Paris has always been a desert for true coffee lovers for a number of reasons, some historical, as they colonized the wrong side of Africa (the Italians got the right side), some just strange: the French have an innate love for regional, single origin products, a passion for the ritual of wine production and tasting, so why not for a product that has history, regional character and all the attributes that make it a delicious discovery. Why must coffee be relegated to a simple morning pick me up or afterthought digestive?
I documented this in January 2011 for Black Book and have waited patiently for smart openings since then. Slowly but surely they are coming.
One perfect example of the new wave of cool purist coffee cafés is the Café Craft, on a tiny side street off of the Canal Saint Martin in a slightly out of the way, below street level former print shop. The café, meant as a hybrid workspace/coffee shop (high speed wifi, worktables, lots of plugs..) was the first brick and mortar project from designers (yet to be named) who have, until now, been present in industrial design. The project, the brainchild of 5 java obsessed friends sprang mainly from the mind of one of them, patron/barista Augustin, who dreamt up the idea while crossing the United States on horseback (yes, 5000 miles).
The coffee is Lomi, with varieties from Nicaragua, Brazil and Ethiopia, and the growing organic snack menu comprised of light pastries, quiches and salads, munched on by what will surely be a growing large local public of funky creatives.
24 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris