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Espresso in Paris


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#16 Orik

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:11 PM

I see your point now. I guess a more modest way to introduce the piece would have been "when I ask my friends where there is good espresso in Paris, compared in quality to what I've grown used to recently, the number of places they come up with keeps increasing", but that wouldn't be very catchy.

They are punctually making it more like how New Yorkers visiting Paris would want to find it.



And why do you think that is? Shouldn't they be making it the way Parisians who appreciate good coffee would want to find it? seems like that would be very good for business but it's probably not very easy to pinpoint.

Anyway, I think there are certain things we know make worse coffee - beans that are too old, or that were just roasted, or of bad quality to begin with, dirty machines, UHT processed milk for people who want milk... those are all prevalent in Paris today. Improving on them doesn't mean any concession to the Imperialist American taste (although admittedly it might be hard to achieve given the price for an espresso at the bar), but my theory is that such an improvement, if it ever happens, will be a side effect of the existence of the few places that are taking themselves very seriously (whether that's necessary or not is another question altogether).


And that is not, ultimately, how coffee improves in Paris. Making better coffee in Paris does not mean making coffee that "would be considered particularly good in New York today". Coffee has many different tastes, and there is a French taste of coffee, discernable when the historical plague of robusta beans, over-roasting, and boiling chalky water is set aside.



That's certainly a sentence, but I'm not sure what it means.


eta: I guess the bottom line is that whatever you think of the amount of research done on this entry in a blog in a blog in a magazine in the times, the facts aren't that controversial and many of the responses are self-parodizing.
I never said that

#17 Wilfrid

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:27 PM

See, there's that nostalgia thing again. It cheers me up when I taste UHT milk, not because there's anything good about it, but because it brings back happy memories of my early childhood. My grandmother used to use it; don't know why, maybe she developed the taste during periods of milk shortage, and it probably saved a few pennies too.

#18 Suzanne F

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:15 PM

NY Times asks: Is Coffee in Paris Getting Better?

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#19 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:58 PM

I moved the New York coffee posts to a new thread in the New York forum.
"I mispoke."

#20 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:26 PM

[no longer meaningful]
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#21 Chambolle

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:14 AM

I don't profess to be a coffee expert. I'm don't know all about the machinery. Nevertheless I can appreciate an excellent offering.

And Merce and The Muse ain't that. Mediocre cappuccino.

Although Merce was wearing a very sexy and visible bra. Ca vaut quelque chose, non?

#22 Orik

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:35 AM

Well next time you should read MF and not waste time on that (you can see bras elsewhere, no?)
I never said that

#23 Chambolle

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 01:52 AM

I did.

Read MF, that is. And I decided to conduct my very own personal, progressive, Parisian coffee tasting, in ascending quality order of course.

You can't start at the top and work your way down, can you? And sometimes I'm in the mood for mediocre cappuccinos. Not you? And anyway, I had a quick, late late lunch snack at the Breizh Cafe, had to be at a certain nearby gallery thereafter and hence found myself dans le coin. In my mind, coffee shops are organized by neighborhood then quality. I don't travel far for a coffee. I'm not that into it. Yet ... Any good coffee near Avenue Montaigne? :o

#24 Chambolle

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:17 PM

So after (a largely liquid) lunch at Vivant today, I just happened to be a 5 minute walk from Gocce di Caffe.

So off I went. Only one slight problem. Antonio just sold Gocce di Caffe within the last few days. The place was shut. Closed. Terminee.

He was supposedly bought out by someone just opposite him and will be reopening something else starting Monday. Tres etrange.

I read MF. I was hoping not to be wasting my time. Didn't work out as hoped. Oh well. C'est la vie.

#25 Chambolle

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:16 AM

On Saturday, on my way to meet some folks on rue du Bac, I had two importants pitstops. Pitstop two was to peek into restaurant Aida. Pitstop one was to refuel at the coffeeshop Coutume on rue Babylone in the 7th.

It's a very clean, modern-looking space. Lots of funky coffee drip glassware on display. I did notice that they have a Strada machine. Unfortunately, here is where my lack of coffee expertise comes into play. I'm not sure if that's a (really) good thing or not. I read somewhere that they had a La Marzocco and were avidly waiting on this Strada contraption, so I presume it's a good thing. (Can someone educate me on this stuff? Does the machine really matter if you have appropriately ground beans and a good barista?) They have a visible roasting operation in the back. They sell lots of different beans from various plantations, all displayed quite pleasingly on the wall behind the counter. The young guy I talked to for about 30 seconds seemed pretty knowledgable and into it.

I had a cappuccino. That's what I drink. Very nice latte art. It was better made than at Merce and The Muse (more depth of coffee flavor and due to how the milk was frothed). These guys seem pretty serious. For the first two sips, I was slightly concerned that the temperature was just a tiny touch less hot than I prefer. Their cappuccino reminded me a bit of Joe's Art of Coffee (on west 4th, if that makes a different. at least Joe's circa 2006-2007). Nowhere near as thick and as rich as at 9th Street Espresso on the LES (circa 2006-2007).

I think this place is pretty good and it's surely the most serious coffee in its general area but I'm not sure how good it is. I'm reserving judgment until I get to some supposedly better places. I don't have a good enough coffee palate to judge without doing it in comparison. I'm practising and learning.

http://www.flickr.co...ork/5533457420/

http://parisbymouth....outumes-vivant/

This last link reminds me. When I had lunch at Vivant, at the end of the meal, Pierre asked if I wanted a coffee. I said no because I was going to Gocce di Caffe to get a real coffee. That's when Pierre told me that Antonio had just sold the place. (I went to Gocce anyway just to see the situation with my own eyes.) He further took the opportunity to tell me that his espresso is actually better than Antonio's and he used beans from Giani Frasi (like ... am I supposed to know this guy?). He added that I got to keep that a secret because he doesn't want to hurt Antonio's feeling.

#26 Chambolle

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:15 PM

Made it to Cafeotheque today.

Yeh, even a plebeian like me can tell that they make an excellent cappuccino. A very rich, deep flavorful cup with a great texture. It was superior to Coutume's version. I'll go back to both to monitor the situation. I was told that Cafeotheque always makes their coffee from a specific terroir, hence no blends. (Can't vouch for whether what I was told was true.) Today, it was brazilian beans.

Cafeotheque feels like a New York coffee shop. Not really all that busy today between 6 and 7pm. Heard a lot of English or Anglos trying to speak French. In fact, the young woman who made my cappuccino was American.

Here's the challenge with all of these places listed in this thread. Having a coffee in France is often a social activity where you can relax, chat and watch the world (and people) go by. Cafes often are situated in a location with plenty of outside seating (and maybe with all seats facing the street). The places in this thread that I have visited have either no or extremely minimal outdoor seating. I'm just not sure that the French are going to want to have their coffee indoors from April thru October, even if it's better. (Yeh, I know a lot of French pop in for a real quick espresso while standing, too. But that is usually a very quick affair and these places are not quick at all.)

#27 Chambolle

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:12 AM

Made it to Coinstot Vino yesterday, after lunch at Vivant.

What's that, you ask?

Well, it's the evolution in Antonio's career. Antonio, the friendly Italian barista of Gocce di Caffe fame:

http://www.alifewort.../gocce-di-caffe

As I mentioned upthread, Gocce di Caffe is no more. Opposite that location in the Passage des Panaramas stood a bistro called Coinstot Vino. I don't know the exact exact details but it's something like this. The owner of Coinstot wanted to expand a bit and asked Antonio to buy his space (or maybe more likely, buy out his lease). Antonio, after 5 years of being basically a one-man operation at Gocce, was ready for a change and less responsibility / worries. Coinstot is supposedly going to use the small Gocce space as their new kitchen. Antonio moved his coffee apparatus to a counter within Coinstot. Hence, Antonio works there now making the coffees. He wanted more time to focus on his other interests. I asked him what those were. Music, he said. What type? Pop, he said. I told him that I'd be looking out for him on American Idol.

We had this nice little conversation while I was seated and drinking my cappuccino. He used to be the espresso guy in Harrod's in London many moons ago.

Okay, how about the coffee. A very well made and a very good cappuccino indeed. I did wink and share with him that there's an American expression that says you only have one chance to make a first impression, so no pressure. Not too surprisingly, the taste seemed directly in line with that certain Italian flavor profile. Less of an edge and less variety that what other places might have on offer.

I still prefer Cafeotheque. It's a full fledged coffee shop with beans from 80 to 100 countries, seating specifically for coffee drinkers, a nice coffee shop hangout feel and a slightly better cappuccino. Coinstot Vino is really a restaurant. It's not at all clear to me that Antonio will be there a year from now. Gocce is gone for good and Coinstot isn't a really coffee shop stop. Life moves on ...

#28 balex

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:04 PM

Made it to Cafeotheque today.

Yeh, even a plebeian like me can tell that they make an excellent cappuccino. A very rich, deep flavorful cup with a great texture. It was superior to Coutume's version. I'll go back to both to monitor the situation. I was told that Cafeotheque always makes their coffee from a specific terroir, hence no blends. (Can't vouch for whether what I was told was true.) Today, it was brazilian beans.

Cafeotheque feels like a New York coffee shop. Not really all that busy today between 6 and 7pm. Heard a lot of English or Anglos trying to speak French. In fact, the young woman who made my cappuccino was American.

Here's the challenge with all of these places listed in this thread. Having a coffee in France is often a social activity where you can relax, chat and watch the world (and people) go by. Cafes often are situated in a location with plenty of outside seating (and maybe with all seats facing the street). The places in this thread that I have visited have either no or extremely minimal outdoor seating. I'm just not sure that the French are going to want to have their coffee indoors from April thru October, even if it's better. (Yeh, I know a lot of French pop in for a real quick espresso while standing, too. But that is usually a very quick affair and these places are not quick at all.)


Drinking a cappuccino at 6pm, my dear Chambolle; a bit of a faux pas for an homme du monde like yourself?
You were my guru ... ; it has been a week of disappointments. The world fails to come to an end, and now this.

#29 Sneakeater

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

Where's the bra thread, BTW?
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#30 menton1

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 03:20 PM

What a dumb title for this thread-- there is NO espresso in Paris, it's just "coffee".