Following up last month's post on greater waves in the Parisian coffee scene, I offer this guide to some of the best spots to drink quality coffee when in lovely Paris in the spring (or any time of year). With honorable mentions given to Black Market, Café Lomi, Craft, and the venerable Coutume—all worth checking out if you're near them—here are my picks for the best coffee in Paris.
If there's a shop coffee geeks outside of Paris have heard of besides Coutume, it's Telescope. This small, simple spot in the first arrondissement is the epitome of the direct approach of contemporary specialty coffee: a short menu, no wifi, a few small and perfect-looking baked goods, and impeccably crafted coffees.
Until recently, the shop was roasting their own beans, but this has unfortunately ended. The change hasn't hurt quality, though: beans from international roasters still fill the hoppers to delicious result. Try a filter coffee from Solberg & Hansen—a Scandinavian roaster who doesn't roast as shockingly light as many from that region, or a balanced espresso drink with Has Bean beans from across the English Channel.
If you only have one or two coffee stops in Paris, Telescope should be one of them.
The Broken Arm
Step into this physical manifestation of a fashion-blog-turned-clothing-store-turned-cafe and you'll know you're in for a little weirdness. The sunny third arrondissement space is spare and modern, brightened by plywood and plants—a perfect complement to the neon running shoes for sale in the adjoining shop. Eager baristas here serve Solberg & Hansen espresso and have just begun to expand their program to include filter coffee beverages. Enjoy your enthusiastically prepared cup alongside tasty breakfast snacks like crispy granola and fresh cheese. The cafe's a bit strange, but highly competent and quite pleasant.
Australian invaders continue to head the charge of specialty coffee internationally, this Pigalle-area cafe continuing their domination. Using beans from Parisian roaster Café Lomi, this absolutely bustling cafe resembles more of a library-carrel setup than a typical Parisian sit-and-people-watch spot (most are on laptops). Espresso drinks are sturdy, or try one of their single origin coffees on Aeropress, prepared skilfully (if slowly) on the dedicated brew bar. And really, who doesn't want a 6 Euro milkshake alongside their coffee? Very worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood, maybe not worth a long trek across the city.
This charmant spot near the canal is an easy favorite: a rotating selection of beans from different roasters (Has Bean, among others, and they used to use Telescope back when they roasted coffee as well) complement a lovely menu of small lunch items and perfect housemade pastries, all in a sunny-windowed spot along rue de la Grange aux Belles. Those in charge are serious about espresso as well as well-prepared filter coffees. (We tried a Chemex alongside a few lovely espresso drinks.) Quite serious, really—so settle down with a noisette and lemon cake and enjoy.
About the author: Liz Clayton drinks, photographs, and writes about coffee and tea all over the world, though she pretends to live in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently compiling photographs of the best coffee in the world to be published by Presspop this spring.