Coffee Source is well-established in Prague’s booming speciality coffee scene, the roaster having been going for over 10 years. However, the coffee shop of the same name, on the busy Francouzská, just on the southern edge of Vinohrady, is a relatively new addition, having only opened this month. A delightful spot, it’s long and thin, with a classic, clean design, all pale woods and right-angles, quite a contrast to the Prague coffee shops I’ve been visiting on this trip. It also boasts the city’s first Modbar (and just the second in Czechia), two gleaming group heads and a pour-over module rising from the counter.
Coffee Source has a single-origin on espresso, served from a concise menu, with options on batch brew, Aeropress and V60 (through the Modbar pour-over module). If you are hungry, there’s a decent selection of cakes and pastries to choose from. As much as this is a coffee shop in its own right, it’s also a retailer, showcasing the entire output of the roastery. Currently the various blends and single-origins are available in retail bags, but in due course, a coffee dispensing system will be installed, allowing customers to bring their own containers, buying beans by weight.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Coffee Source is towards the western end of Francouzská at the bottom of the hill before it morphs into Ruská. It’s also just a few minutes’ walk from SLOW Café, where I first learnt about Coffee Source (which supplies SLOW Café with its espresso). The coffee shop runs along the south side of the street, with four massive, square windows providing plenty of light. Each has a projecting windowsill which doubles as a bench, so you can sit outside if you don’t mind the constant buzz of traffic and the rattle of the passing trams.
Each of the two central windows has an inset door, arranged symmetrically, so the left-hand window has its door on the right, while the right-hand one’s on the left. Coffee Source is about four times as wide as it is deep, with a gloriously high ceiling. The counter, running along the back wall, ends just before either wall, but despite this, it occupies almost half of the room.
The seating’s arranged along the front of Coffee Source and down the left-hand side, a living wall, which adds a welcome splash of green. A wooden sofa bench runs beneath the living wall, six rectangular two-person tables stretching the full depth of Coffee Source. The front-most of these occupies the left-hand window, the broad, interior windowsill making a handy spot to put your bags, etc. Next to this, by a vertical, wall-mounted radiator, is a high, two-person table with stools, perpendicular to the front. Then comes the second window/door, where, If you fancy, you can sit inside on the broad windowsill.
After a narrow pillar you reach the second door, where the corresponding windowsill is covered in plants, ruling it out as a seating option. Immediately after this is another high, two-person table with stools, although this one runs parallel to the wall. There’s a single step up here, mirroring the rise of the street outside, before you reach the fourth and final window. Again, you can sit on the broad windowsill or there’s a three-person round table with chairs in the corner. Finally, the whole of the right-hand wall is occupied by retail shelving.
The counter, a blonde wood, metal-topped affair, is gloriously uncluttered. You order at the far right-hand end, with the pour-over module next to this, followed by the two tall, cylindrical Vulcano espresso grinders (an EK43 for the filter is on the back wall). Next come the twin group heads and steam wand of the Modbar, followed by a long gap before you reach the cakes and pastries in a large, glass display case at the left-hand end of the counter. This unusual layout, separating cake and till by the full length of the counter, makes ordering the cakes/pastries tricky. Finally, the concise menus are written in large, bold letters on four huge rectangular blackboards hanging above/behind the counter, with a fifth, on the right-hand end, saying “Objednávejte Zde” (Order Here).
I did as I was told, ordering an espresso, an Ethiopian micro-lot, served in an oversized grey cup. Light, sweet and delicate, with very much a front-of-the-mouth taste, it was easily one of the best espressos I had in Prague. I paired it with a dvojctihodné koláče (literally “double cake”), a pastry ring stuffed with cottage cheese, the centre of the ring filled with something akin to plum jam, only slightly more solid and not as sweet, a comment which could also apply to the pastry. I have vague memories of these from my travels around Central Europe 25 years ago and mine was every bit as good as I remember them!
|FRANCOUZSKÁ 106 • 101 00 PRAHA 10-VRŠOVICE • PRAGUE • CZECHIA|
|www.coffeesource.eu||+420 775 443 491|
|Monday||07:30 – 19:00||Roaster||Coffee Source (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 19:00||Seating||Tables; Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 19:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 19:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 19:00||Cards||Yes|
|Saturday||10:00 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Chain||No||Visits||21st June 2019|
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