Today’s Coffee Spot takes us back to last summer and Prague, when I visited The Miners Coffee and Characters (to give it its full name) in Vinohrady. The first of a planned series of coffee shops, it was very new when I visited in June last year, having only been open for three months. In contrast to everywhere else I’d visited that weekend, Miners had an ultra-modern, Scandinavian feel to it, with clean, open lines, pale woods and white walls.
It also had the latest equipment, its brand-new Mark II Slayer espresso machine matched with a pair of Victoria Arduino Mythos 1 grinders. For all the high-tech espresso equipment, pour-over is still done by hand (albeit with an uber boiler, backed up with a couple of temperature-controlled kettles). The coffee is from the UK’s Colonna Coffee, although Miners has plans to roast its own, to be used in conjunction with Colonna. There are three options on espresso, including decaf, and three more on pour-over through the V60. If you’re hungry, there’s a selection of cakes, a choice of three toasted sandwiches (one vegan) and three standard weekend brunch options (two vegetarian: French toast and scrambled eggs; and one vegan: avocado toast).
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
The Miners Coffee and Characters occupies an L-shaped, split-level ground-floor space on the corner of Slavíkova and Polská in Prague’s Vinohrady district, east of the centre. It’s just north of the Jiřího z Poděbrad metro stop, with its front door on Slavíkova, but right at the corner, with tall, wide windows running down both sides.
You enter in the corner of the L, where you find yourself in a small entry lobby. The main seating is in a raised section directly ahead of you, accessed via a flight of stairs, while the counter is off to your left. You can also sit in the lobby, where there’s a wooden bench under the window to the left of the door and two stools flanking a box-shaped coffee table in the window in the right-hand wall.
You need to go through to the counter to order, so we’ll start here. Running along Slavíkova and straddling two massive, square windows, this is the most minimalist part of Miners. Long and deep, it’s enhanced by a floor-to-ceiling mirror at the far (left-hand) end which makes it feel much bigger. It’s also directly in your line-of-sight as you enter: it’s rather disconcerting to walk in and find your reflection walking towards you!
Each window has a pair of stools flanking a box-shaped coffee table. A water station stands between them, with retails shelves above selling coffee, capsules and coffee-making kit. At the back, the counter continues the minimalist look with the cake and till nearest the entrance, followed by the Slayer and its twin grinders, then, in a large, open space, comes the pour-over. The menus are on large boards behind the counter, drinks on the right, food on the left. Between them, steps lead up through an opening in the wall to an enclosed kitchen behind the counter.
Once you’ve ordered, you can sit here or return to the lobby where a flight of four, deep, concrete box-steps leads to the raised seating area. These aren’t really practical as steps, instead doubling as seating with round cushions and low box-tables. A conventional flight of steps to the left leads upstairs, where multiple windows puncture the right-hand wall, providing plenty of natural light. Meanwhile, on the right, more stairs lead down, but, tantalisingly, it’s staff only.
At the top of the box-steps, a pair of armchairs and coffee table face the door, while a small alcove with a padded bench is off to the left. Beyond this is a long, thin six-person bar with stools facing the door. This runs almost the full width of the room, effectively separating the seating at the back from the stairs. This is laid out like a library or sitting room, with bookshelves on the back wall and a floor-to-ceiling wooden partition on the left, screening off the doors to the toilets.
There’s a long, padded bench against the partition with three round tables in front of it, while opposite that, by the windows, are two round, two-person tables. Finally, there’s a nine-person communal table in front of the bookshelves.
Turning to the coffee, Miners had multiple options from Colonna Coffee, which adopts Colonna’s naming scheme. During my visit, the concise espresso menu had foundation, discovery and decaf options, while the V60 menu featured foundation, discovery and rare. I opted for a V60 of the discovery, which was a washed Ethiopian Kochere Debo, a lovely, clean, delicate, subtle coffee with classic Ethiopian floral notes.
|SLAVÍKOVA 5 • 120 00 VINOHRADY • PRAGUE • CZECHIA|
|Monday||08:30 – 19:30||Roaster||Colonna + Miners (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:30 – 19:30||Seating||Tables|
|Wednesday||08:30 – 19:30||Food||Brunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:30 – 19:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:30 – 19:30||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:30 – 19:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:30 – 19:30||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||16th June 2019|
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