As I set out with new hope, I made my way to Namesti Miru to visit Bio Zahrada. With a little help from my iPhone and Google maps, my query was quickly located. I took a look at their web site before my visit to see what I was getting myself into. I have to say, it looked promising. They offer La Bohemie espresso, and a small selection of single origin coffees served in press pots. As a bonus, they also feature an integrated organic market: This was starting my journey on the right foot. When I arrived I found the cafe warm with a few cozy tables in the front and a passage to an equally inviting seating area in the back…but that’s not really what I’m here for. Let’s get down to business.
The set up they are running is a Dalla Corte single group with Macap grinders. My only real complaint after a visual inspection was the grinder’s hopper gate standing open. This is no good for the burrs in their grinder or the espresso. Not to be deterred, I took a seat and placed my order. To my dismay, they, and all other cafes I have been to, serve only a single espresso in a demitasse or an espresso lungo in a larger mug. I decided to stick with the espresso solo. When it arrived, the crema was a pale gold with intermittent dark speckling. Though present, the crema was not sturdy enough to last. The bouquet was floral with a hint of chocolate, but those flavors didn’t come through to my palate. It was citrusy and earthy with a hint of pine on the back end. The acidity was mild, but the shot was thin and a bit under-extracted. I have a feeling that the acidity in a fully extracted shot could be unpleasant if it wasn’t paired with milk. The under-extraction I mention seems to be a regional style of sorts, but I don’t think I could ever love it.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with the owner as I was taking a few photos. I was pleased to hear that I could have had the double espresso I so desired, but it is rarely requested, which causes a bit of confusion when ordering. He explained that most folks in Prague expect an espresso lungo when they order a double espresso. This explains the under-extraction. At the time I had taken more than enough coffee for the day, so I resisted the urge to have another shot. It appears I will have to withhold my final judgment until I return for a proper double espresso. What I can say with certainty is that they are knowledgeable and do take their coffee seriously. I definitely recommend a visit, but be careful how you order to be sure you get what you’re looking for. Join me tomorrow for a look at Friends Coffee House in Stare Mesto.