I’m still missing the warm, winter sun of Arizona, so today’s Coffee Spot takes us back to last summer and Prague, when Amanda and I visited Coffee and Riot, a lovely little place in the backstreets of the Nové Město (New Town). Occupying two small rooms on the ground floor of a tall, old building, it’s combines the traditional Central European café/bar with speciality coffee.
That means that was well as serving coffee from Rebel Bean (on espresso) and guests (on filter), there’s a wide range of alcohol, including beer, cider, wine, cocktails and gin, served late into the evening (10 o’clock each night except Sundays). There’s also a selection of food, including toast, cakes, quiche and a range of sandwiches.
Coffee and Riot uses Rebel Bean as its house roaster, with a single option on espresso, which changes every few weeks. This is joined by a guest roaster on filter, which can come from anywhere in Europe, although when we were there, it was The Naughty Dog from nearby Jilove u Prahy. There’s a choice of V60 or Aeropress, with the beans all available in retail bags, the roaster changing when Coffee and Riots gets through its current stock.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Opatovická is a narrow street in Prague’s Nové Město, between Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square) and the river. Lined on both sides by tall buildings it runs in an L-shape, heading first east then north, with Coffee and Riot, which opened in June 2017, tucked in on the corner, facing south. It consists of two interconnected, cosy, basement-like rooms with thick, whitewashed stone walls which blend seamlessly into the vaulted ceilings. The solitary door, which is almost on the corner, leads into the right-hand of the two rooms.
This is the home of the counter, which you’ll find at the back of the small space, at an angle of about 30° to the front, while there’s a window in the right-hand wall, looking out onto the northern leg of Opatovická. There’s not much to the counter, with the two-group Linea Espresso machine and its grinder off to the left, plus the till, off to the right, where you pay when you leave. Behind the counter, however, on a set of shelves in an arch in the back wall, is a wide range of spirits and mixers.
There’s limited seating in this room, with a two-person triangular bar on the left-hand wall next to the door, while there’s an even smaller one-person triangular bar tucked into the corner to the right of the door. An opening in the left-hand wall, effectively a short corridor, leads into the left-hand of the two rooms, where you’ll find the bulk of the seating. Since Rebel Bean offers full table service, there’s no need for you to linger here, unless you want to check out the selection of beans/specials (chalked onto the counter beneath the espresso machine) or drool over (err, I mean, admire) the cakes, which are in a chiller cabinet on the windowsill to the right.
The solitary window at the front of the second room looks onto Opatovická, with a U-shaped bench running under the window and extending along both walls. There’s a large, square table one on side, with a smaller, rectangular table opposite that. There’s a similar layout at the back of the room, to the right of the connecting corridor, with a pair of three-person tables, one in each corner, the tables against the left- and right-hand walls respectively.
The plain, whitewashed walls are lined with works of art, while on the far wall, opposite the doorway, there’s a small, rectangular alcove with a set of shelves. The lowest shelves contain books, while the top ones have various retail bags of coffee from Rebel Bean and the current guest roaster (The Naughty Dog during our visit). Finally, in the middle of the back wall is the door to the toilet.
Amanda and I visited late one June evening, essentially for a night cap. Despite the late hour, I had to try the espresso, a washed Colombian, since Rebel Bean (which I’d come across at the 2017 London Coffee Festival) was the first Czech roaster I’d ever tried. This was a good, full-bodied espresso, a little sour, with very much a front-of-the-mouth taste, providing a nice contrast to the other espressos that I’d had during my time in Prague.
Amanda, meanwhile, had an Irish coffee, which she was very pleased with, while I also had a bottle of a very fine local cider. Even though Coffee and Riot closed at 10 o’clock, the staff were still there at 10:15, with no-one seemingly in a hurry to go home!
|OPATOVICKÁ 159/17 • 110 00 NOVÉ MESTO • PRAGUE • CZECHIA|
|Monday||08:30 – 22:00||Roaster||Rebel Bean (espresso) + Guests (filter)|
|Tuesday||08:30 – 22:00||Seating||Tables, Bar|
|Wednesday||08:30 – 22:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||08:30 – 22:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:30 – 22:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:30 – 22:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||08:30 – 20:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||27th June 2019|
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