Also reviewed this week: Dobrá čajovna
The name Čajovna Ve věži (the tearoom in the tower) gives you a fairly big clue as to what to expect. A tea room not just inside the remarkable tower near the edge of Letna park, but right at the very top of it. The whole way up the (unremarkable) staircase, first past a weird little pet shop full of reptile tanks and then past a ceramics studio, you will be praying you have come to the right place. Don’t worry, you have. Just keep going right to the top.
Pushing open the door, the first thing I noticed about Čajovna Ve Věži was the lovely herbal smell, followed by the relaxing classical music playing. Walking further in and I realised the climb was worth it – a cosy haven awaits. Decor includes mismatched chairs and tables, Persian rugs, a large Buddha and several small oriental wall hangings. Like a favourite teddy bear, everything looks a little tired but well loved. Books and board games fill the shelves on the walls. The main room is split level – with a set of dark wooden stairs leading to the upstairs section. The whole čajovna is non-smoking.
Service was very slow. After sitting at a table for almost ten minutes I went and got myself a menu. Two other customers also popped their heads around to the serving area to see where their various drinks and food were, so it was not just me. The whole time I was there, the staff were hardly present, so it was rather hard to attract attention if you wanted anything.
The menu was entirely in Czech, with no English version available. However, as most teas have Japanese or Chinese names anyway, this is not really a probelm, and those with the most basic Czech will be able to cope easily.
Čajovna Ve Věži offers over 80 teas (from 40 to 115 CZK) from India, China, Japan, Turkey, Nepal, Vietnam and Tibet, as well as some fruit teas and non-caffeinated teas. A small selection of soft drinks is also available, as is wine. I opted for Sencha (65 CZK). This is a Japanese green tea, made from whole (rather than ground) tea leaves.
Food is limited to light snacks – nuts (from 30 CZK), sandwiches (35 CZK), corn on the cob (44 CZK) and, excitingly, sushi (85 CZK). I complemented my Japanese tea with some Japanese wasabi peas (30 CZK).
Despite the slow start, my tea and peas arrived fairly quickly. The tea arrived in a beautiful one-cup yellow tea-pot with oriental dragons painted on it. My waiter poured my first cup, into a dinky blue drinking bowl. Extra hot water was served in a (rather inelegant but very practical) thermos flask. My waiter helpfully explained that each additional cup need only brew for one minute. This was a nice touch and likely improved the taste of my subsequent cups.
The tea was a green-yellow colour and tasted quite delicate and very slightly sweet. There was none of that tannin-y, dry “puckery” sensation that can follow over-strong tea, even on my third cup. Excellent.
The wasabi peas tasted very good but (caution!) were eye-wateringly strong, even for a regular like me. One bowl is enough for several people.
I really enjoyed the location, atmosphere, and teas. Sencha was one of the most enjoyable green teas I’ve ever drunk. I was disappointed with the service, however. Čajovna Ve Věži has great, homely feel and I’d expected service to match. Service was friendly and knowledgeable when it arrived, but it came very slowly! I will give this čajovna the benefit of the doubt and hope I caught them on a bad evening. Let me know how you get on!
Čajovna Ve věži is located on Na výšinách 1 / Korunovační, Prague 7.
Nearest tram is “Sparta” (on trams 1, 5, 8, 25 or 26).
Open 16:00 – 22:00 in winter and 17:00 – 23:00 in the summer.