Vive la French Coffee!

The summer air was soft and warm
The feeling right, the Paris nightParisian Cafe
Did its best to please us
And strolling down the Elysée
We had a drink in each café
And you – You talked of politics, philosophy and I
Smiled like Mona Lisa
We had our chance 
It was a fine and true romance…

~The opening lines of ABBA’s “Our Last Summer”

This song, supposedly about a band member’s summer romance, may idealize love in Paris, but it also creates an image of streets lined with outdoor cafes.  People leisurely sitting and enjoying a coffee – a Café au lait (coffee with steamed milk) or Café Noisette (nwah-zett), which is espresso with a dash of cream in it.  (It refers to the French word for hazelnut because of the rich, dark color of the coffee.)

We can’t talk about a great French coffee without talking a little about the Parisian coffee culture.  The French enjoy coffee morning, noon and night.  If you have been to a French café, then you know you must begin by saying “Bonjour” – always say hello!  When  you order your coffee (“Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plait”), dark, strong coffee will arrive in a tiny cup, perhaps with a few sugar cubes placed on the saucer;  sometimes you may get a carafe of hot coffee and a pitcher of steamed milk.   If it’s a hot summer day, order a café glacé (iced coffee) or a café faux (decaf).

carte noire_logo

Carte Noire started as a company in 1978 by founder Rene Monnier, who had already been roasting, blending and selling coffee for more than a decade before that.  His family is a coffee dynasty, beginning with a coffee that is still today a staple in French homes – it is the coffee that grandmother makes (and we have it too:  Grand Mere!).  Rene built Carte Noire, which means “black card”, as a sophisticated and elegant brand using black and gold packaging and marketing the brand as “a coffee named desire”.  We have it in ground, whole beans, instant and pods.  We have a limited amount of Carte Noire Velours, which is back, but only for a short time.  (Unfortunately, our supplier is having problems obtaining it, so we may not have it again for a while.  Order now while we have it or you will miss out.)

We also have a new roast from Carte Noire:  Millicano Instant SticksCarte Noire Millicano Image

The 100% Arabica coffee is one of our best instant coffees.  This instant is made in a new way:  Beans are finely ground and combined with freeze-dried instant coffee.  This super-premium instant coffee has a rich and silky taste.  This is an exciting development for instant coffee!   Packaged in individual sticks, you can take them anywhere, anytime to enjoy a better cup of instant coffee.  We have 25 sticks in a package for $5.99.  You have to try this instant coffee!