Coffee Scene in Paris

Coffee Scene in Paris, Paris, France (D)

Discovering the best coffee and cafes in Paris can be difficult. The city is filled with brasseries and cafes, but very few offer the Anglophone standard of good coffee. The best cafes in the US and Australia easily compare to the cafes in this tour.
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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Coffee Scene in Paris
Guide Location: France » Paris
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Attractions: 9
Author: Tanner Kok
Author Bio: Having been a Barista for 10 years, in both the U.S. and Paris, author Tanner Kok has built a strong reputation and thorough knowledge base of all things coffee. He began studying and extracting espresso drinks at age 14, has managed local and corporate cafes, and is currently assisting in opening a cafe in the heart of Saint Germain des Pres in Paris.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Coutume Cafe
  • L'Arbre à Café
  • Caféothèque
  • 10 Belles Cafe
  • Café Craft
  • Le Café Lomi
  • Strada Cafe
  • The Broken Arm
  • Télescope
Coutume Cafe

1) Coutume Cafe

Coutume Cafe rests on a relatively quiet part of rue de Babylone, in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, not far from Le Bon Marché. Upon entering, the cafe is easily reminiscent of craft coffee houses in the United States and Australia; rightfully so, as it is owned by two well-known names in the cafe industry in Paris, Antoine Netien and Tom Clarke, from Australia. The space is filled with communal and individual seating, as well as tropical plants and an unmistakably large roasting machine in the back of the cafe. Coutume not only brews and serves coffee, but roasts their own coffee, which they distribute to numerous cafes and venues throughout Paris. The concept of Baristas approaching their work with extensive knowledge and skill is very apparent in the service and execution of their product. They are happy to impart knowledge and give recommendations. Coffee drinks range from 2-4,50 Euros, including Espressos, Cortados, Cappuccinos and more. The espresso used is a blend of Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Colombian beans, roasted to a lovely richness. The espresso lends a very pleasant taste throughout, avoiding the common smokiness in French coffee. Additionally, the cafe offers a variety of small bites and lunch items, changing throughout the year, including vegetarian options.
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L'Arbre à Café

2) L'Arbre à Café

L'Arbre à Café is a little cafe nook, situated just beyond the rue Montorgueil Market near Les Halles. This is a cafe, if that's the term, in which the coffee is the sole reason for visiting. Hippolyte Courty, the founder of the company, describes it with many fascinating details. His inspiration has been cited as coming from Italian and Anglo-Saxon practices, as the Italians have rooted themselves in the epicenter of the coffee world for years. Anglo-Saxons have backed much of this with an approach of mixology and service practices. L'Arbre à Café focuses primarily on sourcing from single origin farms for beans, and directly working with farmers for fair practices. L'Arbre à Café does not try to identify under Fair Trade, as they outline their practices as more in depth and personal with the farms.

The coffee in L'Arbre à Café easily speaks for itself. The primary Espresso coffee, Iapar Rouge Bresil, has a wonderful depth, with rich cocoa, spice, honey, and a touch of eucalyptus. L'Arbre à Café is strictly a coffee tasting space, so don't expect lattes or cappuccinos, but enjoy an incredible espresso or chocolat chaud. Enjoy the space and the intimacy, as the barista on duty will be your closest conversation when visiting.
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3) Caféothèque

Caféothèque is noted as being one of the first specialty coffee venues in Paris. Residing just off of the Seine, and next to La Cité Internationale des Arts, Caféothèque has established itself as not only a very international but artistic gathering place. Although not long ago, Gloria Montenegro from Guatemala, opened Caféothèque as the premier roaster of coffee from all over the world in Paris. Continuing with tradition, Caféothèque roasts around 23 types of coffees regularly. Standard drinks such as espressos, lattes, and pour-over coffees are available at a relative coffee price for Paris, 2-4.50 Euros.

The space is cozy, with stone and stucco walls, comfy couches, caverns, nooks, and even a wall of plants, some including coffee trees. The Baristas are quite knowledgeable, and are happy to inform and teach as requested. This is a venue in which asking the Barista to choose a coffee for you is certainly a recommendation.
Image Courtesy of Bex Walton.
10 Belles Cafe

4) 10 Belles Cafe

Open since 2012, Ten Belles is the product of a pioneer and one of the most well known Baristas in Paris, Thomas Lehoux. The cozy space, with a mezzanine, seats about 15-20 people. Currently, 10 Belles is using Belleville Brulerie coffee for their espresso, a newly established roasting company. The menu is standard, consisting of café allongé, cappuccino, filter coffee and a few more. This is one of the few places that provides a nice "mug" of filter coffee, standing up to the expected size most Americans and Australians are used to. The pastry selection is about 8 or so items, ranging from an almond tart to cupcakes. Additionally, a selection of prepared salads and sandwiches is available. Even in the later afternoon on a weekday, the space can get crowded, and 10 Belles is just a few steps from the lovely Canal Saint Martin, so having "to-stay" and "take-away" options is perfect in that sense. If you prefer a real Americano, hot water added after extraction, and if you prefer a cappuccino made with high quality milk, these are two of the best options available.
Image Courtesy of Tite-Asuka.
Café Craft

5) Café Craft

Café Craft, located just off of the Canal Saint Martin, has a slightly different feel than most cafes in the city. Drawing its' inspiration from POOL design, and the cafes of New York City, it has large spaces, outlets, couches and bar stools, and a very distinguishing work area in the back. Free wifi and large working spaces in the back make this an ideal space for the cafe goers looking to sit and spend some time nursing a filter coffee and yes, possibly pulling out the laptop. Purchase of beverages or a nominal fee per hour is expected by the Barista on duty. Owner Augustin Blanchard, having lived in New York City to study business, has created a space with a very prominent American feel of welcoming and "place away from home." The coffee beans are from Cafe Lomi, a pinnacle of coffee roasting in the city. The menu consists of standard Espresso, Cafe Filtre, Noisette, chocolat chaud, and more, all ranging around 3 Euros. Additionally, the menu contains a small assortment of pound cake, cookies, muffins. For savory options, there is an assortment of breakfast and lunch sandwiches and light fare. Café Craft also offers a menu of fresh pressed juices, not easily found in many high quality coffee shops in Paris. Finding a seat during the week is not too difficult, as it seats well over 20 at a time.
Image Courtesy of © Tous droits réservés 2011 - Le Blog LifeStyle.
Le Café Lomi

6) Le Café Lomi

Café Lomi, located in the eccentric and diverse 18th of Paris, houses some of the premier roasted coffee in Paris. Owner Aleaume, known as Lomi as a child, started Café Lomi a few years ago, and Paul, the face so many customers have come to know, is the roaster. Coming from Melbourne, Paul has a history of Australian coffee training, as well as strong business practices with owner Aleaume. As of last September, Lomi distributes to many cafes in the city. The cafe is cited as being one of the first major names in premium coffee distribution in Paris, and rightfully so. The quality of beans, from roast to cup, is evident in every sip and aroma. The baristas are very knowledgeable, and quite friendly. Café Lomi provides a standard coffee menu of espressos, noisette, and even a selection of iced drinks, all around 3 to 5 Euros. Additionally, 50cl pour-over options of four or so different coffees are available. Lomi offers an assortment of sweet and savory pastries, such as brownies, cheesecake, carrot cake, and a few other options. In addition, fresh juice, quiche, salads, and sandwiches du jour are available. Wifi is complimentary, and seating is generous and comfortable.
Image Courtesy of yanique.
Strada Cafe

7) Strada Cafe

Strada Cafe is nestled right in the upper part of Le Marais, on the busy rue du Temple. Owner Marie Christie, French, opened Strada in 2012, and has built a large Anglophone following in the area in just one year. The space is filled with mismatched tables and chairs, with a small couch and various styles of urban art hanging throughout. The staff is welcoming and polite, and more than willing to communicate in English or French. Peter, cafe Manager and lead Barista, is friendly, knowledgeable, and executes wonderful espresso drinks. From Melbourne, and having lived in Sweden and Sydney, his coffee practices prove to be well rooted. He has been with Strada since its’ opening date. The coffee menu consists of standard espresso drinks, as well as flat white and french press. The prices range around 2 to 5 Euros for drinks, many with the option of being a double. Additionally, Strada offers a light selection of breakfast pastries, cheese and charcuterie plates, and a Strada breakfast, which consists of fresh pressed juice, a croissant, tartines, and a poached egg for about 11 Euros. Breakfast service discontinues before noon, at which time beer, wine, and savory plates are offered.
The Broken Arm

8) The Broken Arm

The Broken Arm is one of the newest additions to the Paris cafe and boutique scene. This original Concept Store Cafe combination is situated just off of a tranquil park in the upper parts of Le Marais. Owners Guillaume Steinmetz, Romain Joste, and Anaïs Lafarge, founded the online magazine “De Jeunes Gens Modernes” around 2008. The Broken Arm store is filled with designers such as Carven, Patrik Ervell, and Kenzo, and additionally houses lifestyle items such as handmade goods and design books. The cafe is chic, simple, and clean. They offer a small selection of baked items from Rachel’s in Paris, such as pound cakes, tartines, granola, and cookies. They also offer lunch items around 10 to 14 Euros, including charcuterie trays and sandwiches. The coffee used in The Broken Arm is very scarcely found in Paris, as it is a Norwegian coffee company, Solberg & Hansen. The taste is very clean and woodsy, with slight cocoa taste. The Broken Arm houses a La Marzocco Linea, and provides a standard coffee menu, with other drinks such is a Piccolo, and fresh pressed juices. (Ask about the Piccolo) Prices for coffee range from 2,50€ for espresso to 4€ for Cafe Creme. Seating holds about 18 plus patio seating. Wifi is available for free as well.

9) Télescope

Télescope is a small cafe nestled on a side street, centrally located in Paris, near Palais Royal. Nicolas Clers opened Télescope just recently, in March of 2012 with a progressive vision; a vision to create a space for coffee based on travel and research, hence the name. With regular workshops on Saturday mornings, and more complex classes in the future, Télescope is making an effort to evolve the French culture of coffee to a new level of sophistication and understanding. With many references to “grand cru” and wine tastings, Nicolas Clers has identified Télescope as being a cafe that wants to focus on tastings, precision, new and different coffees, and knowledge. Télescope currently sells “Has Bean” whole bean coffee, as well as a few other options, changing somewhat regularly. The space is quite small, and is meant for the pure enjoyment of coffee, not as a working space for clients. A small assortment of pastries, such as pound cake and cookies, are available. The coffee menu is standard, with espresso and noisette, ranging from 2,50€ to 5€.
Image Courtesy of Guillaume Steinmetz.

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