Tea-Rooms: Czech Peculiarity

03 Aug

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 🙂


Posted by on 3 August, 2012 in Random


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2 responses to “Tea-Rooms: Czech Peculiarity

  1. Marie

    4 August, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I’d say that English-speaking countries have more of a “victorian five o’clock high tea” tradition, because they were actually introduced to tea by the English, but Czechs weren’t really exposed to this influence, so they drew inspiration from the Middle Eastern, Arabic and Asian tea cultures. Which to Europeans are more exotic and exciting than England, I guess.
    What I find stiking is that such tea-houses are a Czech speciality in Europe. (I can’t really agree on “nowhere else in the world”, I bet there’s plenty of similar-style establishments in Arabic and Asian countries, though of course there they’re just the norm/tradition… And then you have the immigrants from these countries who set up restaurants in the rest of the world.) Why us? Are we compensating for our (relative) lack of multi-culturality, or are we just weird?

    • lenkah

      12 August, 2012 at 9:01 am

      I think we are just weird, Marie. 😀
      But WHY did we draw inspiration from these cultures when (supposedly) the English is closer to ours (both geographically and …well, culturally)? 🙂


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