France has long been renowned as the world capital for gastronomy. Whether bread, wine, cheese, produce grown by French farmers or pastries formed by artisanal hands– France is often at the forefront of haute cuisine. Exquisite food together with breathtaking art, architecture and scenery – have made France one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide.
So why ask for more? Should France be expected to perfect the art of coffee making when they’re already at the top of their game in so many fields?
Simply put – yes. A browse through the Internet and the unfortunate popularity of the hashtag #frenchcoffeesucks, show that tourists in France do indeed want to have their cake and drink good coffee too.
The expectation for decent coffee could come from the many clichés plastered on French paraphernalia… illustrations of Parisian style bistros, glass cases filled with pastries or even the words ‘café au lait’ written in whimsical cursive. There’s no denying that France has a positive reputation of café culture… but this is not to be mistaken with coffee culture.
Then there’s Australia – a multicultural nation that embraces traditions from around the globe. Considering the national slogan of ‘she’ll be right’ and an overall laissez-faire attitude towards daily life, it is pleasantly surprising that Australia has become a leader in specialty coffee. By sourcing quality beans, roasting in small batches and training baristas at a level akin to sommeliers – Australia has created a culture around specialty coffee that is being copied and adapted worldwide.
The specialty coffee scene in Paris and throughout France has progressively grown over the past five years and there are no signs of it slowing down. Many of these businesses are Australian owned or have been opened by French nationals who studied specialty coffee in Australia.
Conversely, in Australia, there has been an influx of French owned retail and wholesale food businesses. Thus many Australians have become reliant on access to traditional French breads and pastries, often available at specialty coffee cafés.
The beautiful balance of pairing an impeccable pastry with a superb cup of coffee is quickly becoming a luxury appreciated by both the French and Australians. After developing a taste for quality, it is not so easy to return to old ways.
With time and with the increased popularity of ‘Les cafés Australiens’ – we’re bound to see France begin to dominate the specialty coffee scene. As a country that strives for artisanal delicacy, excellent consistency and superior results– it only seems logical that France could become the next coffee mecca.
Thankfully, with the ever-growing alliance between France and Australia, it appears the two nations are benefiting from the best of both worlds.
Here are just a few specialty coffee roasters and providers across France:
Sugar Blue Café
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