February 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Camera Killed the Coffee Star

It's cold to drink, but I'll get at least 15 likes...
I don’t make coffee at home. I don’t need my morning jolt to wake me up, nor would I ever be very far from any since I live in Paris. I discovered a café down the street that offers a coffee and croissant for 2 euros. I don’t care if it’s not organically-grown fair trade brew from a rehabilitated criminal living in some distant corner of the world. It’s coffee. If I want it, I’ll drink it.

Often, however, I’ll go to one of the newish “boutique” coffee joints that are taking locally roasted beans (it’s as “local” as coffee can get in France) and making some really great stuff. It doesn’t end up costing more than most cafés, and it tastes really, really good. These places often have that “local” feel to them, where you can chat with the baristas who eventually know your order right away. It’s great, really. Hats off.

About 4 years ago, I actually used to work for one such place, just as coffee was becoming “king” in Paris, according to The NewYork Times. I loved being able to interact with customers, to have a real rapport. I appreciate what these places are doing, but I’m not sure how long this local can keep going to them, even if they do know my order before I sit down.

First off, just try to find a seat. It’s not always easy in these cozy palaces. As I sat by the window, awaiting my cup, a French girl walked in with a look of disgust – even more disgust than on a good day. She couldn’t find a seat at the coffee shop, and promptly turned around. It can be frustrating, since it’s never really a fight at a traditional café, but hey, at least the boutique coffee shops do take-away without a fuss.