At the recent Paris Café Festival, I guest brewed some coffee with my friends from KAWA, the Parisian roaster that has been pushing boundaries and winning fans in France and well beyond. I love guest brewing at these festivals because it always gives me a unique chance to collaborate with some roasting partners of ours and to chat with customers who are keen to try different coffees.
The day before my guest spots, I was just wandering around Le Marais and the unexpected and wonderful vintage market that had taken over the streets around Rue de Bretagne. The sun was shining, people looked happy and the city was showing itself from its best side. This was the Paris that I didn’t know before and was falling in love with. Luckily, unlike Carrie Bradshaw, my time there didn’t end with a slap.
When I got tired of inspecting vintage clothes and furniture, I found refuge at the KAWA boutique, which is conveniently located right by Square du Temple, a cute park with lots of restaurants and bars on either side. As the name suggests, this is not a café but a showroom. You can pick up all of KAWA’s outstanding coffees, stock up on filter papers or buy merch and you can also sit and drink coffee at the bar or take it away.
I had a natural Geisha from Panamanian producers Janson, a floral and delicate coffee with notes of hibiscus. The coffee was served in two different sized cups and I was advised to pour a bit in each and compare the aroma and flavour. The difference was startling. One was more aromatic while the other was a bit more sweeter.
The whole experience felt more similiar to visiting Substance Café, a place that I love and adore. Though coffee shops often have the most delicious pastries and other treats, sometimes even serving an all day menu, there are moments when you want a coffee shop to be just that, a shop.
As I sat there, I witnessed KAWA employees have real meaningful conversations with customers, advising them on which beans to choose for their Moccamaster or their Sage Espresso machine. Two people working behind the counter seemed to be perfectly enough though I cannot say what it might be like during other times of the day.
For those of you who are just looking to get delicious beans from a great Parisian roaster, this is a great place to check out.