Cafe culture has always been an inherent part of the Parisian charm and the bon vivant way of life. Although the quality of coffee in a typical cafe may have suffered in recent years, a new wave of coffee enthusiasts and roasteries is pouring in from all over the world, bringing with them delicious fresh-roasted brews. Here are the best spots in Paris to find home-roasted, quality beans.
With a rather more inspired menu than many other coffee shops – featuring savory Israeli breakfast favorite Shakshuka and unbeatable sweet scones – there is no reason to restrict yourself just to a coffee here, although it must be said that the cappuccino in itself is an absolute treat. Refreshingly, Café Lomi is a strictly ‘No Laptop’ zone over the weekend, inspiring a sociable atmosphere where you may find yourself perched on the leather sofa or at the big dining-style table with another group. You can also get a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes here, with the all the machinery displayed at the back of the cafe.
Cafe-cum-workplace Coutume Café is another one of the city’s coffee ‘big dogs’, whose opening played a large role in the development of the largely outdated Parisian coffee scene. Its canteen style layout lends itself perfectly to an afternoon spent working on your laptop. Enjoy some of the many exciting and experimental coffee options, tried and tested in the laboratory on the premises, as well as at their other two locations. It also specializes in traditional but very favorably sized slabs of cakes. Although French and Australian owned, its minimalist decor has something of a Scandinavian feel to it.
Coffee to go is not an option here and seating is limited. This is not the place to go if you are in the mood for a large cappuccino and a long catch up with friends (nor does it purport to be). This is the place to go for a quick espresso at the bar and a chat with the owner. L’Arbre à Café is committed to making high quality, fair-trade coffee. The ultimate pick-me-up.
The ‘mother of all roasters’ and supplier to many of the city’s favorite coffee shops, Belleville Brûlerie is not strictly speaking a cafe. In fact, it only opens its doors to the public on Saturdays, drawing in a crowd of serious coffee enthusiasts. If you have a special occasion to celebrate you may consider getting a group together and booking in for the weekly tasting and cupping sessions. Or else just pop in to sample one of the many filter coffees. You are sure to be wowed by the quality and range of flavors on offer, not to mention the impressive expertise and enthusiasm of the staff.
Proudly roasting since 1880, this venue is charmingly unaffected, conforming to neither the ‘trendy’ minimalist nor the overtly formal brasserie style that’s ubiquitous across Paris. The tables are packed in, creating a warm, intimate atmosphere, which is enhanced by the rustic decor. Nestled on rue Saint-Honoré, it provides a pleasant repose from the imposing high designer stores. The down-to-earth staff will make you feel comfortable by taking the time to talk you through the extensive menu and offering suggestions. You will find it difficult to leave empty handed, without having been tempted into buying some of the beans or dried fruits that are placed in big sacks at the entrance.
One of a chain of five boutiques, two of which serve food, Terres de Café have been roasting their own beans since 1979. Check out their cafe in the 4th arrondissement, where the beans are stored in gold dispensers and a different blend of espresso is a daily special surprise. You may be lucky enough to catch one of the more friendly members of staff, who will be able to advise you on a coffee to select to take home with you too.