I been having a hard time finding Italian quality coffee in Paris. Most places that serve coffee in Paris serve very mediocure cafe creme and cappucino. While in Paris, I’ve been listening to the http://coffeegeek.com/ podcast and making myself long for a good cup of capuccino.
Until one day I stumbled on urbietorbi le bar italien. Their capuccino has very nutty and sweet flavors and the coffee actually reminds me of the quality and freshness of Italian coffee! Also their space is very inviting with ultra modern chairs and a comfortable bean bag sofa that let’s me just lie down and be lazy and read my travel books.
My new love in Paris!
I found one forum explaining why coffee in France is subpar. Another blog with some comments about where to find good coffee.
My personal advice about coffee in France (and in Paris in particular) would be to pick coffee-oriented chains like Illy or Segafreddo, or places like Café de Colombie, where you’ll be served only pure arabica coffee. We French have a problem with our coffee supply. Most of what you get in “troquets” (average cafes and brasseries) is brewed from robusta beans, because of our privileged commercial relationships with our former African colonies (Ivory Coast, Cameroun) that grow mostly robusta. This is a unique situation ; most European countries (with a stress on Italy) and America prefer arabica. Now, though some robustas may be drinkable, most of the time they’re terribly bitter, acidic and rich in caffeine. This accounts for the characteristic (and, to me, horrid) taste of the French “petit noir”. And when the espresso machine isn’t properly maintained, the taste is even worse.