Our romance started when I was still in high school, I was passing by Starbucks to get a latte or I stayed a bit more to read a book or study. And then one day this particular store I was visiting so often, had become my office. I was very loyal to Starbucks – I was not only drinking their coffee, I was reading books and articles on the topic, genuinely interested in the company’s history and present, constantly fascinated and inspired by the chairman Howard Schultz. I read the book “Onward” he had co-written with Joanne Gordon about his return as a CEO and the building up of the company. I have to say, it’s a very captivating, inspiring and even touching at times story to find out what’s behind that green logo. Howard Schultz is a genius who manages to motivate and influence a great number of people to work not for him but with him and to make Starbucks “not a coffee company that serves people, but a people company that serves coffee”. At this point my relationship with Starbucks couldn’t get any more serious.
Years passed by, I started studying in Switzerland and the real coffeedrinker in me was just born. I bought a coffee press and I “planted” the coffee-passion bean in my roommates, who are now contributors for this blog. Even though I was visiting Starbucks less than before, my devotion was even bigger, because at that time it was not only the company’s philosophy I was professing, but I was also treasuring some very precious Starbucks-related memories I was unable to eradicate. But as we all know, people grow. One year later, I find myself with a lot more knowledge of the coffee industry and the coffee plant than before and I’m continuing to learn and explore the world of specialty coffee.
The interior of the cafè reminds me somehow of a warehouse or a workshop, but neat and cozy. The atmosphere is lively and happy, the baristi are even more happy and I guess we were the happiest! I got to talk to one of the baristi – Tim – too bad we don’t have a picture of him here, and he pulled to shots of espresso for me to taste – one was single origin the other was a blend. Ahh, it’s a little hard to recall now, next time I’ll take more detailed notes! Anyway, he told me that they don’t roast the coffee anymore, but work side to side with La Brûlerie du Belleville – a relatively new coffee roaster in Paris. You can quench your thirst with a freshly squeezed juice or in case you’re feeling hungry there are fresh sandwiches and pastry all made on site.