Specialty Coffee Shops in Bordeaux Pt. 2

The Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide

Tada!  Here it is.  First I wrote my coffee-based article on European Coffee Trip, then the little introductory post to Bordeaux’s specialty coffee shops here last week.  Now I have also finalized my real, and own Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide. I made it! Puh 😅

Every specialty coffee shop in Bordeaux deserves its own post.

They are the reason why I fell in love with Bordeaux. However, an individual post for every café would be too much.  But I think that it isn’t possible any other way. So this might seem like I copy pasted my drafts for all individual posts and put them together in one link. I didn’t. This here is meant to be ONE literal post.

It starts with Bordeaux’s specialty coffee map. Next come some quick tips. That is something that I always search for on other blogs, when touring a city. Lastly you can read the real guide.  There you will not only find my experience and reviews, but below them, in small font, the most important quick information one needs: their coffee roastery and roasts (torréfacteur/-ion), an overview of the drink and food menu (cafés et boissons / pour manger), what my favorite item is (mon favorite), what diets are suited here and lastly the address and opening times.  Now let me get started!

The Map:

Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide – Quick Tips 

Four all-time favorites: KURO, Café Piha, SIP, Café Laiton

Own Roasteries: L’Alchimiste, Café Piha, La Pelle Café, Café Gusco

Café PIHA

Breakfasts: SIP coffee bar, Café Laiton
Matcha Lattes: Café Laiton, SIP, Horace
Fine Dining Food: Horace
Vegan/GF Options: Banana Café, (and Cafe Piha and SIP a bit)
Where to work: KURO, Banana Café, Café Piha
If you’re in a hurry:
Black List


The Real Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide

Finally if you want to know what truly makes each of these specialty coffee shops unique and amazing, then keep on reading.  It’s definitely more than the flat white styling – even though I think that’s fun to compare too.

• Café Laiton • KURO espresso bar • Café Piha • SIP coffee bar •
Black List Café • Horace – café.cuisine.canons • L’Alchimiste café and boutique • Café Gusco • La Pelle Café • Banana Café • Oven Heaven •

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Café Laiton

This is the specialty coffee shop in the bustling Marché des Capucins, a local very famous market.  Gaele from Bordeaux is the owner and does most of the work herself.  For me, she embodies all of Café Laiton.  Strong and chic, but gentleLaiton is copper in French. It’s the material of her coffee bar, as well as the color of the delicate font on her shining business cards. In the symbology of metals Laiton stands for woman empowerment.

On my first visit, while I was still coffee-focused for my article on European Coffee Trip, I had the “flat white”.  She actually doesn’t write flat white on her menu, because she prefers to keep it in the local language. The comparable French version would be the Grand Crème.  But if somebody asks for a flattie, they will get the Australian one as well.  The next visits I started sampling my way through the other lattes: matcha, beetroot, rose-petal.  They were all wonderful, not too sweet, beautiful and fairly priced.

My first breakfast was the dainty, mouth-watering Pain Perdu, that unfortunately isn’t on the menu anymore. Gaele actually used to make Shakshouka and avo-toasts too.  However, the local market shoppers didn’t support this. She realized that she herself didn’t either and served these mostly to satisfy global specialty coffee shop expectations. Now she only prepares traditional french dishes with fresh ingredients from the market. Since I am not much of a “PETIT-dejeuner”-er, I chose the savory Assiette Complète for my second breakfast.

In the summer Gaele prepares croques with duck breast and in the winter warming raclettes for lunch.  The raclette can be pimped with Morbier cheese, trout or bacon and has generous side of green salad.

I loved the open market atmosphere of Café Laiton. This is also the place where I met the most interesting people.  Once an old French guy from Paris pushed his latte into my picture before adding his sugar to it. I suggested him to try it without sugar, explaining that this coffee were better than most in France.  He immediately agreed, regretting having added the sugar in first place.  Another time I spied on Ivy Nette, Horace’s baker, who was chatting with Gaele. On my last visit I came into conversation with another local about the pros of studying architecture.

Last but not least, all the times I came to late for a Café Laiton’s lunch, Gaele recommended her favorite tips in Bordeaux to me.  Once Il Meneghino, the Milanese lunch restaurant, and secondly the fine but affordable L’Atelier des Faures.  I tried both for lunch and they were just as amazing as Café Laiton itself.

torréfacteur: usually Belleville from Paris and Piha 
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, cold brew, piston/chemex filter, beetroot/turmeric/orange/honey-rose/matcha/chai latte, artisan hot chocolate (white, dark, with spices), teas, fresh smoothie, organic soft drinks, beer, wine, aperitifs and cocktails
pour manger: small petit-dejeuners (granola, pastries, little galettes), savory “assiete complètes” (with trout/bacon, salad, savory galette, mushrooms, a cheese), raclettes, pastries
mon favorite: assiete complete with trout and matcha/beetroot latte or grand crème (“flat white”)
diets: vegetarian options, oat/almond milk (and Gaele can make latte art with it!)
-> 28 Place des Capucins, 33800 (in Marché des Capucins, on the south entrance, just 20m right of the middle entrance) // Wed-Su: 8-14:30

KURO espresso bar

This little homely café definitely belongs to one of my favorites.  Pascal, the owner, and his friend Aurèlie are an awesome team.  They create a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and serve awesome pastries and lunches along with perfect flat whites, seasonal lattes and espresso tonics.

KURO espresso bar, Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide

To find a name for his espresso bar, Pascal did a survey in town.  The results showed that the Bordelaise prefer a foreign language that is NOT English. He knows some Japanese, which made him come up with kuro.  That means black in Japanese.  Coffee is associated with this color, however the light brown coffee stain that backdrops his logo, shows the customer what his coffee is really about.

The name (and matcha pastries and matcha latte) however is where the Japanese influence ends.  Kuro’s influence continues from Montreal, Canada.  That’s where Pascal first got to learn about specialty coffee.  So you guessed it – Pascal from KURO is the one behind that pumpkin spiced latte, which you might have spotted on my last post!

Pumpkin Latte and cookie at KURO espresso bar

The pastries are a mix of French and “Canadian”.  He luckily also brought the manner of samples across the Atlantic, which enabled me to taste every single pastry. All were awesome: the peanut butter cookie, chocolate-pear muffin, autumn scones, brownie . . .   You won’t go wrong with anything, although my favorite pick will still stay the cute french financiers.  I loved this small, chewy french pastry, that has the form of a miniature loaf cake.  Both the pear-almond and matcha flavors were awesome, but they change constantly, so you’ll never run out of tries.

Still Kuro doesn’t feel like at all like most “American” (or Canadian) coffee shops in Europe.  It has french charm. Maybe its the pierre beige stone walls inside, the same ones that make up most of Bordeaux’s old town?

The interior is small and welcoming, but you still have your own privacy wherever you are.  It’s actually a great place for undisturbed laptop work – especially in the miniature stone-encircled “courtyard”. The wifi password is iamgroot. That’s the little tree guy from Guardian of the Galaxy. “Yes we are a little bit geeky” Pascal told me.  Then he showed me his favorite book: T-Rex Trying. That explained what the drawing of the T-Rex trying to drink a coffee on the chalkboard was about.

I also found lots of friends meeting up here – especially Bordeaux’s coffee bloggers. But don’t get me wrong.  Kuro is the complete opposite of “hipster-girly-‘take 100 photos and not care about what it is’” type of place.

First I messaged Alexandra from @passiondupain if she wanted to meet me, and she suggested to do so at Kuro. The same day Victoria (@fiveofdecember, a latte-pro and barista) and Madleen (@madisonornot her matcha equivalent) happened to be there too.  On my next visit I met Victoria again, this time accompanied by @budget_jones, who is opening her own brunch-all-day café in Bordeaux soon (Contrast Brunch) and the stylish runner @amelietauziede.

But I don’t really want to advertise Kuro for the blogger place.  Bordeaux’s coffee bloggers are extremely friendly and down-to-earth.  So Kuro just proves itself to be a place that locals love and value. An espresso bar, where they have their peace and can enjoy delicious treats, lunches and coffee shop specialties.

torréfacteur: La Fabrique du Café from Limoges
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, cold brew, espresso tonic, Chemex, V60, matcha/chai/pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate, teas, artisan juices/lemonades
pour manger: small petit-dejeuners (granola, pastries), quiche, tartines, salads, pastries (Canadian inspired like scones, cookies, muffins, brownies, but also croissants and amazing financiers)
mon favorite: pumpkin spice latte and financiers (actually all pastries)
diets: vegetarian options, almond/hazelnut/rice milk
-> 5 Rue Mautrec, 33000 // Mo: 14-18:00, Tu-Fr: 8-18:00, Sa: 9-18:00

Café Piha

This espresso lounge is remarkable – the amazon like interior, the specialty iced tea sweetened with cascara syrup served in a wine glass . . .  and definitely Pierre.  He, as the owner and roaster, is extremely passionate, which gives Café Piha an awesome vibe and every product an extra cherry on top.  I even heard Toulouse’s coffee scene talk about him and his craft.

Pierre’s coffee roasts are some of the most popular in town at the moment. But these roasts aren’t only perfect for flat whites or a Chemex.  Pierre also uses them for his collaborations with other artisan connoisseurs. He combines his cold brew with the local craft beer company AZIMUT to craft a coffee ale.  He roasts a special Yirgacheffe especially for his best mate in Normandie who makes “crazy good” ice cream. I tried, it was crazy good.

Pierre learned to be a barista in Auckland, New Zealand. In his free hours he escaped to Piha Bay and kite-surfed there. That passion has named his coffee shop. The bay is also home to Lion’s Rock, the logo of Café Piha. But this coffee shop wouldn’t be complete without its whole passionate team. Antoine, Pierre’s friend for six years and now barista-mate, manages to miss lots of trains, but still he dares to travel overseas.

“He is a miss-train guy, a really good barista, a really cool dude, really passionate” . . . “I think he is the only barista on earth who has been on St. Helene island to see harvesting. It is in the middle of nowhere in the Atlantic Ocean. There you originally have a bourbon coffee from La Réunion, which has never been crossed. . . .”

That’s Antoine. Next there is Pauline who used to own Wrac Tea Shop in Brighton.  Now she is a fellow barista and Piha’s fine tea specialist.  Angèle is the kitchen chef.  She makes all the pastries (that are solely sweetened with cascara syrup) as well as the weekly changing lunches that range from French croques to buddha bowls.  Probably the awesome nutty granola too, although I’m not positive about that.  All I know is that it’s homemade and was one of my favourites in Bordeaux.

If I lived in Bordeaux I think I would come here most often for a sophisticated “Kaffee Kuchen” – an afternoon pastry.  Afterwards I would soak up the atmosphere while getting some work done.  It just feels most like an afternoon place to me, fine, dim and calm.  If my mom comes along, she would enjoy her local craft beer here. And if my dad comes, he would be more than pleased with their flat white and brownie.

torréfaction: from their own roastery that you can see in the back of the café, two espresso roasts, 3-4 filter roasts
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, cold brew, chemex, V60, chai latte, artisan hot chocolate (white or dark), specialty teas and iced teas, artisan juices, craft beers
pour manger: small petit-dejeuners (granola, banana bread, scones), varying lunch with wraps, bowls, croques, many pastries like banana bread, carrot cake, brownie, financiers, scones, PB cookies . . .
mon favorite: granola, brownie and homemade iced tea
diets: vegetarian options, vegan brownie, sometimes gf cakes, soy/almond milk
-> 69 Rue des Ayres, 33000 // Tu-Fr: 8:30-18:30, Sa: 10-18:30

SIP coffee bar

SIP coffee bar was the first specialty coffee shop I visited in Bordeaux.  It was on my one day vacation with my dad. We saw coffee books, big jars of flowers, huge open windows facing a beautiful Boulangerie, large rustic tables. SIP just looked too welcoming and unpretentious.

Unfortunately I had some stomach issues that day.  We arrived and there were only two choices for breakfast.  French tartines (bread, butter, jam) or an Aussie breakfast.  I insisted that we only split one breakfast, so we could sample our way through more spots the rest of the day.  But I wasn’t going to order granola and banana bread when on vacation in France. Now, french tartines (bread-butter-jam), the most boring thing in the world, were my only choice.  We could pimp it up with a soft boiled egg, ok. But orange juice, and coffee came along with it. There’s no other option, because that’s how the french do it.  Breakfasts only exist as a formule.  So wow, yay, sick stomach, and lets dig into a soft boiled egg, orange juice and coffee alongside the most boring breakfast dish I could imagine?

Well thinking back of that pretty awful morning I had, I remember that my disappointed reactions of the breakfast menu were unjustified. Despite my stomach and mood, the tartines were quite enjoyable. I actually finished my share and would have taken more. They were really really good.  Really good.  Perfectly toasted bread, amazing butter, and artisan jams.

Now on my second, third, fourth and so on time in Bordeaux, I got to know SIP better.  Julie, the owner (the one with thick curly hair) used to be a jeweller.  Then she moved to Australia and sold French pastries there. Next, in Belgium, she learned to be a barista at Or Coffee.  Since April 2016 she has SIP.  It is a rustic, open café with classic, high quality food and a laid-back but busy atmosphere.

Now who would have guessed: the following times, I only came for breakfast.  Once I tried the aussie breakfast.  The next time I had the pimped up French breakfast with trout and scrambled eggs. That addition was obviously awesome, but I even enjoyed every single bite of the french tartines.

The food takes time, but it is top notch and adorable. At SIP, everything is fine and dainty but in a rustic, unpretentious way.

Her barista team includes Laure (a local aeropress champion) and another Julie. Thibault, the little brother is SIP’s pastry chef.  His selection of pastries is abundant.  It changes from fancy tartlettes to mouth-watering millionaires shortbread.

Millionaires Shortbread on Dune du Pyla
In the morning I had SIP’s french breakie and then got the millionaires shortbread to go for my day trip: 1h train to Arcachon, rented a bike, rode 40min to Dune du Pyla and rewarded myself with this amazing treat after walking up this humongous natural sand dune

The chocolate chip cookies seem to be coming out of the oven every time I’m here and taste like it too.  Unfortunately I didn’t try Thibault’s best-seller pastry. It’s the fondant au chocolat.  Good reasons for a next visit.  Maybe I’ll get it after lunch, because that looks worth trying too: split-pea lemon soup with smoked paprika and mint, or tomato-harissa-feta tarts? – made by Ambre, the new kitchen chef.

The last thing I will mention is one of the most important things I value from SIP.  The way Julie sources her ingredients is precise and just. Everything is as local as possible. The flour is from Moulin Foricher, the organic bread from Laurent Lachenal in Bordeaux, the eggs from La Compagnie Fèrmiere, the milk from Tartifume and the cheeses from L’Epicerie Delphine, which is just 100m down the road. The only exceptions are banana, lemon and chocolate for the pastries.  Yes and of course her coffee isn’t grown on the balcony.  However sometimes she runs through town to get some of Piha’s roasts if she ran out of coffee.

torréfacteur: changes, has included Or Coffee, Five Elephant, Bonanza, Dark Arts, Assembly, Piha
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, cold brew, japanese iced coffee, chemex, V60, aeropress, hot chocolate, matcha latte, golden latte, teas, homemade 24-hour brewed lemonade, fresh juices, local soft drinks, matcha/chocolate frappé
pour manger: aussie (banana bread, granola) or french breakfast (bread, butter, jam), additionally soft boiled egg or smoked trout with scrambled eggs, lunch: daily changing dishes like tarts and salads, Saturday brunch
mon favorite: french tartine with trout and scrambled eggs, matcha latte, millionaires shortbread, (and if you’re a lemonade person, definitely the 24h home-brewed lemonade too)
diets: vegetarian options, gf pastries, almond/soy milk
-> 69 Bis Rue des Trois-Conils, 33000 // Mo-Fr: 8:30-18:30, Sa: 9:30-18:30

Black List Café

Black List Café was Bordeaux’s first third wave coffee shop.  And smart Google thought it was the only one existing in Bordeaux, when I searched in June, 2017.  However now, there is this much better source – called Ookie Dough, to help you 😉 But back to Black List: It was opened in 2014 by wine-connoisseur Laurent Pierre.  Now he, with his friend Xavier, own the newest and fanciest specialty coffee shop in Bordeaux: Horace – café.cuisine.canons.  More on that later.

I experienced Black List Café through Morgan, the lively afternoon barista.  She was just so charming and full of good spirit while attending to the lines of people swamping this little café. She quickly served me the flat white so I could take a picture, before the latte art got foamy.  She introduced me to some of the best pastries. She showed me where to squish on the floor to make an artistic picture of the tiled wall menu and playful ceiling reflect in the La Marzocco.  She was sympathetic and helpful when I came too late for lunch – which happened multiple times. If Bordeaux didn’t give me the best mood in first place, entering Black List to Morgan’s welcomeness would.

As I said the pastries are awesome.  I tried a juicy, moist coffee muffin, a lavish, creamy carrot cake and a (gingerbread) brownie. It was actually was supposed to just be a normal brownie – but  I was told that Ambre (not SIP’s Ambre, another one who likes to cook) just likes ginger a lot 🙂

This is also the best coffee shop to find aussie breakfasts in Bordeaux. They try to keep their ingredients local when possible.  But that beloved avo-toast with poached eggs and passion fruit will stay on the menu.  Also, Black List makes a legit bowl of fancy granola that is really worth trying.

A “pretty little mess” is how Morgan described Black List. I would not be able to think of a better wording, for this one-aisle busy, lively, Bordelaise-traditional, coffee shop.

torréfacteur: usually Lomi and Belleville from Paris and a third varying guest roast (like Assembly, Morgan’s friends, from London)
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, cold brew, chemex, V60, aeropress, hot chocolate, matcha latte, chai latte, teas, different fresh squeezed juices, local soft drinks
pour manger: scrambled eggs on bread with butter, avo-toast with poached eggs (and passion fruit + pepper or bacon and veggies), homemade granola in orange blossom yogurt and fresh fruits; daily changing lunch bowl and croque madame
mon favorite: granola and carrot cake
diets: vegetarian options, sometimes gf pastries, almond milk
-> 27 Place Pey Berland, 33000 // Mo-Fr: 8:00-18:00, Sa: 9:30-18:00

Horace

Fine dining dinners exist for a long time, in very nice restaurants.  However the most elaborate breakfasts are usually some random five star hotels with stuff I don’t want.  Or they are the hipster, rustic, coffee shop splurge, which I love too.  But that’s not the same as a fine dining breakfast which I would appreciate to have for a change too. Finally I found something quite comparable to my idea, at Horace.

Horace is opened by Black List’s owner, Laurent Pierre. He discovered the complexity of coffee after being a wine connoisseur.  His dream was to open a place like Horace. He started with Black List and once that proved successful, Horace started becoming tangible.  This restaurant serves ornamental meals accompanied by specialty coffee and fine regional wines. Though still, Horace is a coffee shop.  So you can come in jeans, sweaty and with a huge duffel.  You might feel out of place but people won’t stare at you.

Horace breakfast, Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide

For breakfast, I chose the local smoked trout with scrambled eggs accompanied by a side of homemade brioche.  The dish hit my high expectations – fresh and plentiful trout, super moist fluffy scrambled eggs, really nice brioche with butter aside it. I also think the price was very fair, especially given its style and Horace’s accommodating service (9€).

My next visit was for an afternoon matcha and pastry. The pastries here are a mix of french and “coffee shop pastries” (the latter are mostly the same as at Black Lists’)Many are unique and have modern creative twists. I ended up coming too late for the popular fanciful treats and chose the brownie.  Only a sliver was left (which she gave me for free) so I added the caramel financier and madeleine. All perfect!  My last visit was actually just a quick stop to pick up the umbrella I had forgotten, before catching my train. But the pastry bar was too tempting, so I grabbed the salted chocolate chip cookie, to go – maybe one of the best I have every tasted.  Seriously.

However Horace isn’t a coffee shop for food to go or even just a short visit.  It’s made to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.  The interior is artistic and clean.  The entrance room has an intimate feeling of a wine restaurant, which is contrasted by the wild but sleek and luminous “coffee room”.  When I was there Horace was extremely popular and busy. The customers did seem pretty chic, but as a coffee shop it allowed some casuals like me too. So I’d really make the visit, whatever state you are in. It’s worth the experience!

torréfacteur: Lomi from Paris
cafés et boissons: usual espresso drinks, chemex, V60, artisan hot chocolate, matcha latte, chai latte, teas, fresh squeezed juice, local soft drinks, large wine menu, own artisan beer, cidre
pour manger: four breakfasts (two savory, two sweet), daily changing fine lunch and dinner dishes, elaborate afternoon desserts, pastries
mon favorite: smoked trout/scrambled egg breakfast (I didn’t try any others, they’re probably just as good), chocolate chip cookie, brownie
diets: vegetarian options, oat milk
-> 40 Rue Poquelin Molière, 33000 // Mo: 8:30-18:30, Tu-Fr: 9:30-21:30, Sa: 9:30-21:30, Su: 9:30-18:30

L’Alchimiste

I find that L’Alchimiste contrasts the other coffee shops in Bordeaux. L’Alchimiste is the only spot  with a clean, bright scandinavian interior. Their coffee bar looks more like a spotless lab, which it is for the baristas. Upstairs, is the second room, which is a dim, ” cozy, tasting room”.  Its jungle wallpaper is designed to remind of the environment where coffee originally comes from.  The last room behind is dedicated to Arthur’s wife.  She is in charge of all the artistic elements in L’Alchimiste’s café and gets this space to present local art exhibitions.

“We are very geeky here”, Yohan, the head barista, told me.

“Coffee-Geeky” he means. L’Alchimiste’s team is very passionate about their set up.  They use some of the highest quality tools behind the counter to have their own fun. Arthur, the Bordelaise owner and roaster also dragged them to read Scott Rao’s “coffee bibles”.

L’Alchimiste torrefactéur (roaster) is a long-established, highly praised roastery in Bordeaux. They started in early 2014 and still have their roasting quarter in the rebuilt military base, the Darwin complex. That’s worth its own visit.  I just realized that L’Alchimiste has herewith uniquely incorporated the other side of the Garonne!

For many years L’Alchimiste torrefactéur only served Michelin starred restaurants and hotels.  In 2016 they opened this café-boutique. The menu, like the interior, is simple and clean.  Just a handful of espresso drinks with small bites to eat.  However there are two specialities that I would like to highlight.

L'Alchimiste Flat White and Dune Blanches, Bordeaux Specialty Coffee Guide
Flat White and Dune Blanches

1st:  “Dune Blanches” – This is a really famous local treat.  It’s like a cream puff pastry, which I usually don’t like, except that I loved these.  They come from Chez Pascal across the street. The barista will literally go to this cute patisserie, to pick up the little sweet sand dune, whenever you order one.

2nd: Tim Wendelboe’s cold brew – Again I learned something new.  Tim Wendelboe (maybe THE most famous coffee specialist who even owns his own coffee farm) has created a pimped up cold brew recipe.  It’s a V60, cooled down with sugar, served in a wine glass.  L’Alchimiste is the only place in Bordeaux (and of all coffee shops I have ever visited) to try this specialty.

So I wouldn’t leave Bordeaux without giving this chic, clean corner a visit and one of these two specialties a taste!

torréfaction: their own roasts, roasted by the owner Arthur in the Darwin complex (to drink at the café: 2 espresso, 2 filter roasts – both usually single origins; to buy: 5 espressos (of which 2 are blends) and 4-5 filter coffee roasts)
cafés et boissons:  only espresso, cortado, cappuccino, flat white, latte; V60, cold brew, affogato, hot chocolate, teas, artisan soft drinks, fresh squeezed juices
pour manger: pastries from a local artisan bakery, little pizza flat breads, dune blanches
mon favorite: flat white with two dune blanches!
diets: vegetarian options, almond/oat milk
-> 12 Rue de la Vieille Tour, 33000 // Tu-Fr: 8:30-18:00, Sa: 10-18:00

Café Gusco

I paid Café Gusco only one visit, however it was a really wonderful one.  This cute, homely café just opened new in June 2017, by Pauline, a mother and former wine-connoisseur.  She is still new to the specialty coffee but has high goals.  In the back office, stands the cutest red roaster that I have ever seen.  Here she roasts everything by herself, next to being Gusco’s barista, owner, manager and a full-time mom (of GUStav and COlombe).

Pauline felt really bad that her latte art skills weren’t perfect yet when I was there.  Though at that moment I could really care less about the latte art. In a way it made my stay at Café Gusco even more charming. I accompanied it by a fluffy french madeleine made my her friend Amelia, and sat outside on the calm plaza, amongst big sheltering trees.

So if you’re looking for great coffee in a very familial, french café, and want your peace in a calm atmosphere, Café Gusco is perfect.

torréfaction: her own roasts, roasted in the back (one medium espresso roast, 3 single origin filter roasts)
cafés et boissons:  espresso, cappuccino, flat white, latte, V60, Chemex, teas, organic local juices/smoothies/iced tea, fresh squeezed orange juice
pour manger: granola with fromage blanc, homemade french cakes/pastries
diets: vegetarian options, soy milk
-> 2 Rue Ligier, 33000 // Mo: 8-14:30, Tu-Fr: 8-18:00, Sa: 9-12:00

La Pelle

La Pelle Café and Roastery is a a specialty coffee shop that the touring coffee geeks miss. It’s located in the wine-merchant district, a 20min walk north of the main coffee hub in the old town. This district, Chartrons, feels a bit like its own village.

Their strength is specialty coffee, especially filter coffee. Theo, the barista, loves filter coffee.  He is waiting to introduce the rest of the world to its diverse flavour, aroma and body. At the moment the French still think of this drink as “your old grandmas coffee, strong black, with a lot of fine sparkles in the coffee”. Theo educates his customers and hopes that their view of filter coffee will change soon. At La Pelle you can choose from five to six filter roasts (all roasted right in the back) for eight filter methods.  But no worries, if you’re still a beginner. This passionate barista is waiting to advise you and can find the best method and roast for your palate.

torréfaction: their own roasts, roasted by Carlos, the brazilian-owner, in the back (3 espresso roasts, all single origin, 5 or more filter roasts)
cafés et boissons:  all espresso drinks, also decaffeinated, Siphon, St. Anthony, big and small Chemex, Kalita Wave, Kinto, V60, Aeropress, cold brew, affogato, beetroot/matcha/chai latte, hot chocolate, teas, soft drinks, fresh squeezed orange juice, wine, beer, ginger beer
pour manger: breakfast, brunch, lunch, pastries
diets: vegetarian options, a veggie milk too (sorry, I forgot which one)
-> 29 Rue Notre Dame, 33000 // Tu-Fr: 8:30-18:00, Sa-Su: 10-18:00

Banana Café

I already informed my blog readers in depth about this awesome gluten-free café, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t make it into Bordeaux’s specialty coffee guide.  Banana Café was opened by Kelly, from London, and her boyfriend Thibault, from Angouleme, France.  He’s the lover of specialty coffee, whilst she is to thank for this wonderful culture clash in Bordeaux. At Banana Café, you will have specialty coffee alongside amazing food and pastries, that suit all diets.  It is completely legitimized to work here for hours, but a just as great spot to meet up with friends. Still the atmosphere is unpretentious, and suited for any type. You can dine on local chicken and fish, as well as enjoy gluten-free, refined sugar free and vegan meals here.  All dishes are made fresh, as local and organic as possible and taste divine.

torréfacteur: Lomi in Paris
cafés et boissons:  usual espresso drinks, mocca, dirty chai latte, Mexican hot chocolate, matcha/spirulina/charcoal/turmeric latte, fresh juices and smoothies, detox waters, teas, gf beers, wines
pour manger: pancakes, granola, tons of pastries like superfood bread, banana bread, gingerbread, daily changing lunch dishes for all diets, savory lunches to go, Sunday Brunch
mon favorite: all so good… but the brownies, mexican hot chocolate and turmeric latte maybe
diets: all gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options,  oat/almond/hazelnut/coconut-rice milk
-> 5 Cours Pasteur, 33000 // Tu-Sa: 10-18:00, Su: 10-17:00

Oven Heaven (opening in Jan. 2018)

I don’t know much about Oven Heaven.  But a look online and my few messages with Dimitri, the specialty coffee roaster behind the project, make me sure that this collaboration will be amazing. Here the brothers Dimitri and Kevin will combine their two passions in one fine atelier. The first passion is roasting specialty coffee, of which Dimitri is in charge of.  For many years he was a head trainer at Padre Coffee in Melbourne. This Australian coffee shop is also where his future head barista, Gabriel Comtois, practiced his craft many years. The second passion is french chef pastries. Dimitri’s brother Kevin is in charge of this part.  I obviously haven’t tried anything yet, but what I have seen online makes my mouth water.

P.S.  if you are interested in a glass floor, through which you can watch these fine patisseries be made then head over to their crowdfunding campaign!

torréfaction: Oven Heaven, their own roastery, 3 single origin roasts, one blend
cafés et boissons:  usual espresso drinks, batch brew, V60, teas from Neo-T (Paris), French juices from Kookaburra, chai from La Main Noie (Paris)
pour manger: fine french patisseries, seasonal pastries, french breakfast pastries, savory snacks and lunches (sandwiches, tarts, soups)
mon favorite: I unfortunately haven’t tried anything yet but judging by the photos the chocolate tarte looks amazing!
diets: vegetarian options, oat milk
-> 51 Cours de la Marne, 33800


Well congrats if you have made it to here. There isn’t much left to say. Well, maybe yes – a few more specialty coffee shops exist in town, that I haven’t mentioned (Michel Ma Belle, Verde Nero). Feel free to check those out for me and tell me what you think! I decided to stay with the above, because they were just my definite favorites.

I am very curious to revisit Bordeaux in the next following years.  What new places will open and how will they integrate themselves into the loving, miraculous specialty coffee scene that already exists?  I think that any further expansion will just make it richer. However I am happy there weren’t more for me to explore this fall, otherwise this post never would have realized itself.

Thank you again to all of Bordeaux, to the coffee bloggers, all amazing baristas, roasters, pastry chefs, and cooks for welcoming me at your coffee shop like it was my home! Thinking back of every visit makes me smile 🙂

Ookie Written by:

One Comment

  1. Bjorn Stevens
    November 7, 2017
    Reply

    Wow… i’ve never wanted to go to Bordeaux so badly. No wonder it was rated as one of the best cities to visit last year. Well i was there, but I feel like I only barely touched the surface. Who ever thought going to france could be a good solution for breakfast?!

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