HiP Paris Blog discovers the organic Paris coffee and tea of La Main Noire, like this black chai loose tea (left) and cardamom and spice milky chai (right).

In recent years, Australian coffee culture has been a driving force behind some of Paris’ most innovative and adored breakfast spots. Nico Alary and Sarah Mouchot had Melbourne and its vibrant breakfast culture in mind when they opened their all-day-breakfast restaurant Holybelly in 2013. Since then Aussies and those that love them have been an inspiration behind other favorite spots to start your morning in Paris including Hardware Société, Honor, and Neighbours.

A barista making coffee in Paris at La Main Noire coffee shop (left). A spicy, milky chai mixture with cardamom at La Main Noire coffee shop in Paris (right).

The latest addition to the Australian school of how-to-start-your day is La Main Noire Collective a group of coffee professionals and devotees who cite Australian coffee and brunch culture as their main inspiration in their quest to “enhance the Parisian café scene with new ideas and products.”

Ryan Nilstein, an Australian accountant turned chef, met his Main Noire co-founders Ludovic Sekete and Quentin Gauthier while they were working in the Melbourne café scene. When the team found themselves in France they decided to bring their experience in coffee shops and kitchens (Nilstein has worked for Guy Savoy and Sekete and Gauthier worked at Marcello and Ten Belles respectively) and use it to take the Paris coffee scene to the next level.

The coffee shop experience at La Main Noire in Paris is a far cry from the usual, for its unusual spiced organic tea and coffee mixtures.

As local coffee roasters and coffee shops proliferate in Paris, La Main Noire is dedicated to rounding out the café experience in the city by supplying high quality, organic products that are right at home in the latest wave of craft cafés. The collective’s flagship product is their Sticky Chai tea- made using Rwandan tea, fresh ginger and vanilla, and a touch of organic Acacia honey. Another product La Main Noire proposes is soy milk for professionals, destined for Parisian baristas who want to work with exceptional milk alternatives when catering to their vegan and health conscious clients.

A vanilla and spice infusion at La Main Noire coffee shop in Paris (left). The team behind the organic Paris coffee shop (right).This summer, the collective will be focusing on cold tea infusions and Summer Chai- a refreshing spin on the traditionally hot drink that retains its spicy profile but also promises to cool you down on a hot Paris day.

A cup of coffee in Paris, in a turquoise cup and saucer on a blue wooden table at La Main Noire coffee shop in Paris.

While you’ll have to order a soy latte at participating cafés to taste La Main Noire’s soy milk, you can easily order their signature Sticky Chai through their online shop. The chai is also available at a growing number of partner cafés in Paris who stock La Main Noire’s products- proof that the Paris café scene is happy to have a helping hand.

The three founders of La Main Noire organic tea and coffee shop in Paris, making a new concoction.

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Written by Emily Dilling for HiP Paris. Photos courtesy of Grégoire Rochard, Mathieu Richer, Daniel Hoekstra and Claude Weber. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.


Emily Dilling

Emily Dilling is a France based writer and author of My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes. In 2005 Emily moved to Paris from her native California and began exploring the cities markets, restaurants, and cafés. In 2010 she founded the blog Paris Paysanne, where she writes about her favorite addresses and artisans in the city. Emily currently lives in the Loir-et-Cher region of France, where she writes and works in the grapevines.

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