WHAT IS 'PARIS COFFEE REVOLUTION'?
There was a time in Paris when coffee lovers would descend upon the French capital in despair. But over the last decade, the city has gone through a revolution, with more and more coffee personalities entering the and changing the scene. For the coffee lover, a trip to Paris is no longer met with despair. There are craft roasters and well-trained baristas, and while a good single-origin coffee is still reserved for specialty coffee shops, there’s a sense of hope that eventually the restaurant and traditional cafe scene might just up the ante on what they serve.
Paris Coffee Revolution is the story of that change, a book profiling some of the people who have had a hand in bringing good coffee to the French capital. Working together, photographer Jeff Hargrove and writer Anna Brones have created a high-quality art book, which documents how Paris went from coffee "deadzone" to burgeoning specialty coffee capital, and what the future might hold. With Hargrove's gorgeous photography and Brones' in-depth storytelling, Paris Coffee Revolution is both a visual and written account of not just Paris' new coffee scene, but of the passion that drives the craftsmen and craftswomen behind it.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE BOOK ITSELF:
We wanted this book to visually and physically represent the art of craft, as much as the people portrayed in it. All of the portraits were shot on a metal, handmade Canham folding 4x5 view camera (handmade in the desert of Arizona) and shot on Kodak T-Max 400 film. All of portraits were shot in natural light. As Jeff says, “I think the larger format changes the rapport between the photographer and the person photographed. Everything slows down, both are obliged to concentrate on the whole process. The result is unique.”
The rest of the photos were done with the Sigma dp Quattro series (dp1, dp2, dp3) for their high resolution, sharpness, unique color rendition and unique blur, closer to film blur than other digital cameras due to their unique 3-layer sensor technology. The compactness of the cameras allow Jeff to work without being obtrusive which would be the case with larger DSLRs.
We wanted to print this book in Europe, and we finally went with Narayana Press in Denmark, a company devoted to craftsmanship and sustainability. On the land where the printing facilities are housed, there’s also a fully productive organic farm, complete with beehives. Narayana also harvests and sells honey, which we think is a pretty cool aspect to the business.
To emphasize the craft aspect of this book, the binding is open, leaving the binder’s thread showing, and as a nod to the product that inspired it, the thread is brown.
Because we want this book to be more accessible to all readers, we are printing both an English and a French version. Our French version is made possible thank you to our translator, Aimie Eliot.
OTHER BOOK FEATURES:
-English and French versions
-Open bound, Smyth sewn with transparent glue, leaving the binder’s thread showing
-Inside pages, 150g matte paper
-Cover 300g matte paper, varnished to enhance durability
-Over 100 photos
LAYOUTS FROM THE BOOK:
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:
"We may not yet be at the tipping point of specialty coffee in Paris, but we are certainly on the edge, with more and more coffee shops opening up, not only in Paris, but in the rest of France as well. A sense of craftsmanship has returned, something that has always been valued in French culture: putting good work into a good product. Today’s craftsmen and craftswomen are giving coffee the time and energy that a product like it deserves. They are thinking about where the coffees come from, what they taste like and how they should be served. They are reviving the art of coffee, returning to a more artisan, independent approach, in stark contrast to the industrial production that has come to be the norm. "
"Look around and it’s easy to see that while it isn’t yet mainstream, there is certainly a cultural shift afoot that is pushing people towards more unique, locally produced goods. We are fed up with mass production and want something handmade. We appreciate what the modern world has given us, but have still started to question parts of it. We strive for a system where we can enjoy quality, but not at the expense of others. We are starting to revalue craft."
"...a better link needs to be made between luxury and coffee, and why exactly coffee should be considered a luxury product. With the easy availability of coffee in the supermarket as an everyday item, this connection has been hard to make, not just in France, but also in all markets where specialty coffee entrepreneurs are working. It’s yet another reason that the education component is essential to driving the Parisian coffee scene forward, not only for the public, but for the restaurant and cafe profession as well. But just like in other industries – fashion and food for example – that “luxury” has to stand for something. It has to have value, not just a label. To have the Parisian coffee scene continue to flourish, entrepreneurs will need to continue to be devoted to their craft, not just copying and pasting what’s trendy. The work behind coffee has to be valued, and we have to seek to promote that value. Because it’s not just a question of serving industrial or independently roasted coffee, it’s also a question of devoting energy to the entire process. "
HOW WE GOT INTO COFFEE:
Photographer - Jeff Hargrove:
"I had one great passion in life: photography. Until I went to a new café that had just opened up in my neighborhood in Paris’s third arrondissement, The Broken Arm. As I sat there, the only customer in the place, I was expecting the regular, dark, bitter espresso served in every café du coin in Paris. The new experience, I thought, would just be a new place, a new interior design. Oh how I was wrong! The barista (I didn’t even know that they were called that!) served me my espresso and a whole new world of taste and aroma exploded in my mouth. This was the coffee that was “the light”, as Hippolyte Courty, one of the roasters featured in the book, described his first encounter with specialty coffee.
I was craving to know more, so I took the barista training course at La Caféothèque. A new passion was born.
There was photography on one hand and coffee on the other. And as a portrait photographer, I am interested in people, who they are, what drives them to do what they do all of which I try to capture in a portrait sitting. This book is a way for me to explore the Paris specialty coffee scene through the people that made it happen, with whom I share a common passion and it is also a way to show my gratitude and support to them for opening up a whole new world to me."
Author - Anna Brones:
“Growing up in the Pacific Northwest in the United States and having a Swedish mother, coffee has been a part of my life for a long time. I started drinking coffee at the age of 17, when I was living in Sweden and realized that coffee was an excuse for people to get together (a social custom that I would later be the topic of my book Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break), and it got too awkward to ask to be served something else. So I started drinking coffee and never stopped.
Living 10 years in Portland, I was exposed to specialty coffee culture, but only because specialty coffee culture was so normal that you never even thought twice about it. I lived just a short bike ride away from not only a Stumptown, but a handful of other well-renowned coffee shops and roasters like Heart and Coava. At the beginning of 2013 I moved to Paris. This was just before the specialty cafe “explosion” in Paris, and I realized that good coffee wasn’t the norm. For a city of its size, the places where good coffee could be had in Paris was quite small. I scrambled frantically to figure out where to go in town. I remember biking across the Seine to go and buy beans at Coutume, and rejoicing every time a new cafe opened, or was rumored to open up. This was back when it was very hard to get good coffee in town, and I scrambled frantically to figure out where to go in town. I remember biking across the Seine to go and buy beans at Coutume, and rejoicing every time a new cafe opened, or was rumored to open up.
By the end of 2013, a few more places were on the map (like Loustic, Fondation and Holybelly), and I started contributing to the coffee website Sprudge, covering the Paris scene. I feel fortunate to have covered the scene over the past two years because it has been an exciting time, watching a scene grow and develop, and I am so thankful to Sprudge for bringing me on board when they did. It allowed me to get to know an amazing community of passionate people who believe that coffee should be treated with care. It will be exciting to see how this community grows and how French specialty coffee evolves in the future.”
Translator - Aimie Eliot
"It was thanks to strolling the streets of Montreal that I got into coffee. Le Cagibi, le Nevé, le Café Myriade all introduced me to the world of independent coffee shops, warm spaces, both in a physical sense (in the middle of Quebecois winter!), but also in an emotional sense, the places that we visit as much for the quality of what’s in the cup as the atmosphere itself. First a student, and then a journalist, I made these places my home, drawn to them as a lens for learning about the local culture. The underlying theme of my time spent abroad was born. Heading to the other side of the world, I went to East Africa, the birthplace of coffee. First in Ethiopia, where the act of serving coffee is an entire ceremony, the “buna.” I was fascinated, so I began to tell the ceremony’s history and the rituals surrounding it. Then to Uganda, where in this region, coffee is a precious commodity, often reserved for exports rather than home consumption.
Throughout my reporting, I discovered countless plantations growing Robusta, but also the smaller producers growing Arabica on the sides of Mount Elgon and Rwenzori. They put their savoir-faire into their land, but also into the interest and commitment of the consumers in the North. I returned to Paris with their coffee and a desire to tell their story, and was happy to find that there were already people doing just that, valuing their hard and noble work through the act of roasting it or serving it in a coffee shop. Fragments, Folks and Sparrows, Coutume and others were stops along my new path in Paris, a path which inevitably led to meeting interesting people. First a passionate barista, and then, thanks to him, Anna and Jeff, who asked me to translate their project. I immediately jumped on board. There was no doubt in my mind, as Anna puts it, I had been 'bitten by the coffee bug.'"
As a KissKissBankBank supporter, you have the opportunity to pre-order Paris Coffee Revolution at a special price of 40€ which includes shipping within France (after printing, the book will retail for 45€). As a thank you for pre-ordering, we will also be signing all of the books purchased through KissKissBankBank.
We are able to offer a limited amount of locally roasted Parisian coffee from the roasters profiled in the book: L'Arbre à Café, Belleville Brûlerie - Paris, La Caféothèque, Café Lomi, Coutume, and KBCafeshop.