Head Shot Coffee is a chain of precisely two coffee shops, both of which are in within spitting distance of each other in Prague’s Nové Mĕsto. I escaped to both locations for afternoon coffee during the week I spent working in Prague earlier this year. Of the two, Palackého, which opened in 2017, a year after the original, was the one I favoured. A bright, open space bordering onto the delightful Františkánská Zahrada (Franciscan Gardens), there’s a sheltered courtyard with four outdoor tables, while the L-shaped, window-lined interior has another six tables.
Head Shot uses Prague-based Respekt, supplemented by various guest roasters. During my visit, there was a single-origin Colombian on espresso, served from a standard menu (including iced options), plus pour-over through the V60 and batch brew. Both filter options used the same Kenyan single-origin while I was there, again from Respekt.
If coffee’s not your thing, then in keeping with many Czech coffee shops, there’s a small selection of soft drinks and wine. Meanwhile, if you are hungry, there’s a range of cakes and pastries, which are more aligned to the offerings of a Central European cake shop than a traditional western coffee shop (think cheesecake over brownies).
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Head Shot Coffee is in the heart of Prague’s Nové Mĕsto (new town), just west of Václavské Náměstí (Wenceslas Square). Its address puts it on Palackého, one of the maze of streets to the west of the square, but this is somewhat misleading. The coffee shop is actually at the back of its own maze of indoor streets, something of a cross between mall and medical clinic, which have several entrances on Palackého.
It’s easy enough to find once you know where it is, but perhaps the best approach is through Františkánská Zahrada, the delightful, enclosed gardens behind the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, itself accessed from Jungmannova to the west or through a shopping centre/cinema to the east. Once in the gardens, you’ll find Head Shot in the southwest corner, where a gate in the wall opens onto a secluded, triangular courtyard. There are four round, four-person tables here (which catch the sun for most of the day) behind which is Head Shot, visible through a large window.
To get inside, where you need to order, use the large entrance to the right, which leads into the medical complex. A corridor runs down past the side of Head Shot, which has its entrance, a large, sliding glass door, immediately to your left as you come through the door.
Ignoring Head Shot for a second, the corridor leads to a T-junction, with another set of doors straight ahead. To the left, another corridor runs along the back of Head Shot, which has floor-to-ceiling windows all the way along. If you carry on, you’ll reach a mall or you can head deeper into the medical complex. The corridors are very tall, by the way (there’s a second storey above Head Shot), with a sloping glass roofs, which makes it very bright inside.
Returning to Head Shot, it has a modest, L-shaped interior, this arrangement mirrored by the counter, which is directly opposite you as you enter. You order here, with the menu on the wall behind the counter and cakes and sandwiches displayed in a cabinet to your left.
The seating is around the edges, starting with a two-person table to your left, while beyond the end of the counter, a three-person table occupies the window overlooking the courtyard. To the right of the door is another two-person table, beyond which is a thick red pillar and, beyond that, in the corner, a second two-person table. Finally, running along the bottom of Head Shot, are two three-person tables.
I visited a couple of times during the week, the first time having the Colombian single-origin espresso. A lovely, well-balanced, well-rounded coffee, it was served, by default, as a single shot (something of a rarity in the speciality coffee world!), although the barista pulled it as a split shot for me and another customer, who’d also ordered espresso.
On my return, I decided to try the Kenyan single-origin filter, which I had as a V60. My coffee arrived in a carafe, presented on a large wooden tray, a glass of water and yellow cup for company. It was a full-bodied brew, lacking the juiciness which I sometimes get with Kenyans. In its place was an underlying flavour which I don’t yet have a word for, but which I thoroughly enjoyed!
|PALACKÉHO 720/5 • 110 00 NOVÉ MESTO • PRAGUE • CZECHIA|
|https://headshot-coffee-frantiskanska-zahrada.business.site||+420 603 576 354|
|Monday||07:30 – 18:30||Roaster||Respekt + Guests (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 18:30||Seating||Tables, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 18:30||Food||Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 18:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 18:30||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||10:00 – 18:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Chain||Local||Visits||18th, 20th June 2019|
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