I saw a picture of the coffee pot you see up there in a shelter magazine a few years ago. I'm not sure which magazine it was, probably Domino, but I do remember being drawn to the sharp black and white stripes and the curved shape. When I saw that it was a classic Austrian design I smiled to myself and left it at that. I figured I'd eventually buy one for our house when we visited Vienna.

Lo and behold, when we were in Vienna last month I was just walking around the first district with my husband when I saw the following window display (I'm sorry I didn't take a picture, but this nice blogger did, and since I don't steal personal photos from the internet you'll just have to click over and peek at her picture).

(Don't be so lazy. Just click and come back.)

"There they are!" I basically shrieked at my husband as I gripped his arm and dragged him into the store.

My husband couldn't figure out what had me so excited about a bunch of teacups. I don't even know what it is about them, really, other than they are beautiful and I had filed them away for someday. And then they appeared, just when I wasn't looking for them!


Turns out the shop we walked into is the Augarten showroom -- Augarten just happens to be one of the oldest brands in the world and the porcelain is handmade in a castle in the second district of Vienna. I knew this was not going to be cheap.

I should have known that I was in way over my head when the very nice and very expensive looking shop lady couldn't wipe her grin off her face. Here was this excited American lady dragging her poor Austrian husband into one of the most expensive stores in Austria.

"Ha!" I thought, "She doesn't know that all I want is a coffee pot!"

"Ha!" She must have thought. "She's in love with Hoffmann's Melone. Ka-ching!" (Or whatever sound cash registers make in German.)

She led me to the basement, where one tiny little coffee pot was lit by a spotlight.

"May I hold it?"

"But of course!"

The pot was delicate but strong. It felt so right.

"How much?" I asked as I put it the coffee pot down and picked up the most adorable cup and saucer you've ever seen.

"Four hundred and seventy five euro."

(that's seven hundred DOLLARS)

"For the set?" I asked.

"Yes, the cup and saucer. Aren't they beautiful?"


I put them down as carefully as possible and pointed at the coffee pot.

"And that?"

"One thousand euro."

(fifteen hundred dollars. For a coffee pot the size of my palm.)

"I, uh, need to see my husband." He had stayed upstairs because, unlike me, he knew that Austrian shops keep the most expensive things in the basement.

"Of course."

And then we hightailed it out of there.

But my, isn't the whole set beautiful?

It's cheaper in America. But not by much.

Ah, a girl can dream!