I say ironic because if you know anything about coffee, or travel place to place tasting different coffee you will know that in general, France has moot to offer compared to say Vietnam , Vienna, South America. And yet, the best most balanced cup I have tried in my “coffee traveler” experience has been in a newer, obscure yet vibrant coffee shop called, Le Barista Cafe.
There is so much to write about this whole experience that a blog would stretch to do it justice but I shall give you my 60 second bit (actor’s passionate monologue length) about how and why this completed my coffee circle. I met the lovely owner couple of this coffee shop on a suffering hot day in Annecy, France. I was fiddling through Foursquare, Yelp and Trip Advisor for an equally hot cup of coffee. All apps showed Le Barista at 5/5 stars and thousands of reviews. The next good coffee shop on the list had 3.5 stars with nothing more than 100 reviews. Was this a fluke? I had to try it.
The core of this cherry was that the owner, exuded with excitement on bringing this coffee shop to life, the whole coffee process and how the Cappuccino should NOT have whip cream (most french coffee shops believe the foam on top should cradle a dollop of whip cream) He was like a kid who just learned the alphabet but then all of a sudden was winning oratory competitions left and right. Yes that excitement.
The coffee here is hard to explain with words, it leaves you with a feeling that it is just right, just balanced and ironically even if this student of coffee has just started learning the process, he has pretty much perfected it. If he is not too busy, which is how a coffee shop should be, where you sit and chat and take your time, talk to him about anything under the sun. Ask him about the Coffee Book that changed his life. Read that book if you have time.
For bigger parties they have den in the lower level and they’ve thought out their color pallets for the walls to convey the essence of taking a step back and having a cup. Something that many coffee shops in France miss out on for their own reasons.
Now after all that, ask him to make you something. I had the Cappuccino (without whip cream of course) and Espresso.