After the velvet revolution a number of smokeless, relaxed tearooms (cajovny) have spread around Prague. These tea-houses are largely frequented by younger Czechs who are mainly interested in visiting exotic locations, such as Africa, Peru or Southeast Asia, rather than Western Europe. Thus, the Asian tea-houses put themselves into holiday mode.
Prague is a haven for multiculturalism, and this seemingly nondescript Turkish teahouse is a prime example. A short walk from the Namesti Republicky metro stop, enter through the green facade of Cajovna Šiva into another world, with tantalizing incense, mesmerizing sitar music and the best coffee you’ll taste in Prague. Head downstairs and experience the surreal atmosphere and comfy couches. Be patient though, and enjoy an entire afternoon basking in this sublime East-meets-West haven away from the tourists. Siva Teahouse offers over 100 different teas to try, 30 kinds of tobacco, and sweets from the Far and Middle East. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday you can come to see Arabic belly-dancing. Location: Masná 8, Prague 1. Open: Mon-Fri 12:00-23:30, Sat 14:00-23:30, Sun 14:00-22:00.
Though tea-houses exist all across town, a good example in a convenient area is Prague’s first one, founded in 1991, in the aftermath of freedom. “Good Tea House” (Dobrá Čajovna), just a few steps away from the bustling Wenceslas Square, brings you to a tranquil world which takes tea to a virtually religious level. You will be provided with a bell and a British menu—which carefully describes every tea. The menu displays various options for tea (extremely fresh, priced by the pot), “accompaniments” (like Exotic Miscellany), along with light snacks “for starving tea drinkers”. Once you are prepared to order, call a tea monk (probably a Lovers of Tea Society member) by ringing your bell. (Mondays to Saturdays 10:00 to 21:30, Sunday 14:00 to 21:30, close to the foot of Wenceslas Square, facing McDonald’s, Václavské Náměstí 14).
To sample some tea from the newly emerging Chinese middle-classes in Prague (as opposed to sampling it from some Czech’s dream of the Orient), go to the “Tea Club” (Čajový Klub), facing the Jerusalem Synagogue. Uniquely run by a cultured Beijing gentleman, here you will discover red cherry wooden decor, skillfully presented tea, and green leaves which are the freshest in town (Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 21:00, shut Sunday, at Jeruzalémská 10).
U Boziho Mlyna
A cozy little teahouse that manages to be both stylish and a chill-out spot. Local art on the walls, easy chairs here and there, and evocative lighting make it great spot to sit down with an excellent pot of tea from a big list of teas, coffees and health drinks. The clientele ranges from hippies to housewives, and the music (thankfully kept at low volume) is eclectic as well. The overall message is clear, though: just take it easy. Location: Lublanska 50
Pod stromem cajovym
This nice teahouse serves over 100 blends of tea from all over the world, specialising in the traditional China tea Pu-erh and other smooth sorts of teas. You can enjoy an expertly-prepared water pipe from our large list of tobaccos, prepared in one of a variety of ways. Free Wifi avaiable. Location: Manesova 38.
Václavské nám. 778, Prague 1; www.cajovna.cz
Peklo, Nebe, Ráj
Heřmanova 42, Prague 7; www.pekloneberaj.cz
Štefánikova 51, Prague 5; www.bily-jerab.cz
U Zeleného čaje
Nerudova 19, Prague 5; www.sweb.cz/uzelenehocaje
Čajovna V Síti
Jana Masaryka 46, Prague 2; www.ecajovna.cz
Pod Stromem čajovým
Mánesova 38, Prague 2; www.cajovnapodstromem.cz
Václavské Náměstí 14, Prague 1; www.tea.cz/cajovna
Čajovna ve věži
Na výšinách 1, Prague 7; www.cajovnavevezi.cz
Masná 8, Prague 1; www.cajiky.cz/siva
Drahobejlova 36, Prague 9; www.cajovna-shisha.cz
V. P. Čkalova 503/12, Prague 6; www.dejvicka-cajovna.cz