Oct 27th, 2016, 01:24 AM

The Paris Coffee Revolution

By Tess Hezlep
Some of the best artisanal coffee spots in Paris were documented in "Paris Coffee Revolution," an art book by Anna Drone & Jeff Hargrove. Image credit: Belleville Brulerie
The artisanal coffee scene finally arrives in Paris.

Over the last fifteen years, the artisanal coffee scene has seen a rapid rise across the globe. The trend seems to appeal to every young urbanite in every big city around the world, with one notable exception: Paris. "In a city so well loved for its food and drink, where attention was paid to gastronomic detail and chefs carefully selected each and every product that went into their food, how could you get to the espresso at the end of the meal and be so incredibly disappointed?" wrote Anna Brones in an excerpt from her book Paris Coffee Revolution. However, the tide has started to turn. In the last few years, Paris has jumped on the artisanal coffee train to complete their reputation as city of luxury and craftsmenship. 

Image credit: cafesbelleville.com

"We strive for a system where we can enjoy quality, but not at the expense of others. We are starting to revalue craft," wrote Anna Brones. Her book, "Paris Coffee Revolution," with photography by Jeff Hargrove, analyzes the burst of the Parisian coffee scene and its positive effects on the city and its dwellers. 

To many, the coolest part of the artisanal coffee scene may be less about the coffee itself and more about the experience surrounding the coffee—everyone loves an artisinal coffee shop's Instagram-worthy ambience and pleasing aesthetic. It's all about the aesthetics, nowadays more than ever. 

People, especially the younger generations, love a meal made daily with fresh & organic ingredients—on top of that, young people love places to unwind or study, and unwinding and studying for millennials obviously requires WiFi. These three factors are very important factors when today's youth considers where to spend their time. And nothing makes it better than glorious caffeinated beverage crafted with wholesome and artisanal value.

"The revolution is bigger than just coffee," said Nicolas Piégay, the owner of KB Cafe Shop. The theory in the high-quality art book basically asserts that as coffee becomes valued as a luxury good: it forces us to slow down and be aware of what we put in our bodies, to take our time in this over stimulated world, and most of all, enjoy each other's company. 

Paris Coffee Revolution - The Book from Anna Brones on Vimeo.

Malongo Café

With humble beginnings as an independant café in Nice, Malongo has grown into an innovative, environmentally focused artisanal roasting company. Malongo is located in the historic 6th arrondissement, just a block away from Notre Dame. The cafés big glass windows to create an open, airy ambience, and there is ample space to work on a laptop or read a book. And, if you're looking to recreate the artisinal coffee experience in your home, there is a whole section of the store designated to coffee accessories and machinery. The Malongo company greatly emphasizes on eco-design and optimization in their coffee making process, so you can feel good about giving your money to a sustainable business. Their coffee is extraordinary, with roasts ranging from Brazil Sul de Minas to Haitian Blue. Their iced mocha mint coffee is worth a try, if you're in the mood for something unique. 

Image credit: Malongo Cafe Store

Bleu Olive 

No one can resist the sweetness and charm of this family-run coffee shop. The interior accents of rich blues and yellows create a cheerful and cozy hideaway strung with glistening fairy lights. Cozy couches and a backroom area are dedicated for children and families. Watching the calm and whimsy of the adorable children is the perfect study break. If you're in the mood for something sweet, try their vanilla latte. It's extremely creamy and decadent. One sip will instantly have you thinking of the holidays. But fear not, if you want to cleanse, they also have a wide selection of herbal and medicinal organic teas. It's a wonderful place to pass the time and provides a cozy, cheerful comfort as the weather starts to turn.

Image credit: Bleu Olive

Thank You, My Deer

Started by Slovakian immigrants, Thank You, My Deer is a coffee gem hidden in the trendy Oberkampf neighborhood. It's a great place to go for a bit of peace, as Oberkampf falls asleep after wild nights of debauchery and dancing when the sun comes up. The café has a multitude of gluten-free options for reasonable prices. Indulge in a homemade gluten-free pastry and a latte made by trained baristas on their state of the art Marzocoo Classic expresso machiene. On weekends, they offer a wonderful brunch menu (with generous portions!) that can fix even the worst hangover. G, hummus tartines, fresh roquette salads with shitake mushrooms and cozy autumn soups abound at this cute spot. Before you know it, you'll feel radiant, healthy and caffeinated. 

Image credit: Thank You, My Deer

Belleville Brulerie

Belleville Brulerie is one of the establishments featured in the Paris Coffee Revolution. They truly live up to the definition of the word artisanal. Brulerie translates to "roaster," so be warned, this is not a coffee shop— its a brewery, a hub of some serious business. As a result, it's only open to the public on Saturdays from 11:30-5:30 for coffee tastings—which all but require a call ahead to check for space. Eat beforehand, and expect coffee in its purest form; no milk or sugar is offered. Their artistic mission forbids one's picky preferences for coffee additives to get in the way of their unadulterated coffee. Even if you aren't a coffee connoisseur, Belleville Brulerie is worth a visit, as the coffee is exquisite and the area surrounding this Belleville boutique is in rapid gentrification. This is arguably another part of the artisanal coffee experience: when "seedy" neighborhoods are suddenly trendy and enveloped with a sense of loss, a sense of rebirth, and the political and social friction that results.  

Image credit: cafesbelleville.com


Nestled in a large strip of shops, and just next to Bob's Juice Bar, this trendy café is in a truly prime location. Wooden countertops and vintage light bulbs will greet and welcome you into this unique space. Order their signature flat white or a slice of cake and strike up a conversation with the friendly owners who pride themselves on the freshness of their food and coffee. They use Belleville Brulerie roast, so if you're too intimidated to have a Belleville tasting, then this is the place for a simple cappuccino or latte with quality beans. Surprisingly, this is also the perfect place for a breakfast of pancakes and bacon. If you make sure to come hungry, you'll be sure to leave stuffed and smiling. 

Image credit: Holybelly.

Eggs & Company

Artisan beans from Café Lomi roasters will help wake you up after long, stressful week. Go to Eggs & Co. on a weekend for a lively, cheerful brunch with a wild selection of egg dishes and plentiful assortment of breakfast items, which everyone knows is quite rare in Paris. It's a bit pricey, but that comes with wonderfully-roasted coffee, glorious food, and a cute area in the extravagant world of St. Germain. After you feast, and a latte (or two) has energized you, stroll the streets of the 6th arrondissement and perhaps venture your way to the Luxembourg Gardens to people watch the old chess players, the parades of children, and the heated games of tennis. 

Image credit: eggsandco.fr

Now, in Paris. Coffee does more than just energize you, but it also brings people together. You can enjoy your coffee and enjoy each other; its truly a win-win situation. With artisanal coffee, a community arises. So, once the winter blues start to set in, get out and go explore the Parisian Artisanal coffee scene. You never know how a good cup of coffee may brighten up your day as you deal with winter, the stress of school, and for many of us, the results of the tumultuous 2016 election. Take a moment, sip your luxury coffee, and remind yourself that everything, even in the midst of all the nuttiness, will be okay.