Nearly three centuries after the discovery of “white gold” detonated Limoges’s global industry, it is now coffee’s turn. You might be surprised to know that it was Limoges porcelain, exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, that spawned a whole female-led, American art industry during the Guilded Age. However, times have changed, and a town once known for firing up its furnaces is continuing to do what it does best, tapping into generations worth of heat and craftsmanship knowledge, to coffee. Not only is coffee a natural fit, but the trained eyes of the city’s artisans primes it as a place for coffee to be mined and refined.

Nothing speaks to these efforts more than FCIL Barista, the only university of its kind in France, fully accredited and dedicated to the scholarship of coffee and comprehensive knowledge of the industry. Even with this school’s small class sizes, students are out in the field. Your favorite local barista might just be a trainee taken under the wing of a first-rate head barista.

Limoges’s cafe landscape is pedagogical and categorically professional. Its approach to cafe culture is toned by an infectious global curiosity that compels it to brew coffees from places like Dublin, Berlin, Rotterdam, and Paris, in addition to local roasters. Here, coffee is thrown, molded, and cast into experimental and gratifying forms: it’s the Limoges China of the twenty-first century.

So, walk the cobblestone and get to know Limoges, the host of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France torréfacteur (coffee roasting MOF, or Best Craftsman in France) competition in 2025 and the Néo-Aquitain city with a long coffee career ahead.

Brème Pâtisserie

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A word to the wisest coffee lovers: never dismiss a patisserie. Like butter and sugar, this enterprise is a fine marriage of coffee and pastry that emulsified last year when pastry chef Zakary Lagerige-Loireau found out that the illustrious Benoit Guichard was on the market. In specialty coffee for 10 years, with formal studies in catering and hospitality, head barista Benoit has been involved in coffee all over Limoges including at La Fabrique du Café and Kennedy’s Café, as well as at the former Gens qui Doutent and Raku, his own project. Merging their expertise is a winning recipe. The cafe’s closeness makes it impossible not to admire the fresco between the tile that dominates the decor. Behind Guichard’s coffee alchemy, a whisk whips up a Kanagawa-style wave from water spilling from a waterfall and watermill amidst planetary bubbles. These bubbles spill into the pastry case in the form of round tartes, babas, and flans, alongside irresistible classics with the added touch of Zakary’s mastery. Brème itself, the name of a river fish, even plays with an aquatic theme. Clearly, if coffee is the air you breathe, you are no fish out of water here. With Guichard meticulously brewing you his selection of the best the world is roasting, you need only to absorb every molecule of it that you can.

Brème Pâtisserie is located at 16 Rue Haute Vienne, 87000 Limoges. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

CHONCOTE

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The A-frame out front reads: “COOL PEOPLE DRINK SPECIALTY COFFEE.” Alright, here we go. Before even ordering, a coral cup landed on the counter with what can only be described as latte hearts leaping out of a half wreath. This latte prompted smiles and gleeful back counter murmurs, the kind that come from kids with callow eyes. Come to find that this cafe opened in February 2023, founded by two co-owners with no coffee experience whatsoever. Their primary inspiration is the London coffee scene, and you definitely pick up this vibration. One might think of it as its reimagining, what this ambiance could be if it was not crammed into England’s capital.

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Seating and room to stand in the front coupled with a dimly-lit space in the back offer chances to admire the goings-on outside city hall or to withdraw. The coffee spans KAWA on espresso as well as retails bags (and cans) of Special Guests, Manhattan Coffee Roasters, and People Possession, all a reflection of the shop’s farm-focus approach to coffee selection. Guidance from the amateurs for the cool customer: snag a cortado with a homemade, classique cookie (before they sell out).

Choncote is located at 16 Pl. Léon Betoulle, 87000 Limoges. Visit their official website and follow them on Instagram.

La Fabrique du Café

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The parallels between igniting a roaster and firing up a porcelain kiln may have been just what Limoges-native Phillipe Exbrayat instinctually knew when he opened this cafe and roastery in 2012. It’s the first of its kind in the city, and Exbrayat went through three years of coffee education and apprenticeship in order to skillfully and considerably craft coffee worthy of Limoges. The dark green facade and the windows’ painted lettering dresses the cafe in a butcher shop or corner store feel, and inside it is buzzing as much as you would hope. The Modbar allows customer-and-barista conversations to flourish while the high ceilings make way for fully assembled LEGO Star Wars spacecrafts and plenty of Simone, the Bernese mountain dog weaving between your legs and the tables’, who is also the furry maintenance crew and the unofficial mascot (she appears on all the coffee bags).

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Whether you get a V60 of their Gakenke (washed Rwanda) or a beer (infused with their coffee), the crux is always affordable, approachable coffee. With many visiting three or four times a day, it is no wonder why this sanctuary is the conductive force in such a staggering number of coffee journeys… now including your own.

La Fabrique du Café is located at 7 Pl. d’Aine, 87000 Limoges. Visit their official website and follow them on Instagram.

Kennedy’s Café

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Yes, that Kennedy. The sign in Anchor Jack font in the parking lot promises a challenging trifecta: COFFEE SHOP, CANTINE MAISON, CULTURE. So, what kind of coffee shop is worth exiting Limoges’s main city center? And what about it earns it a place in the 35th president’s Google search results? Pictures of the moon landing decorate the body of the La Marzocco Linea that has every intention to serve many, and boy does it do so around lunchtime. Their four drink menus, full of sizes, centiliters, persons, and reflexive illustrations, cater to the sipping masses.

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Sisters Sarah and Margaux Camelot opened this zealous cafe-restaurant in November 2018. Everything about it reflects their lineage of farmer grandparents and an upbringing of recurrent family dinners overflowing with homemade dishes. Now run solo by the self-described pugnacious Sarah—fueled by a liter of Moccamaster every morning—the cafe rotates every month between French roasters that have included Louargot’s Cataldi, Lille’s Muda, and Paris’s fève. Oh, and that name? Kennedy was the sisters’ chosen alias during the rise of the Internet and MySpace, derived from their love of Kill Hannah’s track “Kennedy.” Subsequently, continuing under their claimed disguise, it was the only name befitting of a cafe that unequivocally belongs to them.

Kennedy’s Café is located at 50 Rue Camille Guérin, 87000 Limoges. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

La Cyclisterie

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“We’re not really a coffee shop,” Thibault Ducourtioux insisted, the Rocket Boxer espresso machine right over his shoulder seeming to silently cough. One might reasonably presume then that coffee was added later. “No, the project of the shop is to be a bike coffee shop. The coffee shop part is just to give something more comfy for our customers.”

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Warm, cozy, and somehow embracing, Ducourtiouxachieves everything he wants and more. To feel this way, surrounded by LEZYNE lights, POC hard helmets, lightweight TACTIC clothing, and bikes from 3T, BAAM, MARIN, and others, befitting of all biking styles, is a surprise that’s hard to overstate. Here, quality is axial to success; quality characterizes both the bikes and the coffee sold, with beans coming from Limoges household name La Fabrique du Café. A menu of coffee favorites is the perfect selection for the regular coffee rides Ducourtioux hosts: public events when bikers gather, bike, and end at the shop for a coffee or beer. So, as you grab life by the handlebars, do so with his choice, a mochaccino; he makes it with lots of chocolate.

La Cyclisterie is located at 9 Rue Elie Berthet, 87000 Limoges. Visit their official website and follow them on Instagram.

Emily Sujka is a freelance journalist based in Orlando. Read more Emily Sujka for Sprudge.

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