I've always heard that Americans don't know anything about coffee, sipping on our terrible Starbucks. However, Copenhagen, Zurich, and Paris have all had terrible coffee. I was really hoping for terrific coffee on every sidewalk, when in reality Starbucks was better than most. Then I found the Cafeotheque of Paris from CoffeeGeek.
These guys really know their stuff. They roast on site in small quantities. They change which coffee they serve in their bar everyday. The barista was hands down one of the top three baristas I have ever seen. He knew his craft, serving drinks with amazing precision and skill, you could tell he cared about his coffee.
Their espresso roast was fantastic, a top 5 espresso blend by far. It was fairly mild, with a very smooth finish. I started with the cappuccino which had a thick crema on top, latte art comes standard. The milk was steamed to perfection with smooth transitions between foam and milk. The espresso had a subtle taste that accompanied the milk, yet still powerful enough to deliever an amazing cappuccino.
Three hours later I had to come back for the best macchiato. The presentation perfect, the milk subdued by the taste of the espresso. Here the espresso was the dominant taste with a very mild and smooth finish. Not sweet, not bitter, not sour, but a very simple and crisp taste. The drink, another masterpiece.
I knew I was going to get a caffeine high, but I had to get an espresso shot, something I rarely do because they are usually too bitter. Thankfully, the espresso had the thick creamy consistency and still the perfect bitter finish that you pray for. The ristretto shot was incredibly smooth and had this incredibly delicious but so hard to describe taste, that left me yearning for more.
After all the disappointing coffee I've had in Europe, the Cafeotheque instantly shoots up into the top five coffee shops I've been to. And for pure ambiance, presentation, and coffee, it's taken over Jones coffee in Pasadena as the best in cafe experience. If you're in Paris, you must visit this cafe.