Coffee in Paris

Posted on May 11, 2013

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As I write the title of this blog, I am both overcome with a longing for Paris, as well as the striking realization of how amazing and stunning the phrase even is…the fact that I get to follow it with a bunch of photos and memories from a month ago is truly humbling.

Ah life, so many unexpected twists and turns. All we can do is be open, and grateful.

Probably our best cafe au lait experience was from these two places…

Cafe Constant on the Rue St. Dominique (between H0tel Invalides and the Eiffel Tower). It’s a wonderful windy french street speaking of life from centuries past, with modern boutiques, pubs, and the occasional macaroon shop with mouth-watering window displays. We sat and sipped at the bar while Emma napped in the stroller…a perfect Sunday afternoon cup, and the food all looked incredible too.

Classic bordering on Trendy Parisien coffee setting, but they pulled a very smooth bold cup for us.

Cafe Verlet on the Rue St. Honore. We searched this out one day after stumbling across Bagels in Paris (Bagelstein–Emma was happy!)…and it was a lovely blend of old world feel (it’s been around since mid 19th century) and in a classy part of town—a very well dressed Parisian set…but the coffee selection was anything but outdated–they had Blue Mountain coffee for an incredible price!…Excellent baristas and a curious selection of candied fruits and veggies as the other “epicures”—we had croque monsieurs there too to round out the experience. The following day, after being separated and missing each other at rendezvous points (for 2+ hrs)–Emma and I were walking by the shop, and who should we spy in the window but Joel. Good coffee had re-united us, appropriately.

We also checked out Cafe Flore one evening…a quintessential Parisian cafe across from St. Germain de Pres. It’s known for being the meeting place of intellectuals and rabble rousers for centuries. I was excited to spend time in the very place where Simone de Beauvoir and Sartre sipped coffee while developing existentialism…! (Coffee lover meets philosophy nerd). It’s definitely still a place to see and be seen. The prices for coffee were absurd, and the stuff was definitely of questionable quality–the gripe that coffee snobs always make about French coffee as “black water”…Still, the experience of taking time at any time of day to sit, connect, coffee is about community there…only one place we went had a “menu a emporter” (to take away)…you didn’t see anyone on the street carrying coffee while running to the next thing. In the US we’ve tried to compress the experience of good coffee–make it fit into the nooks and crannies of our busy lives…while there were definitely times I just wanted caffeine to carry around–we did love the way it forced us to sit, take stock of what we’d seen and done…usually at around 10am and 5pm…

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Here are a few more that came highly recommended to me but that we didn’t make it to (I was getting teased about “coffee pilgrimages”)

Best Coffee in Paris-Fodor’s

We will treasure these memories for many years…thanks for allowing this food musing post. More recipes coming soon:)

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Posted in: Coffee, Food Musings