Télescope, Paris

Sometimes small and simple is good.

We find ourselves in the 1st arrondissement after shopping at Palais Royal, with half an hour or so to burn before lunch at the Japanese quarter nearby. Just around the corner from an udon shop is Télescope, a tiny café serving plenty of good coffee, a few baked treats and zero wifi.

The first thing that strikes us as we enter is how spare the interior is. Not intentionally Zen-inspired minimalist, we gather, but simply minimalist with no froufrou: just good coffee. Still, an observant eye will catch a number of owls scattered all over the café; more mascot than Hogwarts, so don’t expect any cutesy fluff.

The half English, half American owner and barista David Flynn is scrawling the name of his establishment on the window. Without that label, most of the customers who drop by are regulars — usually English-speaking expats, white-collar types from neighbouring offices and the occasional Japanese coffee lover.

And, of course, us.

We settle into our seats and peruse the sparse menu. The basic bites – from crumbly banana bread cake to their no-nonsense granola – are decent but it’s the coffee that sets Télescope apart. Here you may try an espresso made from a balanced blend from UK-based Has Bean, or linger over a filter brew from Norwegian roaster Solberg & Hansen (somewhat a darker roast than typical for Scandinavia).

A noisette, we discover, is nothing more than a shot of espresso with a dash of cream in it. Nothing more and nothing less, yet crafted by the hands of a seasoned barista, this beverage is a single sip of pleasure. If we could read French, we’ll enjoy our second cup (and third and fourth) while perusing a copy of Le Monde or Le Parisien like a local.

If you head downstairs to use the little boy’s room, you may be thrilled to uncover a vintage vault-like cellar, which is also used for cuppings. Not so sparse after all; there are layers if we would only peel them back.

Small and simple? It’s all good.

雖然已是二月中,可是巴黎的早晨依然很冷。
在第一區那逛了一圈,忍不住就買了兩件冬衣。
付完帳,看看時間,距離午餐還有一段時間呢;
這時候如果來杯熱咖啡,該是多麼幸福的一件事啊?
就這樣,我們走進了這家開在日本區那的Télescope。
館內柔和的燈光配上大量木質的裝潢,
雖然店面不大,卻是許多巴黎人的愛來的咖啡館。
馬少點了一杯濃縮咖啡,而我則選了單品。
原本只是這樣,單純的想喝杯咖啡而已,
可是那冷冷的天氣卻讓人有像吃東西的衝動,
結果又去點了一份香蕉蛋糕和granola。
看看包裝袋裡的冬衣;吃著溫熱鬆軟的香蕉蛋糕,
加上一杯香滑順口的黑咖啡。
雖然外頭天寒地凍,心裡卻是暖暖的、快樂的。
小巧的咖啡館里頭,有著簡單的快樂。


Télescope
5 Rue Villedo, 75001 Paris
+33-1-4261-3314
Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm / Sat 9:30am-6:30pm / Sun closed
www.telescopecafe.com

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