Name: The Beans on Fire
Address: 7 Rue du Général Blaise, 75011 Paris
Closest Metro Stop: Saint-Ambroise or Rue Saint-Maur
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm, Friday-Sunday 9am-6pm
Vibe: This is one of the most neighborhoody shops I’ve been to. One where it feels like it’s a group of guys just hangin’ out, enjoying life. Everyone seems to know each other which makes for a generally feel-good, relaxed vibe. I’ve been twice and both times, there was a bit of “French” snootiness, but that’s as to be expected. This American is coming into their French coffee lovers turf.
Wifi: Yep, just ask
Coffee & Food: Well, my first qualm is that they refuse to make mochas. I know it’s basically the “intro to coffee 101” drink since it’s half coffee, half chocolate (or in my perfect world, 1/3 coffee, 2/3 chocolate), but still. Every time a Frenchie looks at me and refuses to make a mocha, a part of my hope dies for the Paris coffee scene and I suck it up and order a cafe creme. A nice amount of foam and pretty latte art gave me some hope, but honestly, I didn’t think it was a great cafe creme. It tasted watery and a bit bland, which was surprising since I’m pretty sure they roast their beans in-house. As for the donut, they get them from Boneshaker which delivers to many coffee shops (Le Peloton , Ob-La-Di and Honor to name a few!) I’ve had three of their donuts- the cinnamon & sugar, smores and rhubarb. Surprisingly, the rhubarb one was my favorite. All of them are addictingly delicious: moist, fluffy and just the right amount of sugar.
Seating: It’s a really small shop, with mainly one big table (as you can see in the first picture). It’s a space that quickly feels cramped as the big table is surrounded by three smaller sets of two-area seats and then the bar. However, they do have lots of outside seating which is reminiscent of the cafe culture here in Paris. Basically, it’s a spot to come to actually drink coffee with some friends, not to work.
Overall: I had heard good things about this spot, so I was really excited to try it out. The first time I went, I was on a mission for donuts and that’s it. I left feeling a bit indifferent towards it: it wasn’t great, nor was it terrible. But the second time, after some odd service from the moody barista and a not so great cafe creme, I tend to lean towards the latter of the two on the spectrum of coffee shops. With so many great coffee shops who do make mochas and are much more inviting (and have bigger spaces), this is definitely not one of my favorite spots. But if you’re looking for a space with wifi and some nice outdoor seating (and donuts) then check it out!