The loud grinding of beans, in combination with the smell of them roasting, and continuous chatter begin to overwhelm my senses the minute I push open the wooden door. It seems as though that I’m always frazzled, as if every time is my first visit to Brûlerie des Ternes. And in some ways, you can say it is.
After all, stepping out of the underground from Métro Gobelins was never usual for me when I lived in Paris some several semesters ago. The old Brûlerie des Ternes that I frequented so often in my freshman year could be found in the 16th arrondisement, on a cobble stoned path. Biweekly, I would have my “membership” card stamped, but only after wafting numerous roasts in search of one to settle upon. And every trip that I made there, it would always be the same man behind the counter, walking away from it every so often to check on the beans slowly moving round and round in a large basin. And it was because that I always saw him that I dubbed him as “coffee man” to my friends.
Finding a blend that you can not tire of is a tricky thing. It’s not as simple as finding and then stating your favorite ice cream flavor. Coffee is something so much more unique and delicate because you meet with it every morning. In some way, you could probably liken finding that roast to finding that one person who you can never tire of. So that roast should fill your nostrils when you put your lips to the mug, and warm your throat as it slides down along your tongue, scintillating in flavor.
What is my coffee roast “soul mate,” you ask? Moka Harrar. Truth be told, I know little of the roast; in fact, I know very little about coffee in general. In any case, though, it doesn’t meant that I don’t know the pleasure of enjoying a mug of coffee each morning.
Anyways, I’ve digressed. The summer after freshman year rolled by and Brûlerie des Ternes that I had come to love closed for the summer for construction. I headed up to the 17th arrondisement to the other location, but it wasn’t the same atmosphere, though, the same blend. So when I finally returned in September, I happily sauntered down rue de l’Annonciation in hopes of seeing the Coffee Man, but instead, I found that Coffea (it’s part of the same family of stores, but they carry pre-packaged/roasted products) had replaced my beloved coffee stop.
And so you would think that I would accept the change and move on, but I couldn’t. In some string of words, I asked what had happened to the Coffee Man and where had gone. The answer was that he had gone to the 5th arrondisement and that he would stay at that store. It seems that I had forgotten to ask where this other store was, because I found myself searching on Google for some kind of clue as to where this store could be. Connecting the dots through message boards, I learned that Brûlerie des Gobelins had been bought by the Brûlerie des Ternes chain.
So that brings us back to how I wind up exiting from the Métro Gobelins stop every so often now. Disappointment filled me when I peered into the windows and only saw two women at the counter. I thought about going back home, but decided, nevertheless, to have some freshly ground Moka Harrar. The moment I pushed open the door, excitement filled me when I saw someone awfully familiar bent over looking at that roasting basin. And on my way out of the store, the Coffee Man stopped me to ask if it was me two years ago always coming in and out with freshly roasted Moka Harrar in hand.
28 rue de l’annonciation
M˚ La Muette
Tél 01 42 88 99 90
Brûlerie des Ternes
10 rue Poncelet
Tél 01 46 22 52 79
Brûlerie des Gobelins
2, Avenue des Gobelin