Cultural Imperialism, C’est Bon!

Who’s that man up there? Why, that’s just Randy Levine, author of the website Snob Coffery. Randy reviews coffees, talks about brew methods, riffs on life, has a neat section called “Missed Connections” about things that are happening in the coffee scene. Mr. Levine was recently interviewed by another great website called Corner of the Cafe. Anyway, old Randy went to Paris with his wife Sarah and then wrote about the coffee they drank there. He was generally displeased with what he found:

The coffee is very likely not fresh, and very likely roasted fairly dark.

Ground fresh? Probably, though not necessarily.

I don’t believe there is much of a dosing technique, apart from “fill the portafilter.”

The coffee is either not tamped, or tamped very lightly.

Extraction time seems very fast.

Very little resistance, which means low pressure.

Randy used Twitter to help him find some cafes that do coffee the way Randy prefers. He went to Coutume Cafe (whose website is pas terminé), a nice spot where they roast their own coffee. Randy liked the 500mL Pyrex beaker he drank his water out of and blogged about that, too. Randy also went to Telescope Cafe and had some Square Mile Coffee, from London. He and Sarah ate a raspberry tart and took a picture of it.

If Parisian coffee were a Yelp review, Randy would probably give it two stars. One star because of Telescope Cafe, one star because of Coutume Cafe. Zero stars for everything else though.

Do you believe there’s an empirically RIGHT way to make coffee? Sound off in the comments below!



  1. Alex

    25 July

    I would add another star for Cafeotheque, one of the finer SOE menus on the continent.

  2. Pete

    25 July

    Go back to France.

  3. Tim

    25 July

    I for one feel like there’s a movement in coffee toward making it the right way worldwide. I don’t think there’s anything empirically wrong with wanting something made correctly.

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