Imagine retracing your steps into a café, where fox-shaped cookies welcome you at the door, a cup of matcha on ice beckons you in, and an Alice in Wonderland-esk clock awaits your arrival. What other out-of-place things will you encounter? You’re not sure, but you’re ready for anything.
I once read a stat that as of 2018, Paris has over 7000 dedicated coffee shops. To say there’s a little competition in the Parisian cafe scene would be an understatement. So, how does a coffee shop get ahead?
51 Gallerie de Montpensier, 75001 (Paris, France)
In the two short years that Café Kitsuné has been playing in the Paris coffee game, they have dominated the arena. Their plain white cups with fancy black scrawl can be seen all over Paris: in the hands of tourists roaming the streets, in front of buskers collecting change, in the gullies littering the metro. Once, I even saw a patron bring one into Boot Café (my second home).
Call it beginner’s luck, but whatever Café Kitsuné’s founders, Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, are doing, they’re definitely giving Starbucks a run for their money. Either way, it was time to see where all these to-go cups were coming from.
Quality of Service:
I kid you not, I was greeted by cookies in the shape of foxes! Wow… yup… A thousand creativity points to Café Kitsuné. For those of you unfamiliar with Japanese, kitsune (狐) means fox. Understandable considering this café is the offspring of Japanese fashion & media mecca: Maison Kitsuné. Instantaneously, memories of unexpected kawaii experiences in Japan flooded my brain.
Even on a low-key Wednesday afternoon, the lineup at Café Kitsuné was out-the-door, and all the tables were occupied. On this particular occasion, two lovely lady baristas manned the espresso machine, diligently waiting on the ceaseless queue, never losing their cool.
Quality of Product:
Before my visit, I was delegated, by a dear friend, the exciting yet arduous task of convincing someone who doesn’t drink coffee, doesn’t like coffee, and doesn’t go out of their way for coffee to somehow drink, like, and anticipate coffee. I needed to change their life. Challenge Accepted.
I thought I’d ease their palate onto le petit noir by adding a little chocolate into the mix. Also, it was a warm summer’s day, so adding some chill couldn’t go amiss. Why not an iced mocha latte (€5.50): a double-shot of espresso, a cup of steamed milk, a tablespoon or two of dark chocolate shavings, and a cup of crushed ice? Cold, creamy, and rich, with a touch of sweetness. What could go wrong? Well, turns out, they don’t like dark chocolate either.
Mission Aborted, for now! I will convince you yet, Armand* that coffee is delicious! Would you also like to acquire a taste for coffee? Check out my tips and tricks here. For the more die-hard coffee fans, Café Kitsuné imports their tasty beans from London-based roaster, Workshop Coffee Co.
Quality of Atmosphere:
It’s no wonder Kitsuné cups are showcased all over Instagram by tourists and locals alike. Palais Royal is at its doorstep and the Louvre is a mere hop-skip-and-a-jump away in the 1st arrondissement. You can’t get more city-central than this. Inside Café Kitsuné is a single counter with plenty of stools on standby, reminiscent of an Italian bar. But inside can feel a little cramped, even in the small seating area in the back of the cafe. So, the patio is where you want to be, if you can score a table that is. Even if it’s completely occupied, you have the immense palace gardens to roam. It’s quite mesmerizing.
When in Paris whether for a visit or to live, follow the flock. They know where the good coffee is at. Just don’t take Armand with you. 😉
As always, thank you for reading and joining me on this #internationalcoffeejourney
Japan is magical. There is no other way to describe it!