Bordeaux’s best coffee guide
In France’s capital of good taste, coffee is crafted with the same painstaking ambition as fine wine. These four coffee shops are a must for anyone looking for their daily jolt of caffeine.
The founder of Café Piha, Pierre Guérin, loves everything coffee. That’s why in his coffee roaster shop, you can have a cup of fermented filter coffee, coffee flower infusion, or a chocolaty coffee stout brewed in collaboration with a local brewery. If something more traditional is up your alley, it’s okay to order a dark-roast espresso as well. “I work closely with my producers and develop eco-conscious ways to make coffee. Fermentation gives beans a nice acidic aroma and at the same time, it saves water,” says Guérin. His innovative spirit is highly contagious: local Michelin-starred chefs are already experimenting with coffee bean chaffs. Watch this space.
Champion of coffee
“The French are champions of gastronomy and wine, but they aren’t overly educated with coffee. I set up my roastery five years ago to change that,” says Arthur Audibert, business consultant-turned-coffee-roaster and owner of l’Alchimiste coffee shop. Every Saturday morning, Audibert organises a two-hour workshop where you can learn about coffee regions and their taste profiles. If you already know your basics, you can simply order their signature filter coffee and a dune blanche, a bite-size cream filled pastry from Chez Pascal, the neighbouring bakery institution. The elegantly decorated coffee shop attracts some of the most stylish people in Bordeaux.
Eye for detail
A red-glowing halogen syphon slowly brews a Rwandan roast at the counter of La Pelle Café. Once ready, the acidic, delicately sweet brew is poured into palm-fitting Japanese stone cups. In this coffee roaster shop of Carlos Pereira, the eye is on details, even the smallest of them. “Our lunches and brunches are designed to complement the flavours of coffee. We highlight the qualities of the coffee bean and the work of our producers,” says Pereira. Upon ordering, Pereira asks for the clients’ favourite coffee – and then proposes something very different. It’s a good idea to book in advance if you want to get a table at the popular weekend brunch.
After 15 years in the coffee business, Tarik Saoui decided to open his own specialty coffee shop Verde Nero in the Village St. Paul district. “I really love fruity South African coffees from Columbia and Panama. To get the aromas exactly as I want them, I had to set up my own roastery,” chuckles Saoui. The coffee shop is big enough to never feel too crowded – which is a good thing especially at lunch time, when locals and tourists alike sit down to generous servings of quiche and salad. “Our philosophy is to serve fresh and simple local tastes. Everything comes from the area,” notes Saoui. For your daily vitamin boost, try the cold-pressed juices from Vertuce made just a few blocks away.
Text Elisa Suokko
Photos Heli Sorjonen