City of lights, city of art, city of literature, city of love. Paris has been called all these things, and for good reason. But city of coffee? Well, it’s complicated.
Certainly, coffee culture is very much alive in the city. There are cafés in Paris on practically every street corner, each with its own cluster of Parisians shotting espresso at the bar or lounging about on the terrace, people watching over a café long. There is something ritualistic about the drinking of coffee in Paris.
But sadly, more often than not, that coffee is gritty, burnt or bitter.
Yet over the past few years, a new wave of coffee roasters and cafés has been cropping up in Paris. With a focus on high-quality beans, artisanal brewing practises and design-oriented, welcoming surrounds, these spaces are taking Parisian café culture and infusing it with their own ritual: the making and serving of simple, good coffee.
When a Melbourne-trained Parisian and a Paris-based Melbournian get together, the result is beautiful Franco-Australian hybrid, Le Coutume café. One of the first Paris cafés to kick off the good coffee trend, Coutume makes one of the best lattes in the city. They also roast their beans onsite, in the same room as the modern industrial-style café, so it often smells scrumptious.
The Broken Arm
Don’t let the oddly violent name or the cutting-edge boutique on the same site frighten you away: The Broken Arm is one of the loveliest spots to lounge over coffee in Paris. Revel in the mid-century décor and be sure to snap up a piece of their incomparable blueberry cheesecake.
Le Sept Cinq
This one might be considered cheating, as Le Sept Cinq is technically a concept store rather than a café. But past the Paris-made accessories, delicate handcrafted jewellery and quirky stationery collection, you’ll find a smattering of rickety little wooden tables and plush armchairs. Sink into a velvet chaise longue with an espresso in hand, and you won’t blame me for sending you to a jewellery boutique for your afternoon coffee.
Sparkling new and located just off the Canal Saint Martin, CAFÉ CRAFT on draws a steady stream of Parisians to its modern, black and white lounge, but not just because of its rich, smooth coffee. In response to the woes of many creative Parisians, whose freelance status leaves them with nowhere to work away from the distractions of home, Café Craft is an espace coworking, a shared work space, fitted out with wide tables, high-speed Wi-Fi and plenty of chargers, where for the price of a cappuccino, you can tap away on your laptop to your heart’s content.
KB Cafe Shop
Down one of the city’s finest specialty food streets, nestled in between the artisanal cheese, pastry, wine and fruit shops, lies coffee gem K.B. Their fresh juices are a highlight (think green apple, pineapple and ginger), but their creamy coffee sets them apart from the many typical brasseries in the area. If it’s a fine day, sit out on the spacious terrace and soak in the view of Sacré Coeur looming over the Paris rooftops.
By Gemma King
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