Imagine a normal (“Western”?) café. Done? Good. Now throw away chairs and tables (coffee tables can stay). Shut all the windows and hide them behind dark curtains. Put a dark (red) carpet on the floor, add some cushions and little lamps (completely randomly). Play some meditation music, light colourful candles, hire a (“rasta”) weirdo to serve tea… and there you go, a nice Czech tea-room! (Or tea-house?)
Wait, one more thing: The menu, of course: A must is a minimum of 100 sorts of tea (white, green, black, yellow… you get the idea), some exotic (read: exotic for an average European) food (i.e. pita bread, couscous, halvah) and hookah (yes, this). Sure, you can offer some extras, but not that anybody cares anyway.
Sounds like a drug den to you? Well, let´s be honest here: You are not very likely to meet a
businessperson politician in a suit here. (One more reason to try it out.) On the other hand, it is a great place to go with your buddies to relax (shisha is a brilliant invention, anyway) – or on a date (because it is dark in here, wink, wink).
However, what I find striking is that such a “café” exists practically nowhere else in the world! (OK, I know, there is one in Glasgow – but based on the Czech model of tea houses.) Why is that? Is this concept really that controversial? Or are other nations simply more conservative when it comes to the way their tea is served? …I don´t know. Do you?
At any rate, it is highly recommended to put it on your “to do” list should you come to the heart of Europe, my home country 🙂