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Where To Get Your Coffee And Chocolate Fix When In Paris

Traveling to Paris? The Crawl France suggests you drop by Alain Ducasse’ café and chocolate shop for some French culture, fine chocolates, and coffee

Of life’s many little joys, a solid cup of coffee and a bite of exquisite chocolate certainly takes the cake.


And when in Paris, expect only the finest things in life—including, of course, the finest coffee and chocolate. Metro Channel’s The Crawl France went to Paris recently to shoot nine days' worth of food, culture, and scenery, and our hosts Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez and Jhonel Faelnar got to experience the pinnacle of French chocolate and coffee at Alain Ducasse.

Alain Ducasse is a celebrated French chef with more than 30 restaurants in nine countries and 20 Michelin stars under his belt. Now, he counts a coffee and chocolate factory as part of his empire.

 

La Café Alain Ducasse in Rue Saint-Sabin

One of the first stops of The Crawl France is Alain Ducasse’s café, home to a haute-cuisine version of coffee.


As a chef, Alain has always been interested in coffee since it is the very last pleasure offered to a guest. His keen interest became a passion when he discovered the world of coffee plantation and coffee roasting. This is why he opened La Café in 2019—to have an outlet for his burning enthusiasm for all things coffee.


Of course, the coffee at the café is sourced only from the best plantations in the world—some of which are the Geisha from Western Panama, and a berry-chocolate blend from Yemen. A cup of the Yemen blend can cost up to €15 or P844 because of the rarity of the raw beans that’s grown and produced in a country at war. The plantation that produces this specific coffee can only produce about 20 kilos a year!


According to Alain Ducasse, “Coffee roasting is like cooking; it is a highly technical art in which there must be a lot of sensibility and a little bit of magic.”

At the La Café, the coffee is served almost like a ritual, where the experience is complete and sensual. The coffee are not served by baristas, but by cafeliers and cafelierès, who are in charge of the whole coffee-making ritual and the art of service that La Café offers. Just like a gastronomy, expect a coffeenomy—a whole new experience of coffee.

Every cup is also served with the appropriate chocolate chosen according to the coffee’s recipe.


So what kinds of coffee can you enjoy on-site or to take away at La Café? They offer three different cappuccino recipes: one with whole milk, another that’s ultra-light with almond milk, and one with a hazelnut reduction. They also have a cascara, which is an infusion of the skin and pulp, that can be ordered hot or cold; and cold brew that’s been filtered for 24 hours.

Steph and Jhonel try the cappuccino and the cascara, served whiskey-style—and both say it brought them to coffee heaven.


If you want to enjoy La Café coffee at home, they have Nespresso-compatible pods made using beans from Brazil, Laos, and Ethiopia; or packaged coffee that can be bought as beans or ground.

La Chocolat Alain Ducasse

Obsessive attention to detail is what makes Alain Ducasse one of the world’s most decorated chefs—and that’s what you’ll experience first hand with his coffee and chocolates.

Since Alain was a young apprentice cook in the 1970s, he always carried with him a fascination for chocolate. That’s why when he started opening his restaurants, he knew that one day, he wanted to serve his very own chocolates in these restaurants. So when he met Nicolas Berger in 2000, the two knew they finally found the partner who’d make each their chocolate dreams come true.


La Chocolat Alain Ducasse is the product of this passion for chocolate—the first bean-to-bar chocolate shop in Paris that wants to make the whole chocolate process transparent and return to the source, the very essence of what chocolate is made of. That’s why the whole philosophy of Alain Ducasse chocolates is knowing that the beans are sourced properly, ethically, and organically.

Steph and Jhonel step inside the chocolate factory and find out that some of their equipment are over 60 years old—because Alain is all about going back to the roots and the traditional way of preparing fine chocolates.


Any chocolate lover will appreciate that their main branch at the Manufacture de Chocolat Alain Ducasse separates the workshop from the sales space only with a glass window—so you can fully experience the whole complex process of making chocolate.


You can buy a wide variety of chocolates from La Chocolat from bars to pralines to bonbons. Steph tries the Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut, which she loves and describes as “rich with a nice crunch.”

Want to know more about French food and culture? Look forward to The Crawl France with Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez and Jhonel Faelnar, premiering on December 8, 7 p.m., on iWant, Metro.style Youtube, and Metro Channel, channel 52 on Sky Cable and channel 174 on HD.


Images from Lala Ventura, lechocolat-alainducasse, lecafe-alainducasse. Featured image from Bon Appetit.