08/15/2015

What to take to a Picnic // Sam I Am I Do
Want to have a simple, but delicious picnic?  It’s quite simple really.

Pack the following:

A thin and pretty blanket.

A great bottle of cava or rosé or both.

Lovely plastic glasses.

Beautiful cloth napkins.

Lots of nuts such as marcona almonds.

Fresh in-season fruit.

A crusty baguette.

A combination of cheeses, such as Good Thunder, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and Bucheron.

Knives for spreading.

A nice tray to put everything on.

A cute shoes to slip off.

 

07/07/2014

ParisCoffee1

Before traveling to Paris, I read The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz and was warned about Paris’ most serious weakness – their coffee.  I honestly thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, and it wouldn’t be as bad as David said.  But it was a big deal, and it was really bad.  I love coffee.  To me, drinking coffee is the ultimate moment of relaxation.  I love drinking it in bed on Saturday morning.  It is my weekend ritual.  I didn’t realize how important it was to me, until I was in Paris.  One big thing about traveling is figuring what your priorities are, what makes you comfortable, and what you miss from home.  I missed a GOOD cup of coffee.  And when I am on vacation, I want everyday to feel like a Saturday morning.

So everyday we searched high and low, trying to find a little of America in Paris.  Some coffee was too watery, some was too muddy, some was too bitter, and some was just lukewarm!  After many, many failed attempts, we landed on two great spots:

Fragments Paris

This coffee shop is in Le Marais, on a quiet, little street.  The baristas were very passionate about the beans, encouraging the two of us to try beans from different regions to compare.  We just ordered two filtres (drip cups), one from Ethiopia and the other from Guatamala.  The coffee was complex. hot, and delicious.  A real treat during an afternoon break.  The interior was modern with black metal and glass cases, mixed with exposed wood beams original to the building.  I also loved how kind the baristas were, especially when they asked if it was okay to speak English to me.  So polite!  As we were leaving, we let them know that we had finally found a good cup of coffee in Paris, and they nodded knowingly, admitting to their country’s struggle, and even suggested another top notch coffee shop called Télescope.

Télescope Cafe

Just a few blocks away from the Tuileries, this a great spot to start the day.  Télescope is similar in style to Fragments, listing the coffee by region, and serving drip cups.  Our barista made them through the Aeropress as we waited at the counter.  The space is a little small, but has a few tables to sip your coffee at, and overall had a bright, beachy atmosphere.

One thing I loved about both places, were the glasses they served coffee in.  I was a little stunned to be served coffee in a glass rather than ceramic mug, thinking it would burn my fingers, but the glass had thick, vertical ridges running all around the glass, so your hand never actually touched the hottest part,  I had to run to Merci and purchase six to take back with me.  Now whenever I make coffee for friends, I love serving them in the glass and thinking about my trip to Paris and the quest for great coffee.