My first stop on my coffee adventure in North Europe and Scandinavia was Paris. I’ve been exploring the coffee culture and I have to say I was surprised in both a good and a bad way.
Paris, the city of love and/or lights. I never know, but for me Paris is the city of coffee. Just because I came here to explore the coffee culture and I had a list of fifteen coffeeshops that I would like to visit (which was impossible). So, I brought it down to ten places. Ten places in two and a half day. Mission (im)possible? In the end I’ve been to eight places, but gonna mention just seven in this post. One of them came up with shitty service and shitty coffee, so no space for them (not gonna mention them here) on my blog.
I really wanted to visit as many places as possible, because I had a collaboration with the hostel St. Christopher’s Inn Canal. So, you will see all the coffee content in a special video for them. Coming soon!
Some things that I’ve noticed when going to different cafés was first of all the price for a cappuccino or a latte. You are paying between 4 and 4,50 for this milk based coffee. And I am still wondering where you actually paying for, because the drink is never made with fresh milk and I wasn’t really impressed by the latte art and the texturing of the milk. Next to that I was missing the coffee flavor. The main taste was milk. But let me show the tiny cute places in Paris!
Day 1 / Coffee 1: Café Kitsuné
51 Galerie de Montpensier
Maison Kitsuné was created in 2002 in Paris, by Gildas Loaëc, a former manager of the French electronic music duo Daft Punk, and Masaya Kuroki, an architect. Kitsuné means fox in Japanese and is a symbol of versatility. Famous for combining fashion and music and since 2013 aswell for their coffee. You can find this cute coffeeshop inside the Jardin du Palais Royal. When you are wandering around the garden and you need to be caffeinated this is your spot. I enjoyed a cappuccino with their usual beans from Guatemala. The coffee was well-balanced. Just a very big cup. Kitsuné has their own beans which are roasted for them in London.
Day 1 / Coffee 2: Coutume
47 Rue de Babylone
When I say specialty coffee Paris, most coffee lovers would say Coutume. Not because it’s the best, but because it’s one of the most well-known coffeeshop and roastery in the city. You will notice that when you visit. I know Coutume from Barcelona where you can find it at SlowMov. Compare to all the places I think Coutume was the biggest. And it was packed all the time that we sat there. We ordered a filter coffee. At Coutume they make all filters with Kalita. They only had a natural Ethiopia. It took some time before we got our coffee and it tasted quiet bitter in the aftertaste. My friend and I were thinking it was over-extracted. They offered us to make another one. It tasted a bit better, but still bitter. The employee explained us that they had some problems with the roasting. That it was a bit overroasted, which you could taste. I appreciate their honesty and the service was great. Just a pity I didn’t had a good coffee experience, because I had beautiful coffees from them in Barcelona. Hopefully next time when I’m in Paris.
Day 2 / Coffee 1: LOMI
47 Rue de Babylone
Located up north from the city centre and close to the Sacre Coeur you find Lomi, a coffeeshop, roastery and coffee school all in one. The place doesn’t look very cosy from the outside, but when you walk inside it’s like walking into a living room. Lot’s of wood, brown leather sofa, cute coffee cups like at your grandparents and a beautiful blue La Marzocco. In the back of the place you find the roastery, so don’t hesitate to take a quick look. I’ve enjoyed a single shot cappuccino made with coffee from El Salvador here with lovely latte art. I guess it wasn’t fresh milk and I missed a bit the flavor of the coffee. The nice chat with the barista made it to an overall good experience.
Day 2 / Coffee 2: Boot Café
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux
I guess this is the most tiny coffeeshop of all Paris. Based in an old shoe shop/factory (now the name makes sense right?) The place looks amazing from the outside aswell as the inside. Tiny, cosy and comfy. It’s hard to find a spot to sit, but just share a table with someone else, sip your coffee and relax. Boot Café is using coffee from Five Elephant (a roastery from Berlin) and I enjoyed a lovely fruity well-balanced acidity espresso from Guatemala.
Day 2 / Coffee 3: Fragments
76 Rue des Tournelles
Don’t be scared of a queue outside, but as soon as you are inside you won’t get disappointed. Cosy but a little crowded and almost sitting on each others lap, you have to order the avocado toast (with or without poached egg) like everyone else. It’s one of the best avocado toast I ever ate. Fragments is using coffee from Hexagone and I think this was the first milk-based drink (cappuccino with Honduras beans) that tasted like coffee. A bit too frothy for my taste and I guess again no fresh milk. Lovely service here, super fast and high quality products. A bit more space for my aura would be nice. I don’t recommend the place is you are slightly claustrophobic.
Day 3 / Coffee 1: Café Oberkampf
3 Rue Neuve Popincourt
Another cute, tiny blue facade café with lot’s of light wood and white inside. After a lot of milk-based coffees I finally found a batch brew on a menu and this was what I needed. A washed Ethiopia from KB Café made with the Moccamaster. It was perfectly brewed and really fruity, so a good roasting profile aswell. Café Oberkampf is also a great place if you are hungry, because everything on the lunch menu looked yummy although it wasn’t hard to choose. Haloumi it was. This was the best haloumi sandwich I ever ate. A very good combination with the hummus. I would definitely come back here.
Day 3 / Coffee 2: Ten Belles
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles
Last coffee in Paris, but not the least one. Pretty famous barista Thomas Lehoux opened this place in 2012 after working in different well-known coffeeshops. Tiny, but well organized and close to Gare du Nord made it a perfect last stop before heading to Antwerp by train. It’s small, but I like that you can also sit upstairs and see what the barista’s are doing from above. Ten Belles is using coffee from Belleville, one of the most well-known roasters from Paris. It was time for another batch brew, because I fell in love with the coffee mug (how I decide what coffee to drink). A cup of Guatemalan batch brew made with a Bunn. It was good, but I missed a bit of fruity flavors but I don’t know if it was the roast or just the type of Guatemalan coffee. I also had a nice talk with the barista, Bronte a girl from Australia, who started her own project: Cafée. Which focus on the women in coffee in Paris. Such a great initiative!
Overall I had a lovely coffee tour except for the overpriced milk-based coffees and no fresh milk. All the coffeeshops in Paris are super cute and cosy. You feel welcome and comfy. You just can’t stay long here, because there is a waiting list and you can’t keep your seat occupied for long. You can’t sit here with your laptop, so if you are digital nomad it’s not an ideal city if you work good in coffeeshops. Something I was wondering before I went was about the most common language behind the bar. I was surprised that most barista’s (I mainly saw rocking girl barista’s behind the machines woohoo!) were foreigners and the main language behind the bar is English. So, don’t worry if you French sucks. Il n’y a pas de soucis! All you need is: J’adore café!
For a small and starting specialty coffee culture Paris isn’t doing so bad. So, enjoy the beautiful city, the Eiffel Tour, Louvre, Sacre Coeur, eat lot’s of croissants, enjoy the French cuisine and get a cup of specialty coffee to support the coffee culture. Au Revoir!