Finding un café, not so Parisian style


My feet are killing me and I’ve had Parisian visual overkill… Eiffel tower, La Seine, Louvre, Notre Dame, L’Orangerie

The Eiffel Tower against tree lined street

The Eiffel Tower… ahh… it’s hard not to act like a tourist in Paris.

– everything’s starting to melt into one and my head is spinning from very pretty but repetitive architecture. My fingers are tired from the 1000s of pictures I’ve taken and after having failed at finding a Kebab at either of Notre Dame’s corners and having succumbed to a tourist trap Bistro out of sheer hunger and desperation all I want is coffee. Good coffee.

We headed to Le Marais where according to Beanhunter terres de cafe is THE place for coffee. But they don’t do soy and the place is more of a super tiny roastery wholesale shop (very cute) than a comfortable café to sit down and relax for a bit. Not the moment of escape we had hoped for unfortunately.

We must have had disappointment written all over our faces, because the girl is very nice to us and recommends a place close by. Loustic does soy and is only 3 blocks away apparently. What are 3 blocks after 10 miles of walking? So, hopeful that we are not the butt of a French joke we make our way and aren’t disappointed.

Inside loustic

Inside loustic

A La Marzocca smiles at us when we walk through the door. The atmosphere is warm and very cosy, 70s wallpaper next to exposed brick walls. The front room consists of a long bar opposite a comfy long bench with small movable tables to share.

A French Flat White...

A French Flat White…

The back rooms are more intimate. The friendly barista recommends a ‘café crème’ which is  supposed to be the French equivalent of a flat white. Why not…. The little green coffee beans don’t disappoint. The coffee is incredibly mild and creamy with a lovely taste of coconut and chocolate.

Not bad, although slightly too weak for Luke’s liking. I am happy and can’t help but overhear yuppie/artie conversations by my neighbours next to me (I wasn’t trying to –  you do share close quarters here…) he’s working hard on impressing his friend with upcoming art shows and a move to London. I smile. Well, that’s Paris after all. We feel like we’ve finally arrived.

It is cute, it is quirky and it is trying to be something different than the usual Parisian cafés. Loustic does coffee well for France and has a selection of lunch options as well. It has a whiff of modern Paris, so make sure to wear nothing but black and grey to blend in. 

loustic, 40 Rue Capon, 3eme, Paris, Métro stations near by: Étienne Marcel or Arts et Métier

due baristi – two are better than one

So, is there a good coffee place in Hamburg???

After having found many great cafés in many cities, finding the perfect place in Hamburg has turned out to be far more difficult than expected. So far, I have lost count of the amount of arguments I have had with café staff on what the difference is between a café latte and a latté macchiato. For those of you who have not heard of what a latte macchiato is, don’t worry, I hadn’t either.

Basically it is a latte, but you pour in the coffee last that makes for a nicely looking coffee. Unfortunately in terms of taste it is not much to rave about. It tastes very milky and the crema does not rise to the top. And then there is the issue with the poorly trained baristas, who tend to to overheat the milk and refuse to understand how it is different to a café latte. So makes for 80% of my café experiences in Hamburg.

But when I thought that all hope was lost of finding a good café along came Due Baristi at Langenfelder Damm 2-4 in Eimsbüttel.

chocolate cake at Due Baristi

Sweet gooey chocolate cake at Due Baristi, Langenfelder Damm 2-4, Eimsbüttel, Hamburg

It’s a quiet residential area with leafy trees and a few small boutiques, close to Osterstraße but tucked away in an unspectacular but cosy corner.

On arrival the café looked promising with its large outdoor seating area packed with people sipping coffee. It also passed my usual first table check: seeing whether everyone had finished their coffee or whether the new coffees looked like something I would like to order.

The name of the place seems to be derived from the fact that there are two baristas preparing the coffe. Two owners it seems, passionate about coffee. But so far, I have not had a chance to speak with them. I will try to find out more about it and let you know in a future post.

Entering the inside was another nice surprise. Marble and wooden tables, the place conveys a light and bright whitish feel without being cold. It’s spacious and inviting with a lot of different seating places, mixed through between small and large tables with plenty of different areas to hide or to prominently place yourself in everyones’s sight. On the wall are a few plaques on display confirming the participation in German barrista competitions suggesting that attention is given to latte art.

You need to place your order at the counter and then all food and drink is brought to your table. In addition to the selection of different coffees, there is also a nice selection of wines, cakes and food. Some nights you can come for a large buffet consisting of what appeared to be home cooked authentic Italian food.

All in all this place feels like it’s run by a nice italian or italian influenced family that simply enjoy good coffee and food. Not much that can go wrong.

So, having ordered a slice of the chocolate cake and a latte with soy milk Luke and I were anticipating whether the coffee would live up to our initial impressions.

Possibly the best coffee in Hamburg…

And it did! So, if anyone is still wondering whether there is good coffee in Hamburg, the answer is: yes! This is the place if you are looking for true attention to detail and good coffee. The coffee is smooth, creamy, good latte art and has nice finish on the pallate.

Due Baristi: Thank you for putting some passion into making your coffee. Thank you for understanding café culture. Thank you for getting it right.

This is hands down my favourite coffee place in Hamburg. Now, it’s over to you: What’s your favourite café? I would love to hear about your favourite coffee places in Germany or other European cities.


 My favourite coffee in Hamburg. Good coffee, nice and bright atmosphere, a great place for a lazy Sunday morning.