Imagine walking into a café back in time where vintage is still considered modern and minimalism is valued over extravagance.
[76 rue des Tournelles 75003 (Paris, France, 3rd district)]
This humble coffee hangout recently celebrated their 2nd anniversary, but their name is the only thing new to the Paris café scene. The self-taught barista & owner, Youssef, is a seasoned veteran when it comes to preparing le petit noir, having co-entrepreneur-ed the former Black Market.
Quality of Service:
I was greeted by the young & stylish AF Youssef. If his perfectly groomed handlebar mustache doesn’t win your admiration, his heart of gold will. How do I know? Instead of pouring out an extraneous cup of java, he gave it to me free of charge. He cares. 😉
Quality of Product:
Fragments is one of the few cafés in Paris where you can choose the dose of espresso-based drink. A single shot cappuccino is 4 euro (500 yen, 5 dollars) and a double shot cappuccino is 5 euro (600 yen, 6 dollars). The beans “on tap” alternate from Kaffa, Coffee Collective, and other guest roasters.
Quality of Atmosphere:
There’s a sense of tranquility that blankets you while you sip your brew at Fragments. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on why this was until I looked around and noticed… minimalism. When designing his cafe, Youssef took a simplistic approach. Look around and you’ll see the brick walls and exposed wood ceiling are left purposely bare. Listen carefully and you’ll hear a sound from a simpler time: vinyl records. Is there a more soul-quenching way to listen to music? I think not. This day, my ears were graced with the iconic voice of THE king of rock & rock, Elvis.
Speaking of simpler times, I met noted historian and author of The World of the Paris Cafe, Dr. W. Scott Haine whom systematically studies the social life of cafés and other drinking establishments of 20th century Paris. Another book to add to my reading list.
You wouldn’t guess from my fashion choices, but I’m a big fan of minimalist design because it soothes anxiety and allows one to project their own imagination without distractions. That being said, I will surely visit again when I’m in need of a mental sanctuary. As well, I just learned about Fragments’ vintage bicycle collection, which intrigues/obliges me to visit again.
Helpful Coffee Tips:
The quality of water you use to brew your espresso is just as (if not more) important as the quality of coffee you use, which makes sense considering the ratio of ground coffee to water. Bad water makes bad coffee.
- Do not use tap water that has a distinct metallic taste for obvious reasons
- Do not use softened or distilled water because they are missing essential minerals needed for extraction.
- Thus, use filtered or bottled water.
- The perfect brewing temperature is between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C).
- Do not bring the water to a boil (212 F – 100 C) because it will burn the coffee.
Now go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge.