Ah, coffee. Often when I'm traveling, one of the biggest things I miss is how easy it is to get a great cup of joe in NYC. We had been warned that the coffee (mostly espresso) in Paris was overall pretty terrible and that it'd be hard to get just a plain cup of drip. Looks like we got quite lucky on our first day. I used Yelp (forgive me) to find Télescope as it was just a hop away from where we were staying. If you recall, we were basically barely conscious at this point in our trip - coffee was in dire order. As soon as I saw the little aqua-colored espresso cups and saucers, I perked up.
Then we noticed the fancy pour-over device (that we've only ever seen before in the dearly departed RBC in NYC and please, can I have this built-in my kitchen one day) and REALLY perked up. We knew we had to come back. The only slightly confusing thing was that we ordered macchiatos and they tasted more like what cortados do here. Hey, I love cortados so that's fine. We chatted with Nicolas, the owner (?), and learned that the cafe just opened about two months ago. He gave us recommendations for other cafes and mentioned he loved Abraço here (!!). Clearly, I trusted him after that fact. :P I also loved that we bumped into the same people the few times we went; it felt like the perfect neighborhood spot. It also felt like the ex-pat spot as we heard much more English than French any time we were there.
One note about all these photos - I brought in photos from my iPhone, Contax 645, and 5Dmkii, so apologies for the inconsistency. It's driving me a little crazy.
Now, Le Bal was a bit of a trek for us, but we headed there one morning for coffee and brunch. We got some Chemex (shhhemex as they say there) and I think I had some sort of ham/egg/cheese sandwich. I think one thing we also noticed was just how leisurely everyone (staff and cafe-goers alike) is at Paris cafes. I've gotten so used to the pace here that if I feel like things aren't running quickly or efficiently, I get pretty antsy and uneasy. I mean in NY, at a busy brunch hour, the wait staff would be rushing you out the door, but there you can really take your damn time.
On that same day we had brunch at Le Bal, we wandered over to Kooka Boora (or I think it's known just as KB now). The menu was quite extensive - you can get regular drip, clever drip, aeropress, french press, syphon, and even a "degustation" of three different methods. Of course there was a long espresso drink list as well. We enjoyed sitting outside for a bit and trying to recover from our brunch food coma.
On our last day in Paris (aka the day J was still hungover from Ledoyen and we were on our way to L'Arpège), we made a quick detour to Coutume Café. The space was lovely but we couldn't stay for long.
Whew that felt like a serious mega-post. We did have some bad coffee along the way, but I won't be sharing those here. Overall, I'd say these places did us quite well and if you can only make one of these on any of your future trips to Paris, do go to Télescope!