Archive for November, 2011

Tasting Café Oriental at Brûlerie des Gobelins

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
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Brûlerie des Gobelins
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

I’ve written about the Brûlerie des Gobelins on a number of occasions, and have even made a video of Maxime, the manager, at the coffee-roasting machine.

I stopped by yesterday and noticed that he was selling a new kind of roast, called Café Oriental. Maxime gives it this name because, he says, it is the kind of roast that one finds in Turkey or Lebanon. It is a melange of Arabica coffee beans from Central America and the Antilles that has been roasted at a high temperature (230°C) for a longer period of time (25 minutes). Coffee will crack (emit a cracking sound) up to three times during the roasting process—the first crack gives a light roast, the second a medium roast, and the third a dark roast. Maxime roasts Café Oriental up to the third crack. The result is a very dark bean whose oils form on its surface, making the bean glisten. Brewed in my French press, the beans produce a taste that is unctuous, intense, and bitter.

Café Oriental

Café Oriental
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Brûlerie des Gobelins
2, avenue des Gobelins
75005 Paris.
Telephone 01.43.31.90.13
Metro: Censier-Daubenton or Gobelins (Line 7)

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Tasting Java Lintung Aurore at Méo

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
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Méo Coffee Shop

Méo Coffee Shop at 95, rue Saint Lazare in Paris
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The company Méo was founded in 1928 by two brothers from Belgium—Jules and Emile Méauxsoone—who opened a grocery store in Lille (France). They began importing coffee and expanding their grocery business, opening more stores in the Lille region. By 1945 they had established a brand name for their coffee, which they called Méo.

Their first coffee boutique in Paris was opened in 1954 on rue Saint-Lazare. Recently I had the occasion to stop there and purchase 250gms of Java Lintung Aurore whole-bean coffee. While there, I also purchased an espresso made from the same coffee. When I tasted it, I found that it had a surprising peppery flavor, followed by a fruity taste. Both of these sensations were pleasurable. Later, when I took the beans home and brewed them in my French press, I experienced the same flavors. I look forward to the time when I will again be in the Sant-Lazare neighborhood so that I can purchase another batch.

I was curious about the origins of the coffee and searched for Lintung on a map of Java, one of the islands of Indonesia. I was not able to find it there, but learned that Lintung (or Lintong) is a region of Sumatra, another island of Indonesia located not far from Java. Wanting to learn more, I called Méo and was able to reach Gérard Méauxsoone, CEO of the company and son of one of the founders. Mr. Méauxsoone explained to me that although the coffee is named Java Lintung, it actually comes from the Lintung region of Sumatra. This would explain why the receipt that I obtained when I purchased the coffee bore the words “Java Lintung Sumatra.”

The Saint-Lazare shop serves espresso made from a variety of coffee beans, including Blue Mountain (1.55€/cup), Zimbabwe (1.25€/cup), and other coffees (1.10€/cup) such as Moka Sidamo, Santos, and Costa Rica. These are good prices for a cup of espresso, and they permit a coffee aficionado to taste the brew while standing at the counter before buying the beans. The sales staff in the store is friendly, and although they could not answer my questions about the coffee that I purchased, they kindly gave me the names of contacts at the company whom I could call for information.

Watch a brief video (in French) about coffee selection, coffee roasting, and the company’s commitment to quality at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/QDlZp7Fj7W0.

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The Princeton Roaring 20 at Dorothy’s Gallery – American Center for the Arts

Sunday, November 20th, 2011
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The Princeton Roaring 20

The Princeton Roaring 20
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Princeton Roaring 20, an a capella group from Princeton University, performed recently at Dorothy’s Gallery – American Center for the Arts. Click on the image below to watch them sing!

Video produced by www.DiscoverParis.net

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A Visit to Zymotik with Florent Deneubourg

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
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Two Beers by Zymotik

Two Beers by Zymotik
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Florent Deneubourg, brewmaster of Zymotik, an artisanal brewery located in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris. After tasting his Toreo Malto, a toasted-barley beer, I knew that I would forever be a true fan of artisanal beers!

I produced the video below to help him promote his brewery. Apart from a handful of microbrewery beer pubs in Paris, Deneubourg’s is the only commercial artisanal brewery in the area.

I wrote an article on artisanal beer production in France for the November issue of Paris Insights, our monthly newsletter about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light. Click here to read the abstract.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne Lecture!

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Only Five Days Left to See Angelu(s)x at La Galerie Saint-Séverin

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
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Angelu(s)x by Clément Cogitore

Angelu(s)x by Clément Cogitore
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Is La Galerie Saint-Séverin the smallest art gallery in the world? We like to think so. It is so petite that patrons have to stand on the sidewalk outside the gallery to see the works exhibited within!

Currently, Angelu(s)x by Alsatian artist Clément Cogitore is being exhibited there. The work is a video installation that shows a glowing sphere slowly rising in the steeple of the Strasbourg Cathedral until it reaches the very summit. Arriving there, the glow of the sphere transforms the steeple into a radiant lantern.

Clément Cogitore

Clément Cogitore
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The gallery, located at 4, rue des Prêtres-Saint-Séverin in the 5th arrondissement, is open for viewing day and night.

The exhibit ends on Sunday, November 20.

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Only Five Days Left to See Angelu(s)x at La Galerie Saint-Séverin

The Frog at Bercy Village
Our Monthly Restaurant Review in Paris Insights: The Newsletter

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
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Brewmaster Michael Gilmore, left and Assistant Manager Alex Beaufrere, right

The Frog at Bercy Village
Brewmaster Michael Gilmore, left
Assistant Manager Alex Beaufrère, right
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Frog at Bercy Village is located in one of the wine warehouses that have been preserved at Bercy Village, once the largest wine depot in the world, now an outdoor shopping mall. As well as operating as a restaurant, this establishment is also a microbrewery that produces and serves its own beer.

We dined there and then interviewed the assistant manager, Alex Beaufrère, and the brewmaster, Michael Gilmore, to learn about artisanal beer production. Our review of the restaurant and our report on artisanal beer production can be found in the November issue of Paris Insights, our monthly newsletter about history, culture, and contemporary life in the City of Light. Click here to read the abstract of the article.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne Lecture!

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Seven Places to Propose Marriage in Paris
That AREN’T the Eiffel Tower – Part 2
By Lela Lake, Guest Blogger

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
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We continue our report begun last Saturday on romantic spots for proposing marriage in Paris.

Aquarium

Aquarium de Paris Cinéaqua
Although typically a place for families, the recently remodeled subterranean Paris Aquarium has a certain appeal to romantics because of the stunning backdrop of the 43 aquariums, especially the “shark tunnel” that encourages deep snuggles while watching the monsters of the deep glide by just out of reach. Express your softer side by playing with the friendly sea creatures in the fresh water touch-pool and your brainy side by attending one of the informative talks while you’re building up your nerve for the moment of truth. The surrounding gardens provide a perfect place to stroll while, hopefully, you discuss future plans after your proposal has been gleefully accepted by your true love with the creatures of the sea floating by as your silent witnesses.

 
Inverted Pyramid

Next to the Inverted Glass Pyramid at the Louvre
For the couple embarking on the great matrimonial quest, there is no more symbolic place in Paris to declare your passions that in the spot made famous by The Da Vinci Code. Portrayed in the movie as the final resting place of Mary Magdalene, the inverted pyramid that lies within the Louvre is considered by some to be a holy place, especially when the prism-like pyramid breaks the lights of Paris into a thousand shimmering points of luminosity, filling the room with rainbows. With just the right timing you can add that magical touch that will bind your love like a Celtic knot. Regardless of the time of day, you can anticipate a proposal of mythical proportions.

 
Luxembourg Garden

The Luxembourg Garden
If you’ve been walking around Paris for days with your ring in your pocket, fretting for the perfect spot for your well-rehearsed plea for the fair hand of your beloved, be sure to include the Luxembourg Garden on your next walking tour. You worries will be over because the park holds so many delicious romantic spots to choose from that the biggest problem will be deciding which one! Even known to inspire the less prepared to propose on the spot, these beautiful gardens in the heart of the Left Bank have developed a reputation for helping shy lovers drop their fears and make the plunge. Just steer clear of the Medici Fountain—even though the statue of the two entwined lovers might seem just the place, the story of what happens to them at the hands of the jealous sheep herder Polyphemus is not really the kind of tale you want have associated with your plans for future bliss.

 
Musee de la Vie Romantique

Musée de la Vie Romantique
If your intended is a liberated literary type with a penchant for the real-life romances of the writers of Paris, consider making your proposal on the small but charming grounds of the “Museum of the Romantic Life” that pays homage to George Sand—the lady author who had to suppress her feminine side to be published in less enlightened times. Since the days of the Restauration, this building has served as a hangout for some of Paris’ most esteemed artists. Several of them, most notably the famed composer Chopin and fellow novelist Jules Sandeau, were Sand’s lovers. Tenderly displayed in the museum are intimate objects that speak of her great passions. The quiet, shaded garden path that leads to the cobblestone courtyard provides an idyllic, secluded spot to go down on your knee to declare your unquenchable passion for the love of your life.

About the Author: Lela Lake is a life-long lover of Parisian culture who writes for HostelBrokers.com, the budget travel specialists. If you want to visit Paris yourself, check out HostelBrokers.com selection of Cheap Paris Hotels Paris.

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Seven Places to Propose Marriage in Paris
That AREN’T the Eiffel Tower – Part 2
By Lela Lake, Guest Blogger

Seven Places to Propose Marriage in Paris
That AREN’T the Eiffel Tower – Part 1
By Lela Lake, Guest Blogger

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
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Proposing in Paris hasn’t become cliché, but doing it on the Eiffel Tower has since Tom Cruise so publicly made it “his place” to propose to Katie Holmes.

Never fear, there are plenty of equally romantic Parisian spots to pop the question without risking coming off as an unimaginative copycat when it comes to the art of amour!

Sacré-Coeur in the Evening

Sacré Coeur Basilica
If you want to have the Eiffel Tower in the picture for your big moment, consider proposing at the magnificent Sacré Coeur Basilica that has stood over the City of Light since the beginning of the twentieth century. If you climb up the stairs to the dome, you will have the second best view in all of Paris…and this one includes the Eiffel Tower—which is naturally missing when you see the city from “best” view because you’re standing on it! Just make sure your beloved is positioned so the tower is properly placed in the background when you finally work up the courage: the symbolism of the tower could add just the right touch of Eros to your proposal.

 

Pont des Arts

Pont des Arts
The Pont des Arts bridge that crosses the Seine near the Louvre is a famous setting for lovers to declare their mutual passion—but the recent “love lock” fad has become a target of controversy. Although the origins of this craze remain unclear, the trend of declaring mutual adoration by leaving a padlock affixed to the fencing on the bridge started a few years ago. In a decidedly unromantic response, the city of Paris removed the locks that symbolize so many moments of commitment, but they have reappeared and are perhaps even more numerous than before! If you plan to propose to your beloved while sharing a bottle of wine on the bridge and gazing at the lights of Paris reflected in your lover’s eyes, presenting a padlock along with the ring would be the crowning touch…with the understanding that the lock may be a purely symbolic act if the city once again decides that the “love locks” must go.

Promenade Plantée

La Promenade Plantée
The beautiful Promenade Plantée (planted path) that runs its course above the streets of Paris can be a lovely setting for your proposal to your enchanted intended. The 4.5 km-long walk was once an elevated railway line that fell out of use long ago. With a little help from her friends, Mother Nature has transformed what was an eyesore into a lovely walking path shaded by cherry trees and dotted with secluded benches under wisteria vines. Below the walkway, the viaduct even has some quaint shops and eateries where you can have a nibble before your stroll. Just take the subway to the Bastille station and you’ll soon be far above the maddening crowd as you stroll along arm in arm with your eye out for the perfect “love grotto” to make your move on your future fiancé/e.

 

About the Author: Lela Lake is a life-long lover of Parisian culture who writes for HostelBrokers.com, the budget travel specialists. If you want to visit Paris yourself, check out HostelBrokers.com selection of Cheap Paris Hotels.

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Seven Places to Propose Marriage in Paris
That AREN’T the Eiffel Tower – Part 1
By Lela Lake, Guest Blogger

In This Month’s Paris Insights Newsletter:
The State of Artisanal Beer in France – Part 1

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
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To write this month’s Paris Insights on artisanal beer in France, we interviewed a number of participants in this small but growing industry. Read about the resurgence of interest for this beverage in the City of Light. Click here to read the newsletter abstract.

Beer and Peanuts

Beer and Peanuts
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Our newsletter is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne Lecture!

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We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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A Hallowe’en Aftershock

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
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Tom Reeves, co-founder of Discover Paris!, photographed while investigating reports of paranormal phenomena on Hallowe’en in Paris.

Smoke from Eye Sockets

Smoke from Eye Sockets
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Forehead Aflame

Forehead Aflame
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

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