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Dec 22, 2001 08:17 PM

The best cup of coffee you ever had

  • b

For me, it was at L'Ami Louis, in Paris, about fifteen years ago.

After a wonderful lunch, I could hear the chef grinding the beans. Then, a few moments later, I was brought a demi-tasse of the best few sips of coffee I have ever tasted.

It wasn't espresso, it was probably done in a French press. It was the only cup of coffee I have ever tasted that was as good as the aroma that preceded it.

I drank it in a trice and wanted more, but felt guilty about bothering him to make another. Now, I just feel guilty that I didn't.

At the time, there was an ongoing ad campaign for the coffees of Brazil, which I thought may have contributed to this extraordinary brew. I have since come to learn that it probably had little to do with country of origin and everything to do with the wizardry of a chef who was great at everything he did.

What's your best cup?

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  1. A small cafe in York -- two years ago in March. It was cold and rainy. My love and I had just finished some Welsh Rarebit. The coffee was served in a French Press. I bought some to bring home but it never tasted as good as that evening...

    Sadly, my notes on brand name and cafe name are buried...

    1. Your post about L'ami Louis sent me into a paroxysm of nostalgia and brought back splendid memories about my wonderful meal there in Paris 5 years ago. I'm sure the coffee was nonpareil but it was the roast chicken, the pommes frites and the nougatine glacee that still pervades my sense-memory like a perfume. Thank you for bringing it all back to me!!!!

        1. re: Shaebones

          Oh baby, I brought 20 lbs home in my suitcase!!! And we bought it in the mercado centrale in San Jose, where they roasted it. The fumes were so intense I could taste them all day long...After a morning shopping for coffee, we were so wiped out we sat in a bar for a cerveza..I was fried, and just stared out the door, or more appropriately,doorway, to the street...I kept seeing guys next to the door way at some sink or something, all going thru the same motions...After I revived, after a cerveza or 2, I realized it was a urinal next to the doorway, and I had been watching all these guys' backs as they peed...Clearly, it was not a "ladies' bar, but then......BUT HEY, I'M NOT A LADY, I'M A CHOWHOUND!!!!

        2. Was also in France. We stopped for lunch in a small hotel (don't ask me where) and had an exquisite, locally-grown plum tart for dessert served from a pan about, literally, 2 feet in diameter accompanied by, well, the best coffee i've had before or since. The owner made it in a huge contraption with 2 large glass bulbs at either end and an alcohol burner beneath. I tried to quiz her afterwards on the operating principles of the thing, but my bad French made that impossible. Is anyone familiar with this method of brewing and how it works?

          2 Replies
          1. re: CliffA

            Try this link for instructions:

            Also, the link below is for three different types.


            1. re: ironmom

              Wow. Thanks. I'm getting one!

          2. The best cup of coffee I ever had was in my friend Edie's basement when I was a senior in high school.(We used to get together on Sunday nites, as fledgling artists, to draw each other, and listen to my friend Scott play his guitar..He thought Neil Young was god, but that's another story!!) I hated coffee, thought it had NO taste, because the coffee pot in our house was only used to boil water for Maxwell House Instant..Edie's mother made this STUFF, this indescribable STUFF, that I couldn't believe..I asked what this amazing nectar was and how she created it..She was totally nonplussed.."A&P, 8 o'clock blend.." But how did she MAKE it, what made it TASTE like that??? Uh, she brewed it with egg shells and a flannel filter...She was a Hungarian, Holocaust era immigrant, and there was a little language barrier..I went to A&P, I made a filter out of an old nitegown, I tried boiling it in a pan.My mother had no idea what I was trying to do..I had to have this stuff, this BREWED COFFEE!!!!! Several years later, I finally hit my first french press, and the rest is history..My mother still thinks coffe is no big deal...I will still spend 15 minutes looking for a parking spot so i can buy Pete's instead of Starbucks...

            1 Reply
            1. re: galleygirl
              Lynne Hodgman

              Wish there were Peet's in Kansas. I have not found an equivalently good cup of coffee anywhere here. Haven't even found that Peet's mail order will all just seems weak, a mere faint imitation...I never liked coffee until I tasted Peet's (yes! it tastes as good as it smells!) and --- here's the kicker --- I can only drink decaf. (My body seems to make its own caffeine and I don't need any extra!) I wonder what the real stuff tastes like?

              If anyone in KC knows where I csn go out to get a good cup of coffee, I'd love to hear it. Hubby doesn't drink it at all, so I have never invested in a grinder etc. Maybe that's why everything I make at home (espresso, french press, etc.) seems blah. Sigh. Thanks in advance for your help.