I started drinking coffee my Freshman year of college– typical, I know. But now, I don’t just gulp down coffee while pulling the occasional all-nighter at the library. I take time out of my morning to sit down with my favorite mug full of freshly brewed Peet’s French Roast and read emails. It’s my most beloved morning ritual, and gets me ready for my day ahead. Coming to Paris, I knew I needed to find my token cafés.
In the United States, we have a variation of settings in which we drink coffee. Though we do indulge in sitting at a café and drinking our latte, most of our coffeehouses are set up with the option of coffee-to go. It is often you see people hurrying along the streets with their to-go cups. On a busy morning, coffee is an afterthought, a drink that can be indulged in the transition of everyday life along with the hustle and bustle.
Though Starbucks found it’s way across the pond from the U.S., I think the closest that France comes to our American speed mentality is "café emporter", our equivalent to to to-go coffee, though that is pretty rare. For the most part, coffee drinking here is always done in cafés, while reading a book, smoking, or talking to friends. People take time in their day to enjoy their drink, and can spend hours at a café.
I’ve noticed the French take a great amount of pleasure enjoying what they’re doing: whether it’s reading a book, sitting at a park, drinking a coffee. There’s a certain appreciation for leisure activities, and the French incorporate these times into their day. Though Americans take pleasures in specific activities, I don’t think we refer to coffee drinking as an activity that merits as much time and importance as the French would.
After exploring the city for the best café latte, I’ve discovered some token coffee shops that definitely merit your time, if you’re in need of a pick-me-up, or looking for somewhere to sit back, relax and sip an espresso like a Parisian would.
Procope: The very first Parisian literary cafe opened in the 1600's! It's crowning jewel is Napoleon's hat, left by the real Napoleon III while discussing war strategies. You can't help but sit here and ponder the momentous occasions that occurred here.
|Le Procope was established in 1686! Dine at the same table as famous figures like Voltaire and Napoleon.|
Caféotheque: If you're seeking a stellar chai tea latte, look no further. Caféotheque is a Paris’s hipster cafe, located at the center of the city, and most importantly, really has their hot tea drinks down.
Cafe de Flore: The passing place of past and present famous figures: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Johnny Depp, Francis Ford Coppolla.
|With beautiful ambiance and excellent service, Café de Flore is absolutely unbeatable.|
Costa Coffee: Though not a historic establishment, Costa Coffee is always of hubbub of different people from different backgrounds, ethnicities. It feels like the melting pot of coffee. Also, free wifi!
Les Deux Magots: Right across from Cafe de Flore, this café has also been the hotspot for literary and artistic ideas. Pro tip: Skip the coffee, and go straight to lunch, The goat cheese toast is absolutely fantastic.
|Catch Parisians enjoying a meal or coffee outside Les Deux Magots.|
Frances Mylod-Vargas is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO in Paris, France. She is currently a junior at Cal Poly SLO.
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