The Champs of Elysium

In my continuing rescue of some travel experiences that will go lost when my old blog goes extinct, I have curated our little weekend to Paris here. Since my wife went with her family to London, I thought it just for me and my daughter to have a trip of our own!

For our trip to Paris, I was solely in the hands of Oliver Strands then recent article on the coffee rise in Paris, and some tips from my mate Jeremy Hulsdunk of 5 Senses Coffee in Perth, who spent a year working with Aleaume Paturle (who now owns Café Lomi). It all came down to five cafés worth visiting basically.

The first to visit was Kooka Boora in the heart of Montmartre, a rather simple yet cosy and welcoming place where Sydney born- and bred barista Luke Barret was making a wonderful espresso for us, while ordering a hearty Australasian breakfast. Luke worked together with Chris Nielson, who I had the pleasure to meet later in Stockholm (and who now works at Kafé Esaias in Stockholm, while Luke has since moved back to Sydney and is back at his origin White Horse).

Second stop was Le Bal, to me one of the coolest spots in Paris! Bar, café, restaurant, art gallery etc. My daughter found her haven outside, in the little park where they had a beautifully designed playground. Inside, I met expat American David Flynn, who while making a gazillion cappuccinos, also had the time to squeeze in the best chemex I’d had up to that date. His work flow and accuracy impressed the shit out of me, and I hear now he’s opened up his own space! Well deserved!

David, together with Thomas Lehoux, started the now famous Frog Fights in Paris, the blue print for the TNT SWE (Gothenburg, with Malmö and Stockholm franchises) movement basically. I had the opportunity to meet up with these guys for a cupping session at Café Lomi, hosted by Aleaume as well as his roaster Paul Arnephy, with Luke, David and Thomas. This was a meeting that truly was inspirational and saw great opportunity for coffee not only in Paris but in Europe!

Café Coutume was also interesting to visit, a café full of expats and owned by Antoine who has spent time in Melbourne learning about coffee. They were the first to have the Strada in Paris, and they also do various brewing methods, among them an Australian favorite; the syphon. So, naturally I had me a syphon of the Nekisse which was slightly dark roasted for that purpose in my opinion, but still rather enjoyable. The area in which Coutume resides hosts a beautiful movie theatre that I will make a point of visiting next time I’m in Paris for sure!

Two cafés I squeezed in on the visit were La Cafeotheque, which seems to be sort of a stomping ground for any barista that moved to Paris within the past few years. Ambience was nice, but the coffee too, eh, French in my opinion (too much roast character). Merce And The Muse was my last stop before the airport, and I really liked the place itself, but the coffee wasn’t too interesting, but maybe it turned a bit sour from the company of a loud American pushing herself to be the next big thing in Europe, having the same hairstylist as Madonna had on the Vogue tour. Well, good luck with the music, I say!

Epilogue

Since my visit to Paris, Thomas visited Stockholm with his friend Chris, who now works at Kafé Esaias in Stockholm. David has opened up his café/roastery Télescope, make sure to check it out if you go! Also see Per Nordbys blog post (in Swedish) from his cupping tour in Paris just a little while back!

NP: Thin Lizzy Parisienne Walkways

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