Better beans: Prague’s first Colombian café introduces Czechia to family tradition in a cup

Ami Mendoza lived with his grandparents in the mountains of Colombia on a coffee farm; his new café-gallery supports small farmers there. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.10.2022 12:48:00 (updated on 20.10.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Prague’s first Colombian café opened only a few months ago and their name is Dorado Coffee. They are not only introducing one of the world’s best coffees (the Colombian one, of course), but the space also has its own gallery which hosts art expositions, screenings, concerts, workshops and other events presenting artists and specialists coming from all around the world.

The café is part of the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African, and American Cultures, which makes it even more connected to the world’s art scene. To enter the café you have to walk through the surprisingly hidden and lovely courtyard of the museum which is located on Betlémské náměstí in Prague 1.

Dorado Coffee was opened by a Colombian-Czech international couple, Ami Mendoza and his partner David Semler, who took the best care to completely reconstruct and redecorate the space to their tastes.

The modern industrial look combines classical (and comfortable) vintage furniture, a hand-made bar, a private yard with a beautiful flower garden, and traditional Colombian hammocks hanging from the trees. There is even a bonus for observant visitors: in the bathroom, you can find a hand-painted mural done by Colombian artist Laura Delgado.

“We are a small family business. We currently live in Prague, but we come from Colombia, where we lived as farmers and grew coffee in the mountains. That is why it is extremely important for us not only the quality of the coffee we sell, but also that we support coffee growers and provide them with fair conditions that we have not had,” says Ami.

DORADO WhatsApp Image 2022-05-02 at 13.53.05 (1)
Dorado Coffee, photo via aiDEea Photo

As a child, Ami lived with his grandparents in the small town of Villagómez in central Colombia. His grandmother was a teacher and his grandfather was a dentist, the only one in the county. After school, he spent most days with the other kids swimming in the pond and running up and down the hills.

At night, Ami’s grandfather would take him to her great-grandmother Misaelina’s house, where the family ate cheese arepas and the adults had a cup of coffee, which they prepared and processed themselves. It was his great-grandmother who opened a farm in 1918 and started growing coffee.

“My grandparents took over her trade and my parents took over for them. We picked the coffee beans by hand, dried them in the sun, roasted them in a large pan and had to constantly stir them with a wooden spoon so that they all roast evenly. Then we ground the coffee with an iron grinder that belonged to my great-grandmother,” Ami recalls.

In 2014, Ami left his family behind and moved to Prague where he and his partner started an e-shop with a mission to support mountain farmers while providing people with quality coffee. Later on they started to sell their coffee at local farmers markets which led to finally opening their own coffee place this year.

At Dorado Coffee they prepare all their coffee beverages from the coffee beans of their own brand Dorado. Given Ami’s family heritage it is especially important to him that Dorado not only offer quality coffee but also that they support coffee growers and provide them with fair conditions that he and his family on their farm did not have.

The cultural programme of the gallery is put together by the co-owner, David Semler, who is a film screenwriter and director (last year he was nominated for Czech Lion and his short film was sold to Arte, the European culture TV channel ). Because of this close connection to the Czech film and artistic world, it is not unusual to meet local celebrities enjoying their espresso martini at Dorado Coffee.

The international vibe of the café is apparent from a first glance at the menu: Colombian and Latin-American selection of coffees from local farmers, organic Colombian chocolates, tea leaves, high-quality European wines and Proseccos (even non-alcoholic ones!), Czech craft beer, world’s famous classic and coffee cocktails, home-made lemonades, Argentinian empanadas (typical Latin American pastry with many flavors), churros with chocolate and other delicious desserts, artisanal popsicles, and much more.

Especially in the warmer months, the garden is frequently used for pop-up restaurant events. Professional chefs are invited to cook and serve their signature dishes and menus. They have already organized pop-ups with Mexican, Peruvian and vegan cuisine. Reservations are required for these popular events.

The place is also available for private events and birthday parties. Náprstek Museum organizes educational and fun birthday parties for children which include an “after-party” at the café, where children can enjoy one of the birthday cakes the café offers, small pool and even a bubble-making device. Follow Dorado Coffee on Facebook or Instagram.

This article was written in association with Dorado Coffee. Read more about our sponsored content policy here.

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