France / Paris

Substance – Stunning coffee

Substance – Introduction

Substance is a very good café and place to enjoy a serious coffee in Paris. Their coffee beans are sourced from a number of countries including Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama and Ethiopia (that we have seen on the menu).

They also always seem to have the Geisha variety available as well as Heirloom varieties from Ethiopia where the job of classifying the hundreds and hundreds of varieties in the Ethiopian forests is somewhat of a Herculean task.

Coffee – An example

As an example of one of the coffees we have found at Substance there was a Geisha variety from Costa Rica as we have described it below.

Costa Rica Volcan Azul Geisha – the beans for this coffee were directly sourced from the farmer (Alejo Castro) from Volcan Azul (Volcan = Volcano) which lies close to the active Volcan Poás which rises to 2700 metres above sea level in the Alajuela region of Costa Rica which lies directly north of the San José region (which contains the capital). It is here that Alejo grows the famed Geisha coffee cherries.

Alejo likes to experiment with methods of processing the coffee cherry to remove the fruit to make it easy to extract the beans and in this case he has used an anaerobic method where the fruit is placed in an airless environment (like a sealed container) in which the fruit undergoes fermentation before the pulp is removed to expose the two small beans at the centre.

For each of the coffees they make available here there is an interesting story!

Substance – Further information

Just a warning here! Coffee in France is generally exceedingly cheap and not very good. In many cases you can buy an espresso for little more than 1 euro!

Most of these coffees are made from the Robusta variety which has almost double the caffeine content of the Arabica variety or it’s derivatives and hence is quite bitter.

Substance, on the other hand, is using some of the best coffee beans on the planet and paying a fair price for them, so you will find that they are more expensive – but that elusive quality shines through in the cup.

They also do their own roasting of their beans that they source from interesting producers using a Loring S7 roaster.

They also make sure that the water used to make the coffee is of the highest quality through the use of Brita Proguard equipment to ensure the mineralisation of the water is precide and any impurities removed.

A couple of other idiosyncrasies here. They do not serve milk, instead preferring to allow customers to enjoy the full flavour of the coffee. They also don’t provide takeaway cups, for obvious reasons.

However they do have a gleaming red Slayer espresso machine that dominates the room. If you are lucky, the owners might hold a mini-tutorial while you are there. They seem to have a mission to spread the word about how to enjoy good coffee – and good coffee is something they have in abundance here.

Substance – Address information

Address information

Name: Substance

Street: 30 Rue Dussoubs

Suburb: 75002

Telephone: +33 9 88 00 48 04

Opening hours: Mon to Fri 12:30pm till 18:30pm

If you want to see what coffee they are currently serving or selling you can check on their Web site here.

We have included Substance in our story about where to eat and drink in Paris here.

We are looking forward to our next visit to Paris (which is approaching rapidly) when we will again be able to visit this coffee temple and see which coffee producers they are favouring and which techniques they are refining.

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