored. I had the opportunity to experience this with some special friends, and the afternoon is a memory I will treasure.
When traveling in Germany, don't be surprised if Kaffee und Kuchen is part of family celebrations, weddings, and other gatherings. Of course, because it is part of the culture, it is not labeled as an event but just part of the planning. For example, if you go to someone's house for a birthday celebration in the afternoon, coffee and cake will be served. At these times, especially on a Sunday, because you linger over these delicacies, dinner is served later and is usually a lighter meal.
If you are traveling to Germany, make a point to enjoy an afternoon coffee and cake. Travel is more than seeing sights. It also involves experiencing what the culture offers.