I’m always on the lookout for new restaurants, cafés and shops that add to the charm and character of the 7th arrondissement – my favorite neighborhood in Paris. When Adam over at the irresistible blog Paris Pâtisseries wrote about Coutume Café, located between Le Bon Marché and Les Invalides along the rue de Babylone, I knew I had a new spot to check out.
Coutume Café has been getting wonderful press and reviews for their excellent blends roasted on site and coffee made with some unusual brewing techniques. The morning I stopped by for the first time there was a TV camera crew setting up to film a feature for Télématin France 2. Although there were preparations for filming in the air, owner Antoine Netien very kindly took time to explain in English the different types of coffee they prepare at Coutume.
This is where science and coffee meet to create some truly divine drinks. I had to ask about the tall apparatus where coffee water was very slowly dripping down from a large glass bulb through coffee grounds into a glass container at the bottom. Known as cold extraction, this process takes most of the day to complete. The rich brew is served over ice, which I must try on my next visit. First, I had to try Coutume’s coffee brewed in a siphon pot, a process that eluded my coffee comprehension – even in English!
Although I’m not a coffee drinker, Antoine suggested I try the siphon coffee because of the delicate and warm flavors made by using this vacuum pot technique. And one listens to the Meilleur Torréfacteur de France 2011 – the best coffee roaster in France – when he gives you advice! When the pot started glowing red during the brewing process, I grabbed my camera and ran over to take another photo. The coffee is served in the glass pot where it is brewed along with a special holder to pour it with so you don’t touch the hot glass. There were two lovely cups that this non-coffee drinker thoroughly enjoyed!
One of the first things that caught my eye behind the counter at Coutume was their gorgeous silver espresso machine. One of the finest in the world, the La Marzocco Strada espresso machine is handmade in Florence, Italy. In addition to the unique siphon coffee, we had to order an espresso just to try it out. My Italian husband was impressed by the flavor, although he noted that the espresso cup should have been hot. This is a traditional touch in the Naples area, which is known for the best espresso in Italy. We were both pleased to have finally found a true Italian espresso in Paris!
Coutume also has a lovely selection of teas and hot chocolate (if you’re not a coffee lover) and a light menu perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light lunch. A highly recommended spot the next time you’re strolling through the 7th arrondissement in Paris!
47, rue de Babylone
Metro: Vaneau (10), Saint François Xavier (13), Sèvres-Babylone (10, 12)
Walking: Coutume is located on the rue de Babylone not far from Les Invalides and the Rodin Museum and Le Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marché.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8am to 7pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10am to 7pm