For a long time Paris was known for almost everything else but great coffee. Michelin starred restaurants, small bistros, traditional cafés by the Seine occupying half of the sidewalk – few of these Parisian institutions seemed to take great care of their coffee: sourcing freshly roasted quality beans, grinding to order, brewing with clean equipment or proper water.
However, as usual when there’s a clear gap in the market, an opportunity for making people happy by serving them great tasting coffee with a smile, sooner or later someone fills it. Recently it’s been happening in Paris.
Perhaps the most prominent one of this handful of new quality focused coffee shops is Telescope Cafe. Located right behind the Palais-Royale, in the 1st arrondissement in Quartier Japonais that’s mostly known for its Japanese ramen joints, Telescope is nestled on the quiet Rue Villedo.
What used to be a workshop for Armenian carpet maker is now a small cafe with great coffee, some savory and sweet treats served in an amazingly warm and welcoming atmosphere. The duo behind Telescope are Nicolas Clerc and David Flynn. Earlier Clerc worked as a photographer and caught interest in coffee while shooting an coffee article for New York Times. Previously of Le Bal in Paris and many others, Flynn has a solid experience in barista work.
What is striking about Telescope is the warmth and lovely atmosphere right when you walk in – something rather uncommon for Paris. Accommodating less than a dozen people conversations are easily started at Telescope, often with a little introduction by Clerc (who knows almost all of his customers by name).
Filter coffee is a rare sight in Paris. Even harder it is to come by one that’s actually tasting great. Telescope serves beans roasted by Flynn at Cafe Coutume in the 7th district. Filter coffee is brewed through Kalita Wave filter under the watchful dispensing of Über Boiler. For the busy ones there’s also coffee from the tap, excellent and fresh from the Marco batch brewer. The way Flynn roasts their coffee is leaning towards the ”Scandinavian style” – fairly light with quite high acidity and a lot of sweetness and fruitiness, a far cry from the ”French roast”.
Somehow Telescope feels like a hidden gem of modern Paris – one with great coffee, tasty treats, friendly people and amazing hospitality. Hopefully all this will spread further than just Telescope and the few others.