I had one thing that I really wanted to do in Paris, and I've wanted to do for a long time. That was to just spend some time in a Parisian cafe, drinking coffee and watching people. Simple. It was a quick and exhausting trip, so I didn't have as much time to lounge about as I'd like to but it was a fulfilling adventure nonetheless. Lost and dismayed by the tourist quarters when I arrived outside of the Notre Dame metro station, I messaged Saba (I can use whatsapp internationally but don't have data) for some suggestions and he sent me the name of a coffee roaster nearby. I set out on foot to find it, having no idea what to expect. It was a pleasant surprise when I stepped inside of @lacafeotheque what a rich, vibrant place with a cozy warmth that had a sense of life many specialty coffee shops today have lost in their minimalism. This was beyond my dreams. The moment I walked in the door I was greeted to my left by the aroma of freshly roasted beans cooling in the tray of a drum roaster, and in the back room a large group was standing around a table involved in what appeared to be a very serious cupping session (a method tasting and evaluating different coffees). I explored further and to my delight saw that the cafe continued into several rooms, each with it's own unique feeling. I sat down at a table, poured myself a glass of water and considered the espresso menu--drinks served in their original proportions without being amerasized (america supersized). After enjoying an absolutely exquisite macciatto, I ventured into the back training room where @fredpoirier29 struck up a conversation and shared some of the history of the cafe with me, and how it had all started in that single room. On my way out I didn't miss the opportunity to pick up a few bags of beans for later. Next time you're in Paris and want a good cup of coffee and a cultural experience that isn't overpriced and targeted at us naiive foreigners, I'd definitely recommend stopping by here for an espresso.
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