Imagine walking into a café reminiscent of your college days. You know. The one you and every other sleep-deprived, MacBook toting student flocked to for the good quality (yet decently priced) java, ample work space & outlets, and most importantly, FREE WiFi.
[24 rue de Vinaigriers, 75010 (Paris, France; 10th district)]
Café Craft is a telecommuter’s haven created by Augustin Blanchard who was inspired to design a café with the practicality of a library, the comfort of a living room, and the functionality of an office. But without the bookshelves, throw pillows, and pesky bosses.
Quality of Service:
I was served by the sweetest of sweet baristas. (｡♥‿♥｡) Despite noticing that I wasn’t a local, he continued to patiently converse with me in French, as if he intrinsically knew the importance of needing a judgement-free and compassionate ear when someone is practicing a new language. His effort didn’t go unnoticed. *heart melt
Quality of Product:
Google “Café Craft” and you’ll find a ton of reviews raving about their flat white. (And I bet you that majority of those reviews were written by pleasantly surprised Australians. Makes sense considering the origin of the flat white.) You know what? The critics weren’t fibbing. Craft’s flat white was velvety goodness! *note to self: must convince one of my Oz friends to visit me in Paris so that I can take them to Craft.
Espresso: Brésil Fazenda Baixado Yellow Bourbon made exclusively for Craft by legendary roaster, Café Lomi; a sweet blend with hints of milk chocolate (bitters) and fruit (acids), which means it’s perfectly balanced.
Filter: Éthiope Rocko Mountain roasted by Café Lomi with a floral essence. This blend will be slightly more acidic than the aforementioned blend, but still balanced.
Since I was near death from hunger (I know… I’m soooo dramatic), I splurged and ordered a lunch set (12 euros, 1500 yen, 17 dollars) with my Flat White (4.50 euros, 560 yen, 6.50 dollars). The set came with Asiatic legumes quiche (pretty sure they were shitake, but there’s mushrooms for debate (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و), a simple garden salad, sweet potato coconut soup, and a caramel apricot cookie. They all tasted exceptionally divine, and my hunger was ardently diminished.
Quality of Atmosphere:
A coffice with FREE WiFi. ‘Nuff said.
[Kudos to the architect who designed this freelancer’s Eden. The long communal table in the back provides ample work space, comfortable leg room, and seemingly infinite outlets. And if you’re not there to work, you can take your café-clope to the outdoor terrace.]
Work work work. Sip Sip Sip. Type type type. Munch munch munch. *repeat
Helpful Coffee Tips:
Did you know that there are hundreds of species of coffee trees, but only two are commercially grown: Robusta and Arabica? You may have seen “100% Arabica” advertised on packages of coffee.
I’m going to let you in on a little coffee secret. Coffee with 100% Arabica beans is like having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood. It’s fresh and luscious and wondrous to roll around in. Everyone wants green grass. Because of Arabica’s superior quality, it makes up 75% of the world’s coffee production. Why only 75%? Because sometimes grass is brown (i.e., Robusta), but that’s shitty grass that no one likes… except for a few weirdos. When you have only brown grass on your lawn, you are sad because it’s prickly, stubborn, and no fun. Too bad that Robusta is easier to grow. Hence, Robusta is used to lower the cost of store-bought coffee products (e.g., Folgers, Maxwell, etc.) producing a low quality, less expensive brew. Even though 100% Arabica is ideal, it won’t kill you to have a few small patches of lightly brown grass on your lawn. Actually, sometimes it makes your lawn look more natural and less manicured. Because of Robusta’s high oil and caffeine content, adding a few beans of high quality Robusta (emphasis on high) to a batch of Arabica helps to create a much desired crema (i.e., a thin layer of foam on top of an espresso) and balances the natural acidic flavor of Arabica. An experienced coffee artisan can create the perfect blend between Arabica and Robusta beans without harming the overall quality of the brew.
Now go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge.