Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why is coffee in Paris so bad?


  • Old beans, over-roasted beans, second-rate machines
  • Milk out of a UHT carton
  • NY Times gives scathing assessment of everything wrong with the French coffee scene.

So this is a controversial viewpoint. Most people when they think of coffee talk of the great history of French and Italian coffee. Indeed both have types of coffee roasting (more accurately, degrees of roasting) named after them.

But European coffee is not all its cracked up to be. Don't get me wrong, sitting in a European cafe, among the locals, savouring the sights and sounds of the Continent, is on many people's bucket list. But it's for the totality of the experience, the Edith Piaf playing on the stereo, the people watching out the window, not the coffee itself, that makes it so good.

This scathing New York Times travel piece examines the reasons why, with blunt assessments including: "the French have a taste for robusta, a low-cost, low-quality bean that gives good crema but can taste thin and harsh" and "But the coffee? It sucks so bad."

It's an interesting piece. Read the full article here and tell us your thoughts:

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