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.
Photo courtesy of Coutume Cafe
When a Melbourne-trained Parisian and a Paris-based Melbournian get together, the result is beautiful Franco-Australian hybrid, Coutume. 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.
Photo courtesy of The Broken Arm
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.
Photo courtesy of Le Sept Cinq
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.
Photo courtesy of Cafe Craft
Sparkling new and located just off the Canal Saint Martin, Café Craft 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.
Photo courtesy of KB Cafe Shop
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 KB. 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.
Coffee beans. Top Photo courtesy of Iryna1 via Shutterstock.
Contributed by Gemma King
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor’s, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn’t really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.