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 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 Sticks.
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!