36 Hours in Prague, part 2
27,849 steps. That's what the pedometer on my iPhone reads for the Saturday, my first day in Prague. 27,849 steps and my legs were a little worse for wear. Awoken on the second day my body craved two things, the rejunvinating jolt of a caffeinated beverage and some amazing breakfast. To start the morning, I decided to return in the direction of Coffee Room, but a little further, down some side streets and tucked in the cellar one shall find, Cafe Jen. Our first stop.
Cafe Jen was an interesting project in that the cafe is operated, run and organized entirely by women and, in a modern era where the role of women is such a hot topic in the coffee scene, Cafe Jen should easily play into such a conversation. The shop serves Has Bean coffee, all the way from the U.K. And have many options for both espresso drinks and filter coffee. The food is made in house and the cafe is cozy with a nice selection of on steet seating. Inside is a nice set up that looks pleasant to work in. I noticed a collection of games such a scrabble and some card games tucked in the corner that made me think that this is both a social hangout as well as a great coffee shop. Friendly service added to the experience, but for food I would recommend the scrambled egg on sourdough bread. My espresso was a natural Ethiopian from Guji which tasted great both black and as a flat white. A great shop that can be an example of the standard of coffee in Prague.
After a solid visit to the Dox museum we needed some lunch and some coffee and on that side of the river, you need not turn to any other than Misto, another venture from Double shot. From the museum the journey by tram is easily 30 minutes, but insider tip, get a weekend ticket or buy a bunch of single tickets at a metro station, there are no ticket machines on the trams or the tram stops, and ticket controllers are out in full force for unsuspecting tourists. Regardless, our journey brought us to Misto, just a short 3 minute walk from the metro station. Inside it is large with a long coffee bar with a built in cake display. Behind it has what look like beer taps and a beautiful Spirit espresso machine. Again serving double shot, the menu was quite similar to Müj Šalek Kávy, so expect a little of the same, but with some small differences, and although I wanted to try the poached eggs on sourdough with horseradish sauce, I could not resist the full English breakfast. I followed this up with a beautiful blueberry cheesecake and an elegant iced Kenyan filter coffee, which was sweet, fruity and smooth. The service here was pleasant and friendly, and the baristas did engage in some subtle banter with me. Misto is located in a beautiful area within the city and is well worth the trip, especially for when the hunger stricken and museum enthralled tourists are walking around in search of great food and great service.
Our last stop for coffee sadly was Original Coffee, and I wish I had more time to speak with the baristas on both their product and shop, but as time was ticking and the heat was beating we kept it to some to go orders and got on with our holiday shopping. I loved the layout and decor of this shop, the designer post cards with brew tips and instruction. The coffees were supplied with Rocko Mountain Reserve, a clean natural Ethiopian that shone through even that dose of milk. Worth a visit especially if you are in the old town, but please find more time for them than I had. A great little shop.
Other Than Coffee:
The Prague old town is a busy city full of tourists and locals bustling through to see some of the richest parts of Czech culture, from the cathedral to the old town hall, Charles Bridge and the amazing view from the river. As you venture out from the old town, you will find the most relaxed vibes and friendly people, where in the glow of august people are enjoying the local food and beer in the sun. People here know how to relax and I saw so many dogs and dog owners coming in and out of shops and coffee bars, families and couples walking in the local parks and farmers market. Yes Prague is a city with an important and strong tourist trade, but it also has many young people who attend the local university as well as work in the city. A diverse location with some fantastic food and coffee on offer.
Whether it's for two days or for two weeks, make Prague one of your go to cities and you will not be disappointed, and when you do, say hello to some of those coffee shops and hard working baristas from me.