Paris's First Espresso Bar
When barista Chris Nielson left his job at Ten Belles, the stalwart coffee shop just off the Canal St. Martin, it wasn't to return to his native Australia but to open his own coffee shop less than a mile away. To be more precise, his matchbook-size café is an espresso bar with only a few tables and chairs available inside (a handful of spots are available outside on a semi-heated terrace), all designed by his architect wife. The pared-back design keeps the focus on the coffee (sourced from local roastery Belleville) and, as one instantly remarks upon entering, the aerodynamic equipment. Chris is the first barista in Paris to work with designer Kees Van Der Westen's 'Spirit', a machine known as much for its performance as its ergonomic and decidedly striking design. A small selection of treats from Emperor Norton is on offer as well as artisanal lemonades and fresh juices. Yet another positive point of differentiation: Chris opens shop as of 8am, 7 days a week - a boon for early risers like myself.