pwelverum reviewed The Cafeotheque of Paris
I wasn't fully intending to go here. It's kind of a long story. I visited a great place in Dublin and asked if they knew of a good website that served as a directory of excellent coffee places for the traveling fellow like me. I'm on tour right now in Europe and seeking exciting coffees is a good way to pass the time when there is any extra time to pass. I realize there are probably better distractions to be had in Europe but honestly I've toured here enough times that unfortunately I'm kind of jaded, not interested in seeing the Eiffel Tower again, or whatever. (I realize I sound ridiculous right now.) A momentary incredible coffee can be the type of thrilling moment that improves the experience for many adjacent days. So, anyways, I asked these dudes in Dublin and they wrote down a list of their friends from the competitive international barista world and where I could find them (around Europe and some in LA). I didn't intend to get as nerdy or borderline elitist annoying, but whatever, an amazing coffee is worth it. At this point I am happy to fully immerse in the world of ridiculous terminology and the fetish items of pourover gear and airpresses and so on, as long as there is a new exciting taste to be had. One of the places they directed me to was The Cafeotheque in Paris. A week or so later we were in Paris and I had a couple hours before the show so I rode the metro to the area where the cafe (and Notre Dame, and the Louvre, and plenty of other non-coffee-related stuff is). After some looking I found the place, but as I walked up to the door I saw it was closed for renovation! and my time was up. I had to get back to the show. I actually did need a coffee so I slammed one at this tourist place around the corner (kind of typical gnarly scorched french style espresso). As I was walking back towards the metro by The Cafeotheque I saw that their temporary location during construction was actually just around the corner! But I already had a coffee in me. Whatever. I was there. I did it. I went in and had a second consecutive coffee. I asked in horrible scrambled french for "cafe filtre" which seemed to be the "pour over" option. I wasn't given a choice of beans or anything like many places that cater to "single origin" style fine coffees often offer. It was just the beans they had that day, which were "single origin" although I can't remember the name of where they were from. Columbia somewhere. I sat down and waited and took off my glasses and chilled out from all that rushing in the street. The temporary location on the side street was actually pretty nice. School kids walking by, people on bikes, shade, etc. There were workers coming and going in the place because of the renovations, but no actual work going on. Just estimates or something I guess. The coffee came, a pretty small cup, like 10 oz., on a plate with a small water next to it. It was definitely the best coffee I've ever had in France, but still it had the signature harsh over-roasted taste that seems to exist in all the coffee in France. I guess that's what "french roast" is. It was a little disappointing to have these beans that I could tell were incredible and fruity and rich tainted by the french brutal darkness. Still, it was the best french coffee I've had. It was not harsh by french standards. Just by fine pour over tasting standards. I drank it kind of fast because it was small and I was in a hurry, then I got back on the metro and went to the show. I plan to visit some of the other places those guys in Dublin directed me to, but now that I've found this website I'll also be consulting it for some guidance. I realize that this "review" is more of an essay, kind of ridiculous, especially since basically I'm saying "the coffee was OK". I just wanted to paint a complete picture.