Ditch your daily espresso — the City of Lights is now in the midst of a third-wave coffee revolution and serving up some fantastic lattes and flat whites
Leave it to the French to create a culture that is loved by the world over. From their intriguing concept stores to well-curated boutiques to delightful patisseries and boulangeries, there's a quiet charm in Paris that is palpable the minute you waltz around their pavements. It's hardly surprising that earlier this year, there was a 17.6 percent increase in airline bookings to Paris — amongst the highest growth rates in any European city.
Once you dig a little deeper, Paris carries with it an undercurrent of cool. It is in its lesser-known streets where you'll eye a vibrant hipster community. It is also here where some of Paris' best coffee spots reside. While espressos and croissants are de rigueur in the French way of life, it no longer is all there is to it. More places are now roasting their own beans in-house and offering a menu selection similar to what you might find in Melbourne or Sydney. And forget prominent street corners like the institutional Café de Flore; your cuppa is now waiting for you in an obscure laneway or in an open-air kiosk surrounded by independent fashion boutiques.
A stone's throw away from the stylish Canal Saint-Martin, you'll probably spot Ten Belles first by its iconic blue door and model-type teenagers with their dogs seated outside — especially on a sunny weekend. Staying true to a simple menu of sandwiches and sweet pastries such as cinnamon scrolls and cookies, it caters to anyone after a great cuppa and a quick lunch. The coffee is robust and made from high quality house blends roasted by Belleville Brûlerie. Tip: Snag a table on the café's mezzanine level (which overlooks the entire space), and people-watch your hour away.
Opened by English-Australian barista couple Angelle Boucher and Daniel Warburton, Honor is Paris' first independent outdoor specialty coffee shop on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Their kiosk-style café is a hit amongst the fashionistas in the area (it's hidden away in a cobblestone courtyard amidst the Comme des Garçons boutique and museum). Grab your cafe latte to go, or linger on one of the sleek stools, which provide a respite from the bustle of Paris. For non-coffee drinkers, they also do a mean hot chocolate.
There's no question that The Broken Arm is one of those cafés that you'll want to sit in for hours. It's beautiful — bright, white, and airy — and is far from stuffy or cramped (even during the maddening lunch hour crowd). Its beans are sourced from Norwegian producer Solberg & Hansen, which in the hands of their baristas, makes for the perfect latte. Pair it with their daily changing selection of soup or salad, and make time to pop into their concept store after. The latest goodies from Raf Simons, Maison Margiela, and Prada await.
Situated on the same strip as Kunitoraya (Eva Chen swears by this Japanese hole-in-the-wall) just off the city's Japanese quarter, Télescope is a minimalist's dream. This cosy coffee bar serves up most milk-based drinks, teas, and a great filter coffee for the purists —with beans from a number of renowned local and international roasters such as Man versus Machine or Colonna.
Hollybelly's coffee, brunch fare, and massive lines are the closest thing to a Melbourne-style café in Paris. Arrive early or be prepared to wait at least 30 minutes — their excellent coffees and sumptuous brunch fare is worth it. Call for a flat white and their famed breakfast pancakes topped with eggs, bacon, bourbon butter, and maple syrup. What makes their coffee one of the best in Paris? The water used goes through a reverse-osmosis system, and beans are from coffee producers in Europe who only source in season.