This mini café on the ground floor of a functionalist building in Dejvice, exactly halfway between Dejvická and Hradčanská metro station, should definitely be a compulsory stop for coffee lovers. The concept of this place is as simple as its interior – an Italian coffee machine, excellent coffee from doubleshot roasting house, a friendly owner and a skilful barista in one and, occasionaly, something for the sweet tooth. This is a pioneering café in its city quarter that hadn’t (until recently) had a competition in Dejvice.
Kafemat is not the type of place where you would spend hours chatting with your friends and drinking coffee. It rather serves as a spot the regulars wouldn’t miss on their way to work, school, when walking their dog or just strolling through the charming streets of Dejvice. A cup of espresso, a piece of cake, a nice chat with owner Petr and they are on their way!
Even if you’re just stopping by for a quick cup of coffee, you will still appreciate the tasteful interior dominated by a large window that fully respects the characteristics of functionalism from the thirties and, at the same time, gives off a modern vibe. It seems that this space (which used to be a shop) and Kafemat were made for each other.
Kafemat is meant to be a takeaway place. Was this the concept right from the beginning?
Actually, yes. The space is too small for anything else, really. Have a stand-up espresso, sit at the window for a while or take your coffee with you.
The interior is architectonically clean and looks as though it has always been part of the functionalist building. How did it come into existence and how did you go about choosing the space?
Getting the space was kind of a coincidence. To my own surprise, I won an open competition. My previous attempts were fruitless so I was a little sceptical. Afterwards, it was basically ‘do it yourself’ and the cheapest way possible.
Dejvice were lacking a café like yours for quite a while. Is it mostly locals who visit the café? Do they really stop by for coffee on their way to work or it doesn’t really work that way?
Vast majority of customers are locals. Dejvice are a calm residential part of town and people flow is therefore not large. Our customers are mostly people with kids, dog walkers and people who work in the offices nearby. Some people like to take a short break during their busy day and hide here for a while and others take their coffee to work.
Most of today’s cafés with a good name offer either doubleshot or mamacoffee. Why did you go for doubleshot?
We like doubleshot a lot and that is the coffee and also the people around it. They have helped us a great deal and they provide excellent and friendly service. It was a great choice. We have now, after a year, added coffee from London Square Mile into our offer. We have a soft spot for that one as well and it has been keeping our grinders busy more and more often. We also switch among different roasting houses from abroad after a few kilos. It is fun for us and our customers as well.
The number of cafés offering excellent coffee has been growing in the past few years. It seems as though the traditional cafés such as Slavia have snoozed a little. How would you comment on that?
I’d say that the owners of these types of cafés are not interested in coffee so much. This is also caused by the taste preferences that people are used to, conservatism and unconditional love for cheaper Italian mixtures. If people keep ordering it, they should not be surprised to get it.
What was your occupation before you opened Kafemat?
I worked as a graphic designer. I was tired of sitting in front of a computer, though. I needed to get out there and be around people.