The last tea before a Prague sunset
I remember the first time I walked by this building; the tower commands attention or, rather, it captures it. Is it one hundred, or two hundred years old? You can’t precisely assess it. And what happened here? It’s like the building wants to tell you its story. I wouldn’t walk in it late at night: it might be haunted! Turns out this was a water tank built in 1888 and partly torn down during Communism for scrap metal. The top floor now hosts a tearoom aptly named cajovna ve vezi or tearoom in the tower; a unique place like this can do just fine with a generic name.
As you walk in the tearoom you are greeted by a long line of shoes; if you haven’t understood the sign on the door it said you have to take your shoes off. I’m puzzled: is this practice of Czech or Chinese influence? Can’t answer this one.
I sit by the window. The sky is red and is going to turn dark before I walk out. This isn’t a place for those in a hurry: you better visit it when you’re at peace with yourself. The ethnic music massages away the last bits of my worries. It’s Sunday, the frenzy can come back tomorrow.
Finally I am served my tea: it’s a golden monkey, a black tea; the taste is strong, that’s how I like it. The room I’m sitting in is old-fashioned, with dim lights and Chinese prints on the walls. I keep refilling my cup: the cold breeze coming from the open window is cooling the tea quicker than I expect. The panel houses at the horizon are now a dark shadow, only cracked by some little spots of light coming from the windows.
This golden monkey is good: strong and smokey; I pour another cup. These teapots have more capacity than one would think, how much am I drinking?
As I leave the place the noise of the streets fills my ears again. I was somewhere else for an hour, but you know the saying: “not all who wander are lost”.
Cajovna ve vezi is in Prague 7, in Korunovacni street. If you’re coming by tram your stop is Korunovacni, just before Sparta Praga’s stadium.