Text by Simone Blaser
For coffee addicts who think they’ve seen it all—we’ve reached the new frontier. It involves beans that have been “pre-processed” by the Brazilian Jacu bird, and while it doesn’t come cheap, Jacu bird coffee may be very well be worth the 8 Euros/cup you’ll pay for its “clear sharp flavor with a bright acid tang.” As if you needed another reason to visit La Caféotheque, this coffee-scented haven is Paris’ only outpost that deals in Jacu bird coffee (imported from Brazil). Intrigued? Scared? Read on…
The Jacu bird lives in coffee trees and ingests only the best Arabica coffee berries—whole. What’s more, these beans remain intact after they have been passed by the bird. The beans are then collected and harvested by the folks at Camocim Farms and exported to coffee-enthusiasts around the world. According to Yadh Elyes, a barista at the caféotheque, only two coffee shops in all of France sell this eccentric coffee: a small café in Lyon, and the Caféotheque here in Paris.
And in case you’ve forgotten about the many other merits of the Caféotheque—or if passed coffee just ain’t your thang—drop by for a visit to rediscover the back wall covered in drawers, each labeled with the name of a coffee-producing country and each containing samples of raw coffee beans. Read, write or just repose in comfy armchairs and check out the local artwork on the walls; for a quicker (and less expensive) caffeine-hit, the coffee bar has a variety of options on tap. Pull up a stool and take in the view of the baristas (artists, really; let’s call a spade a spade) at work. Watch the steady hand of the barista as he pours milk into your cappuccino in the design of a tree or a flower. Don’t forget to ask about the collection of coffee oils unique to this spot. If you’re particularly lucky (and it’s not too crowded), you just may walk in to find Yadh playing the piano that sits in the back room. You play too? No problem—just ask and you’ll be graciously allowed to tap away at the keys. Perhaps my favorite part of the Caféotheque is the thick smell of grinding coffee that hangs in the air like an atmospheric layer. On sunny days, the rays of the sun cut through the smoke and you feel like you’re in a coffee-dreamscape. Indeed you are.
La Caféothèque, 52 rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 75004. Metro: Pont Marie (line 7) or Hotel de Ville (lines 1 & 11) or St. Paul (line 1). Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30am-7:30pm, Sun-Mon 12:30pm-7:30pm