Frog fights, but no coffee

I headed to Paris last tuesday, where I’ll stay a couple of weeks.

As I had to meet one of my friend, we agreed to meet at the “Frog Fight“. What is the “Frog Fight”? Some sort of coffee geeks community event in Paris, where baristas from the Paris area, pros and semi-pros, are meeting, under the pretext of a contest but it’s really more about community, fun, meeting and sharing than anything. No big industry event, no big corp. backing it, no sponsor banners…

The frog fight today was at “La Caféothèque“, one of the first specialty coffee shop in Paris, really well located in the south of Le Marais, along the river, even if this place might not be the best place to run such a business (not that much walking traffic…), it’s beautiful and the folks running it are some true coffee lovers (even if I must confess I have never been a total fanboy of their coffe – oops)

The Fight itself is a funny small Latte Art tournament, baristas are competing two at the same time, today on the dual head Marzocco of La Caféothèque, in a quick improvised tournament style, up to the final. Tournament table is hand-written on a piece of paper and MC’s are rotating shouting the names of the competitors to call them for the fight. Three judges are giving their opinions (which prevent from having a draw) and its all based on the Latte Art (as well as the claps) as none are really drinking any of the beverages I think (but I have seen a lot of beers and wine…). The winner is rewarded by beautiful valueless prizes and the vibe is pretty good!

The good thing of this event for me, beyond meeting my friends in a pretty cool environment, was to see that actually, the coffee scene in Paris start to slightly vibrates. Many folks there were talking about projects of opening a specialty coffee shop in the city. Some already opened over the last 2 years, following la Caféothèque, who was really a precursor and it looks like many other will in a pretty short term. This is good for coffee lovers living in Paris, this city being so retarded about coffee!

Good thing? Let me thing… Not so good if you think about globalization. Despite being local, what does it really means if all cities have all the same local roasters, and all the same fair trade coffee providers, perfectly trained baristas with tatoos and that cool pacific northwest attitude? Don’t you smell a taste of  globalization? Where is my Café Mozart?

Anyhow, no I won’t digress, it would be too easy, this is just me being snob, easy to be as I don’t live anymore in Paris. Truth is: it’s damn good to think I will be able to have a damn good espresso in Paris easily in the future!

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