One of the most overrated French clichés is probably their coffee obsession. With their love for refined cuisine I’m always surprised to see them flush away their wonderful lunches with coffee that tastes a lot like warm brown water with 2 big spoons of white sugar on the bottom of their little cups. Until recently I would gaze at business men ordering a bitter espresso and a greasy croissant at the counter of a sad bistrot, standing next to the ‘habitué’ who would have his first Pastis of the day. This vision would make me shoot my coffee backwards as if it were a 3am tequila shot.
But that was until recently!
I decided to go on a coffee investigation looking out for some of the best coffee shops in town and I made a little shortlist to help you lighten up your mornings or to end your lunches in a descent way.
Let’s start with a Parisian Coffee fact : Paris has its very own Coffee brewery called the Belleville Brulerie. The brewery was launched by three guys named Thomas, Anseleme and David and created for the Parisian espresso-lovers. Their secret? Using high-quality green coffee beans and roasting them in such a way that it highlights the sweetness of the bean.
You can visit them on saturdays between 11.30am for a ‘degustation’ and a coffee chat.
Belleville Brulerie, 10 Rue Pradier 75019, Paris
As the picture above suggests, I tasted the Belleville Brulerie coffee at Ten Belles, one of my favorite spots for a good coffee on lazy weekend days. It’s probably one of the sunniest places in Paris where people are high on life with a carefully prepared coffee and a great slice of banana cake.
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris
In the same neighbourhood (around canal Saint Martin), known to be one of the most lively districts of the New Paris, the choice of coffee shops has become large enough for me to have 3 delicious cafés in one afternoon.
Hollybelly is one of them. “Un espresso s’il vous plait”. As the hotshot behind the bar was preparing it I walked around and discovered only locals between the walls of something where you would expect to find only the trendy-Parisians-looking-for-a-little-Brooklyn. As refreshing as that was I deeply enjoyed my three sips of espresso out of this lovely yellow cup. The coffee blend came from Brulerie Belleville.
Hollybelly, 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
During workdays, like most of us, I rarely have time for coffee after lunch so I often drink my Nespresso Ristretto when back behind my screen. But last week I discovered a place that is worth the extra 5 minutes on your lunch break. It’s a very small and casual coffee shop hidden between the famous Japanese restaurant Toraya on rue de Richelieu (we love!) and rue Sainte-Anne, the window writing says “Telescope”. I ordered a noisette, French for macchiato. Not only the flower on the cream looked effortlessly perfect, but even the haze crisp in the whispering voices of the two barristo’s added to the taste of its dark roast and creamy flavor. Truly one of the best I’ve had in a long time.
Telescope, 5 rue Villedo 75001
As I’m only half way through my list of coffee shops the investigation continues in the 1rst, the 9th and the 11th district.
Stay tuned for another few coffee moments that will be online soon.