I know a place in Paris where the espressos don’t taste like tar. Established as a coffee roaster since 1880, Café Verlet is no secret to coffee and tea lovers; three Michelin stars chefs such as Alain Passard, Pierre Gagnaire or Gérard Passédat order their coffee there. Owned by Eric Duchossoy who comes from a family with a long tradition of coffee roasters, Café Verlet has been in the hands of the same family for the past three generations.
Open all day, Café Verlet offers a small lunch menu as well as some tarts from the fancy pastry shop Stohrer. But what stands out the most on the menu is the two-page list of coffee beans to choose from: you pick the coffee beans of your choice and they grind them right there and then to make your espresso drink.
Among the wide selection of coffee beans for sale (Africa, Central and South America, Asia) Café Verlet has a selection of gourmets beans from Australia, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Yemen, Hawaii and a very rare one from Guadeloupe considered one of the best in the world.
Café Verlet also has a wide selection of teas (about 50) sold in bulk, ranging from classics to blended and flavored teas, with some rare and very fine ones such as the Japanese Gyokuro (green tea) or the Chinese Yin Zhen Jasmin (white tea).
256 Rue Saint-Honoré
Metro: Palais-Royal - Musée du Louvre
M-Sat: 9.30am-7pm (Tea salon closes at 6.30pm)
Closed on Sunday
For French people American coffee is often associated with weak coffee (I guess those people have not tried a black cup of coffee from either Starbucks or Peet’s) while Americans associate French coffee with bad bitter espresso drinks served at cafés. While one might find both to be accurate it is nice to know that it is possible to find good coffee in France and strong coffee (do I have to mention good?) in the United States. An American French roast is actually darker than a French French roast, and coffee isn’t served as strong in France as it is across the Atlantic.
And for all the latté/capuccino drinkers I have yet to find a place in France where they get as crafty with the foam as our American baristas.
All the beans at Lapeyronie are 100% arabica. The shop offers three different types of coffee:
1) the “grands crus” such as the Ethiopian Moka Sidamo or Harrar, the Jamaican Bleu Mountain or the Kenya A.A
2) the single origins such as the Ebano Verde from the Dominican Republic, the Katchalu from Colombia or the Yrgasheffe from Ethiopia
3) the blends that are a mix of 3 to 5 different beans.
A lot of the coffees are fair trade, with a good selection of organic beans and a chemical-free decaffeinated Colombian beans (Swiss water process.) Lapeyronie sells coffees from small producers and supports sustainable plantations. You can lend a helping hand by purchasing high quality coffee cultivated by a co-op of 2000 small Rwandan producers who’ve been slowly and courageously trying to rebuild their lives since the 1994 genocide. You’ll pay about 4,25€/250g for the Moka Sidamo, or 4,50€/250g for a single origin organic Colombian bean. Located right next to the Beaubourg Museum, Lapeyronie also serves coffee and tea.
Quartier de l’Horloge
9 Rue Brantôme
Closed on Sunday
Le Parti du Thé in Paris offers a great selection of teas: black, green, white, blue, red, herbal, organic… Over 300 hundred teas are sold at this store. The teas are stored in glass jars that are all accessible for easy smelling and can be bought in really small quantities (minimum of 10 g.) Le Parti du Thé does hundreds of tea testings on a regular basis in order to insure the quality of their product, and only buys teas from carefully selected (fair trade, tea cultivation and harvesting methods) places. I love their Earl Grey with Blue Flower (5,20€/100g.) Le Parti du Thé is a great alternative to Mariage Frères.
Also, Le Parti du Thé sells some excellent honey made by two former Parisians who left the corporate life for a more bucolic one outside of Paris where they retired as beekeepers. They are called Ambroise and Ambroisine and they make five different kinds of delicious honey: flower, acacia, glossy buckthorn, blackberry bush and lavender.
Le Parti du Thé
34 Rue Faidherbe
Tu-F: 10.30am-2pm / 3pm-7.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Monday