29 September 2017

Paris Speciality Coffee Guide — September 2017 Update

At the behest of my French friends, who moved into their beautiful Marais apartment a few months ago, and spurred on by a Eurostar sale, I recently returned to Paris for another long weekend. My two previous visits were rainy and cold, but this time, I was treated to glorious sunshine all weekend. I also managed to visit six new-to-me speciality coffee shops — all on the Right Bank — and two of my favourites from previous trips. I was also interested to see that many of the shops I visited featured guest roasters from outside Paris, so I got to enjoy a mini European coffee tour that took me from Bath to Berlin and on to Copenhagen.

My Paris coffee to-do list is still long — and growing fast — but with these new addresses, my Paris Coffee Map now includes more than 20 venues (please also check out my March 2017 post and my June 2016 post). I hope you find it useful if you are planning a trip to Paris. To get to my latest coffee shop reviews, just scroll on down.

Boot Café
A tiny, cash-only coffee bar inside a former cordonnerie (shoe-repair shop — hence the name), Boot Café is located on a quiet but characterful street in the Marais.

There is only room for a handful of stools inside, as well as a few more on the pavement, and I loved the cosy, rustic décor. The coffee is from Berlin's Five Elephant and I sampled a smooth and well-balanced cortado (€3). If you're in the mood for black coffee, there is a Chemex (€6) option on the menu, but the shop was so busy that I figured an espresso-based drink would be a more considerate order. They also sell cookies and a few other baked goods.

Boot Café is located at 19 Rue du Pont aux Choux in the 3rd arrondissement (Métro: Saint-Sébastien – Froissart). Website. Instagram.

Part speciality coffee shop, part cafe and part photography space, Fringe combines several of my favourite things.

Alas, I only really had time to try the former, but I'm keen to return to sample the tartine-tastic lunch menu. Inside, the café is peaceful, reasonably small and as well-lit and well-decorated as you might expect. The coffee was from Danish roaster Coffee Collective, and there were the usual espresso-based drinks available (with soya and rice milk options) and a Kalita Wave filter coffee (€6). Mainly for reasons of speed, I ordered a cortado (€3.50), which was made with Fringe's house espresso, a Kenyan Kieni from Coffee Collective. It wasn't the prettiest cortado of my trip but it was one of the tastiest — some lovely flavours came through.

Fringe is located at 106 Rue de Turenne in the 3rd arrondissement (Métro: Filles du Calvaire). Website. TwitterInstagram.

A sunny Saturday is the perfect day to visit Honor, an outdoor coffee kiosk located in a quiet courtyard just off Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

There are a few small seats next to the coffee bar, a few stools at the bar itself and, I noticed later, several seats in a covered area behind the bar. It was standing-room only by the time we arrived but it was a nice day for perching. Although I'd read that Honor usually serves Coutume coffee, they were serving coffee from Round Hill Roastery (based in Bath in the UK). I ordered a piccolo (€4) with a Colombian espresso that worked very well with a little milk. The coffee was well-prepared, as were my friends' drinks. I may also have sampled some of the (delicious) cheesecake brownie... They also serve Aeropress-brewed coffee (€6) and cold brew (€5). Note: Honor is closed on Sundays.

Honor is located at 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th arrondissement (Métro: Madeleine or Concorde). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

As a teenager in Paris, I used to come to Rue d'Argout to visit a popular fashion emporium known as Le Shop. These days, I'm more interested in the sleek, understated coffee bar, MATAMATA, a few doors down.

With work space in the larger basement room and avocado toast on the menu, MATAMATA is one of the hipper cafés in Paris's speciality coffee scene. It was the coffee that brought me, of course, and my friend and I both ordered a Kalita Wave-brewed pourover. The featured coffee was a Guatemalan Renardo Ovalle from Café Mokxa, a roastery based in Lyon and Strasbourg. We sat at one of the small tables on the pavement and enjoyed the coffee's cocoa and praline notes as it cooled.

MATAMATA is located at 58 Rue d'Argout in the 2nd arrondissement (Métro: Sentier). Website. Instagram.

Neighbours is Honor's British-spelling-adherent sister — it opened in the Marais about five months ago — but I visited the younger sibling first. I went for breakfast on Saturday morning and began to wish that I didn't already have brunch plans because the brunch menu (served all week) looked amazing.

I 'consoled' myself with a slice of toasted banana bread, which came served with some delicious espresso butter. There weren't any hand-brewed filter coffees on the menu so I ordered a piccolo (€4). As at Honor, the coffee was from Round Hill and my piccolo was very well made and with faultless latte art. The café is small — most of the room is taken up with the minimalist coffee bar — and bright, with tasteful décor. The pavement tables are great for people-watching, but it was the friendly baristas who really stood out. A great find and one I'll return to often.

Neighbours is located at 89 Boulevard Beaumarchais in the 3rd arrondissement (Métro: Chemin Vert). Instagram.

République of Coffee

There was something of a speciality coffee dearth in the République area, especially compared to the neighbouring Marais to the south and Canal St Martin and Belleville to the east. Enter, then, République of Coffee, a stone's throw from the titular Place.

There is plenty of seating inside the bright café and I loved the bold accents of colour, particularly the neon sign at the back. I had a well-made Coutume cortado, and while I awaited my drink, my eyes fell on the amazing, colourful packages of coffee behind the bar. I hadn't heard of Lyon-based Placid Roasters, but the Ethiopian Biftu Gudina beans sounded great and the package happened to come in my three favourite colours. I took it as a sign and have been enjoying the coffee through my Aeropress at home.

République of Coffee is located at 2 Boulevard Saint-Martin in the 10th arrondissement (Métro: République). Website. Instagram.

And here are the details of the two coffee shops to which I was delighted to return this time:

After failing to check out Cuillier's Rue de Grenelle café, which is now closed at weekends (sometimes Google knows better than a company's website!), we met some friends at Coutume.

Last time I went to Coutume, I tried all of the coffee and brunch, and I've never had a bad experience there. Unsurprisingly, they were all out of cold brew on such a hot day, so my friend and I both ordered a Kenyan coffee brewed through the Kalita Wave (€5) and took our drinks to enjoy in a nearby park. The coffee was brewed beautifully with lovely black-tea notes.

Coutume is located at 47 rue de Babylone in the 7th arrondissement (Métro: Saint-François-Xavier or Vaneau). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

KB CaféShop
I liked my last KB CaféShop coffee so much that it has become my Twitter and Instagram avatar. The coffee shop's proximity to Gare du Nord also makes it an excellent place to caffeinate before or after Eurostar journeys.

After enjoying a piccolo last time, I decided to try an Aeropress-brewed filter coffee this time (€5). There were about six single-origin coffees on offer and I selected a Kenyan Slopes of 8 PB, which was incredibly fruity with gorgeous blueberry notes.

KB CaféShop is located at 53 Avenue Trudaine in the 9th arrondissement (Métro: Anvers). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

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