Posts Tagged ‘single-origin coffee’

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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La Caféothèque

Saturday, April 24th, 2010
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Caffe Latte Made with Coffee from the Chitul-Tirol Plantation in Guatemala
(c) Discover Paris!

Gloria Montenegro at La Caféothèque has an approach to coffee selection and tasting that is similar to the approach that scotch aficionados have toward single-malt whiskys. She believes that single-origin coffees should not be blended with beans of other origins as is so often done at coffee-roasting facilities. Consequently, she sells unblended coffee beans from identifiable plantations from all over the world. At any given time during the day, she sells twenty different estate coffees in her shop. On the day that I stopped in, I ordered a caffe latte, which was made from a coffee grown on a plantation called Chitul-Tirol in Guatemala. Along with the latte, she handed me an information sticker on which the following tasting notes appeared: “Natural aroma of honey; Notes of chocolate and pepper; Full bodied; Lingers long on the palate; Beautiful acidity.” While I must admit that I did not seek to identify these aromas and flavors while I drank the latte, the information did give me pause for thought that maybe I would enjoy learning more about the art of drinking fine estate coffees.

La Caféothèque is located at 52, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville and is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.