Results tagged Belleville Brulerie from David Lebovitz

La Trésorerie and Café Smorgås

La Trésorerie and Café Smorgås

The word trésorerie in French means “treasury.” But in spite of its vaguely unpleasant connotation with the place that receives your taxes, it can also mean “treasure trove,” such as in this case, to describe La Trésorerie.

La Trésorerie and Café Smorgås

One of the nice things about living in an international city like Paris, is that you can visit “another country” by just taking a métro, bike, or a short walk, and find yourself in the middle of another culture. Behind the Gare du Nord are streets lined with Indian and Sri Lankan restaurants and épiceries (food shops), and the Goutte d’Or has a few lively markets, such as the one at Barbès, that caters to the African community.

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Some Thoughts on French Cuisine

France Map

French cuisine is, once again, a popular topic of discussion these days. Actually, anything controversial about France seems to foster a lot of heated debates. On one side are the folks decrying French-bashing, complaining that the French are unfairly picked on. Then there are the others who eat up books about how superior the French are, because they are better at parenting, they miraculously stay thin, they don’t have plastic surgery, everyone enjoys months of vacations, and Paris is a magical place where love, fashion, and fine food, flourish on the cobbled streets of the city. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in between and, like any where, there is the great, the ordinary, and a bit of the not-so-good. I want to play the referee but there’s usually a bit of truth in most compliments and criticisms, and the reality is more complicated.

French cuisine gets its share of praise and criticism, some deserved, some not. One truth I’ve learned after living here for over a decade is that people really like to eat. The outdoor markets are crowded, lines snake out the door at bakeries, and cafés and restaurants are packed – even on Tuesday evenings – in spite of la crise (the economic crisis).

But what is French cuisine? Traditionally, cuisine du potager (cooking from the garden) or cuisine du marché (cooking from the daily market) were the foundations of French cuisine. Cuisine du potager was born out of economic and common sense; you cooked and ate what was closest to where you lived. Part of it was out of necessity (there was no Chinese garlic or avocados from Peru way-back-when), but mostly because the food was either free, picked from your own garden, or grown nearby. So you were always eating seasonally and locally. In France, you were cooking and eating local products; fresh cream, butter, and cheeses made in your region, peas from your garden, eggs from the neighbor’s chicken coop, and bread from the village bakery.

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Belleville Brûlerie & Holybelly

Belleville Brulerie

Hoo-boy, do I remember the bunch of flack (to say the least!) for mentioning way-back-when that the coffee in Paris could use a bit of, um, upgrading. I was recently reminiscing about that with my friend Pim, who wrote about it in 2005. People were up in arms, which was a little bizarre since the French often refer to café coffee as jus de chausettes, or “sock juice.”

Belleville Brulerie

If you’ve been to Paris, you know that there are lots of cafés but the quality of the coffee isn’t the focus. However, like all cities, Paris evolves, and in the past few years, a whole battalion of younger folks, some French, and others from elsewhere, have opened shops sprouted up far and wide, at a rate that was so fast, that I couldn’t possibly try them all. (And with all that caffeine surging through my system, I would have lost 6 1/2 years of sleep.) And other people were doing such a good job of cataloging them all, that I just sat back and focused on other things.

Belleville Brulerie

Being from San Francisco, where coffee-culture can be obsessive compulsive – if you didn’t study the micron size of each granule of coffee grinds or have your water analyzed to ensure your coffee was as clear as a sleek Chemex carafe – you, and your coffee, simply weren’t up to snuff. I went to espresso school in Italy, where I watched and learned from the Italian experts how the seemingly simple task of extracting a perfect espresso actually depended on having mastered a few key techniques and having the right grinder and espresso machine.

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Where to Find a Good Cup of Coffee in Paris

Telescope coffee in Paris

Because of all the changes in the Paris coffee scene, I’ve updated this post in 2013 substantially since I originally published it. It’s been a wonderful revolution taking place, as many people – some French, others from Australia and the United States, have been conscientiously been upgrading the quality of the coffee available in Paris.

A number of coffee-lovers, myself included, are disappointed in the coffee served in Paris. In The Sweet Life in Paris, I noted a number of reasons why the coffee tastes the way it does, from using inferior coffee beans to laxadaiscal attitudes toward preparing it.

However a lot has changed and while the corner cafés are still stuck brewing and extracting that bitter brew they’ve been doing since time began, a number of places have opened up and expanded the coffee offerings in Paris. Here are some addresses, and farther down below is a list of places that have opened recently, that coffee-lovers will want to check out.

deux express

Below you’ll find a list of places where you can get well-prepared coffee in Paris:


A spate of other coffee bars have recently opened in Paris. Here is a list of them:

L’Arbre à Café
10, rue de Nil (10th)

Café Lomi
9, rue de Saussure (17th)

Télescope
5, rue Villedo (1st)

Café Pinson
6, rue du Forez (3rd)

Tuck
13, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Le-Bal
6, Impasse de La Defénse (18th)

Coutume Café
47, rue Babylon (7th)

Ten Belles
10, rue de la Grange aux Belles (10th)

Le Rocketship
13, bis rue Henri Monnier (9th)

Café Craft
24, rue des Vinaigriers (10th)

The Broken Arm
12, rue Perrée (3rd)

Belleville Brûlerie
(20th)

Holybelly
19, rue Lucien Sampaix (10th)

Lockwood
73, rue d’Aboukir (2nd)

Foundation Café
16, rue Dupetit-Thouars

Fragments
76, rue des Tournelles (3rd)



And here are a few others:



Espressamente Illy
13, rue Auber (9th)
Métro: Opéra, RER: Auber

A concept store and café for Illy coffee. Located next to the Opéra Garnier, a machine precisely tamps the coffee into the filter holder with the perfect amount of pressure, assuring you of a real Italian espresso.



Café Malongo
50, rue Saint-André des Arts (6th)
RER: St. Michel

Café Malongo is one of the better brands of store-bought coffee available in France. In their café near place St. Michel, you can drink a decent cup of coffee, but specify exactly how you want it since they often extract coffee “French-style” (ie: watery) The have a kiosk in the Monoprix, near the gare Montparnasse, but the coffee is disappointing.



Caldo Freddo
34, rue Montorgueil (1st)
Métro: Les Halles

A wonderful little panini place serves really good Italian espresso, which you can enjoying standing at the panini-length counter.



La Briciola
64, rue Charlot (3rd)
Métro: Filles du Calvaire

Pizza from Naples is the specialty here, and the excellent espresso they pour, using Kimbo coffee, is a fine way to finish a meal.



Vélo Café
Place de la Bourse (2nd)
Métro: Bourse

This mobile cart serves coffee Monday through Fridays and the coffee is prepared by a friendly barista from Scandinavia. If you want your café express serré (tight), be sure to mention it.



Comme à Lisbonne
37, rue du Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: Hôtel de Ville or St. Paul

Portuguese coffee made with care. Be sure to try one of the delicious pastéis de nata tartlets with your excellent cup. (More at Comme à Lisbon)



La Caféothèque
52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)
Métro: St. Paul or Hôtel de Ville

This shop is dedicated to roasting their own coffee, and aside from their café, offers courses in coffee-tasting and appreciation. The coffee is adequate, but they get points for making the effort to extract a proper café express. (More at La Caféotheque de Paris.)



Sugarplum Cake Shop
68, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (5th)
Métro: Place Monge or Cardinal Lemoine

Organic and fair-trade coffee, served in a bottomless cup, American-style in this laid-back bakery and café.



Pozzetto
39, rue de Roi de Sicile (4th)
Métro: St. Paul

Pozzetto is one of my favorite gelato shops in Paris, and one of the few serving the real thing. Ditto for the coffee, which is a true Italian espresso.



Cafés Verlet
256, rue Saint-Honoré (1st)

One of the classic Paris coffeehouses with Parisian-style coffee, although connoisseurs from elsewhere might be disappointed, and it’s not at the top of my list. (But locals seem to like it.)



Gocce di Caffè
25, Passage des Panoramas (2nd)
Métro: Bourse or Grand Boulevards

The delicious coffee served here is shipped in from Rome and pulled by a genial Italian fellow. For a true espresso, specify a caffè ristretto (café serré.) However since I initially wrote about it, this shop has been folded into Coinstot Vino, an adjacent wine bar. Barista Antonio Costanza is still making the coffee.



Kooka Boora
62, rue des Martyrs (9th)
Métro: Saint-Georges or Anvers

This Australian import is one of the latest places to bring good coffee to Paris. There is outdoor seating. (More at Kooka Boora.)



Nespresso
Various locations (click on link for addresses)

Nespresso has its fans and while I’m not as enamored of it as others, the pre-determined machines and capsules ensure the coffee is extracted to their standardized specifications. There are shop and cafés at various places in Paris, including on the Champs-Elysées.



goûtez un café rare





Related Entries and Links

La Caféothèque de Paris

Belleville Brûlerie and Holybelly

Good Coffee in Paris (Paris Coffee Blog)

10 Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Aussie Coffee for Paris (Financial Times)

Paris Favorites: Eating, Drinking & Shopping

How not to drink black tar in Paris (ChezPim)

Two Delicious Dining Guides to Paris

Making Perfect Espresso at Illy

Espresso granita affogato (Recipe)

Coffee and Espresso Makers For the Home

10 Things I Just Learned About Coffee

New wave hits Paris (The Age)

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Cake (Recipe)

Delving Deeper Into Coffee

Bad Coffee in Paris? (Lonely Planet)