Anarchists stole my 200 CZK! Okay, that may be a bit of an overreaction; I’m hoping to get some more coffee out of it on my next visit to the Bitcoin Café.
Located in an awesome industrial building in Holesovice; the café is run by Paralelní Polis and home to the Cryptoanarchy Institute which is dedicated to an anonymous lifestyle with unregulated internet, antispyware encryption tools and decentralized currencies. Hence the bitcoin.
Now, you can only get a coffee here by buying bitcoins which is possible via a handy machine on their wall. I unfortunately only had a 200 CZK note with me (the machine does not accept coins) so I had to transfer that into bitcoin. No clue what the exchange rate is. There was a slight problem with the machine; the helpful barista had to call someone to get it sorted and assured me after that the slip of paper with the QR code on it has my money. Hmmmm….
So after all that drama, sitting down with the cappuccino was great. At the equivalent of 55 CZK, it was a good size, smooth and well-made. The décor is warehouse, with lots of barrels and bleachers and stuff to sit on. Because of the décor (and the lack of light) working here wouldn’t be very comfortable, however I assume they have free internet. There were a few people in the café when we arrived, but by the time we went to leave (and look for a bathroom, which was not found) we realized we were alone. We thought perhaps they’d closed up shop, but discovered the barista outside smoking.
So, what’s the verdict? The atmosphere and coffee were both great; but that whole bitcoin thing is pretty annoying. Unless you are going to be a regular customer I don’t think it’s worth the effort. We’ll give them 3 kicks for coffee, vibe and adherence to their mission, but minus one (or should it be two?) for their currency issues.
Bitcoin Café: Prague, Czech Republic: 2 Caffeine Kicks