When I first arrived in Paris from London one year ago, I was struck by the comparative lack of great cafés with expert baristas. In London, I would stop by my local for a decent flat white and muffin or croissant as a pre-work pick me up, or meet up with buddies on weekends to linger over several coffees and something more substantial to eat. Admittedly I’m a try-hard coffee snob, but the over-roasted blends available at most French cafés, and a certain multi-national coffee chain just don’t do it for me.
The considerable presence of antipodes in London has led to the proliferation of some great roasteries and cafés over on the other side of la Manche. Over the last year or so, thanks to teams of Antipodes and Frenchmen influenced by coffee culture in the antipodes — a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs and baristas has been launched, here in Paris, and the development of good coffee culture is hitting full swing.
Café Lomi have been wholesale suppliers to some great restaurants and cafés in Paris & beyond for a few years now, providing their own crafted blends. They have recently expanded upon this existing market presence by opening an open-plan, multi-purpose venue at the northern edge of Montmartre, which includes a roastery, training facilities and retail/café space.
Café Lomi is owned & headed by Frenchman Aleaume Paturle and Australian Paul Arnephy, whom began their Parisian coffee careers with the Alto mobile coffee cart company. After launching & growing Alto with partner Tom Wallis, Aleaume sold his shares and was joined by Paul to begin the Café Lomi roastery. The guys are backed by Aleaume’s wife Maribel, whom keeps the café running smoothly, and Pierre, the super friendly head Barista whose own coffee obsession began in New Zealand — we discussed swapping passports. The whole team happily field queries from the constant stream of curious visitors & give a wee tour of the training facilities and roastery.
Maribel explained that the local authority for the 18th arrondissement had in fact approached Café Lomi, offering first dibs on the lease for the space, seeking to break up the current monotony of ethnic bazaars in the area around metro stations Marx Dormoy & Marcadet-Poissionnier. And so with the blessing of the local Mairie, Café Lomi is set to become a popular haunt for coffee enthusiasts of the 18th arrondissement — old & new, professional & amateur.
Having just completed their fit-out and received the last instalment of furniture, the café interior is fresh and follows the clean & slightly industrial aesthetic of Paris’ new and hip spaces & cafés. Features like mini chandeliers and pastoral scene wallpaper in the plating area lend a little quirky charm and personality — the perfect place for respite if you are seeking a coffee and bite away from the horde of tourists in central Montmartre.
Apparently for decades the types of beans available in France was limited by protectionist government regulations which restricted supply to former French colonies in Africa and Vietnam, meaning only harsher tasting & more caffeinated Robusta beans were available. Lomi offers a variety of blends which use both Robusta and the more expensively produced but richer tasting Arabica beans, which require less roasting, and are suited to longer or milkier coffees.
If like me, you struggle with the traditional three-course formule at lunchtime, you will also find the selection of counter and menu options offered to be just right for lunch, or even a morning or afternoon pause. A decent range of well priced sweet & savoury and hot & cold options are available. Maribel’s fresh scones with fig confiture rival any back in Old Blighty.
As of today, Lomi are holding daily cuppings on the premises including free tastings at 3pm, whereby they demonstrate different brewing methods that will be changed up week. I can see it now: my coffee obsession hitting a slippery slope, and the scramble to find room for new coffee apparatuses in the wee Parisian apartment.
Keen to update our list of these great new generation cafés in Paris, Untapped would love to hear about your favourite barista, space, blend or brew. Hit us in the comments!
Want to know where you can get a decent Lomi brew elsewhere?KB Coffee shop rue des Martyrs Café B – 6 rue Beaurepaire, Paris 75010 Playtime Restaurant Les Jalles Bistro Volnay Sugarplum Cake Shop Wanderlust