As any foodie who has dined at a good restaurant in Paris, visited one of the many sidewalk cafés or taken their morning caffeine in a small picturesque village knows, coffee in France is lagging behind that in most other European countries. But I am pleased to report that this is now changing – in Paris, at least.
One has to wonder why the coffee is so bad when the food is always so good. I haven’t unearthed any plausible reasons why the French have continued to accept such nasty tasting coffee for so long, but a little research reveals a few interesting things.
Firstly, Napoleon Bonaparte, who ruled France for a while in the early 19th century, banned all imports in an historic event known as the Napoleonic Blockade. So with no coffee allowed in, the French resorted to chicory instead. Chicory is far more bitter than coffee and bears little resemblance to it taste wise. Regardless, it seems that the taste for chicory took on and in some areas of northern France it is still added