There is a delightful Kaffeerösterei in Kaiserslautern (1). Of all the places we went on our recent trip, it will be one of our favorite memories. Our apartment was just across the street on the second floor. We could look down into the shop and the happy scene within.

The Kaffeerösterei is a simple, authentic, and cozy neighborhood coffee shop with a bustling local clientele. They serve great German coffee and delicious pastries. I could live on the banana kuchen. The photo in this post shows an apfel kuchen. We tried to get there every day when in “K-town”.

It is important to quality of life to have peaceful community gathering places where ideas, news, and smiles can be exchanged, where hands can be held, and where local business can be nurtured. Starbucks, with no offense, is not the Kaffeerösterei. It lacks the authentic neighborhood feel. It’s plastic, loud, and rushed, and your coffee and pastry do not arrive at your table of friends on a tray carried by someone who knows who you are. Now that we are at home, it is going to be one of our tasks to find (or recreate) that experience.