Another journey, another destination - with coffee always front row centre - as Mr. Bloom lands in Paris, the city of romance par excellence.
A whistle-stop tour to taste the best specialty coffees conquering the French capital.
THE TAKING OF THE BASTILLE!
Within the magnificent location of the Bastille Design Centre we took part in a wonderful degustation of many excellent Italian products aimed at all professionals in the food and wine sector and curated by the distributor "Arte del Vino".
We tasted the best wines and the most typical dishes from all over Italy and it wouldn’t have been the same without our specialty coffees which were even served in decanters and wine glasses!
The infectious enthusiasm and curiosity for the different coffee preparation methods, from the most innovative to the most traditional like espresso and moka, got everyone involved: even staff members of the multi-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire (3 Michelin stars) showed up at the stand to taste some of our finest specialty coffee offerings such as Honduras La Fincona, Rwanda Twongere and Peru Felix Phoro.
Furthermore, a coffee break Italian-style with the brand new Da Zavola coffee - a project launched by Luigi Stella with the support of the Bloom Coffee School. Tradition, quality and innovation characterized this project entirely "Made in Italy".
PARIS COFFEE RENAISSANCE
Specialty Coffee Shops are spreading fast not only in Paris but throughout France where its culture of offering high quality products is back in vogue. The art of preparing a good coffee has been revived with a return to a more direct and honest manner, far from the typical industrial production approach.
A community of enthusiasts is flourishing throughout Paris who are preparing coffee with passion and care - coffee as pure pleasure and as a luxury product. Paris, the fashion capital, knows all about that!
Until recently, Parisians didn’t have a thorough cultural understanding of the coffee bean. Now instead its aroma is invading the streets of the city, from north to south, east to west.
Cafes are frequented at all hours of the day where you can often find detailed menus with different offerings of arabica and robusta single origins, or even different blends.
The customers have become more attentive to what they are drinking; they talk with the barista, ask questions, get interested, delve deeper in understanding what they are consuming. There are those who stop for a few minutes, and those who stay for hours sitting comfortably on a plush armchair while sipping their coffee, perhaps leafing through the pages of a book, letting themselves be carried away by the chic atmosphere of the French capital.
We are effectively facing another French Revolution... that of coffee! The Bastille is again the location and icon of this new trend as it is from here that we started our #coffeerenaissance and the only possible road is the one that leads to quality!
This was also confirmed by the Café Festival&Expo, the first event dedicated to professionals and lovers of specialty coffee scheduled to be held in Paris from 21 to 23 June 2019.
From the central area of Bastille where we were the main players on a unique day dedicated to quality coffee, we went around in search of some special places to have a good coffee.
We arrived at Fragments in Rue des Tournelles, a very stylish café with a counter divided into two: one end for coffee and the other for food. A Technics 1200 turntable was set up on a shelf behind the counter spinning some excellent vinyl. We ordered a nice espresso which we drank outside on the street since the place had a long waiting list for a seat. We were served a single origin from Brazil: what a great start to the day!
Behind the counter, a giant poster of Bruce Lee reminded us that there’s no time to lose... time to move!
Nearby we found a smaller and more intimate café with quite a different style. Called Yellow Tucan and with a feel that was decidedly calm and peaceful. Here we could immediately take in the relaxing atmosphere with its lighter colours and ferns hanging from one of the walls.
We ordered a V60 and were offered an excellent washed Colombia of the Cauca. A very quiet and relaxing place, ideal for quietly sipping a coffee accompanied by a sweet. Power outlets astutely placed under the communal bench seats provided for an ideal place to sit and write in complete bliss!
The guy behind the counter was very laid back with a no-frills approach, serving as if we were at his home – relaxed but with style.
Next we rolled up to Alma the Chimney Cake Factory which we found by chance just off the main avenue that leads to Place de la Bastille, on the Boulevard Beaumarchais.
We were initially attracted by a series of cylindrical tools hung above the counter in plain sight. We realised that they were used for the preparation of desserts, that are typically seen in Hungary, and which provide the subtitle of the venue’s name - the Chimney Cake. Dessert preparation takes place in front of the customer who can choose their own ingredients for their topping. We order one with hazelnuts accompanied by a juice made on the spot as well as a V60 prepared with a washed Ethiopia from the Sidama region. C’est parfait!
Finally, a visit to the first Parisian coffee house, Café Procope on Rue Mazarine - not far from the Pont Neuf and inaugurated in 1686 by the Sicilian Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli - could not be missed.
Here one, not content having just a great coffee, can also stop and eat where for several years now it has become a fine-dining restaurant.