Behind the scenes, Belleville Brûlerie’s mission can be summed up in three words: democratise good coffee. “Good coffee remains an affordable luxury, one of the pleasures that everyone can have access to daily” David Flynn (Belleville’s co-founder) tells us. Not everyone has the chance to taste the best wine, but everyone can afford a cup of the best coffee in the world for only two euros fifty. To the trio behind Belleville, making coffee an ‘elitist’ product is out of the question, quite the contrary. They intend to share their (good) taste with the greatest world.
GOOD COFFEE FOR ALL
“Good coffee remains an affordable luxury, one of the pleasures that everyone can have access to daily” David Flynn (Belleville’s co-founder) tells us. Not everyone has the chance to taste the best wine, but everyone can afford a cup of the best coffee in the world for only two euros fifty. To the trio behind Belleville, making coffee an ‘elitist’ product is out of the question, quite the contrary.
The name ‘Brûlerie’ is borrowed from the old French tradition of small neighbourhood roasting houses. At Belleville, their goal is to reclaim this heritage and reinvent the identity of French coffee which has historically had a bad reputation, jokingly labelled as ‘sock juice’. With its very balanced, subtle and delicate taste, it has more to blush about in front of its Italian or Scandinavian competitors. The Belleville team, as uncompromising on sourcing as it is on roasting, practices their art with rare rigor and a good dose of humour – “work seriously, without getting caught seriously, because coffee is, above all, a pleasure drink”.
Belleville Brûlerie was founded by David Flynn, Thomas Lehoux and Jeff Marois. All three have been heavily involved in the renewal of coffee culture in Paris and got to know each other after discovering coffee on both sides of the world – Thomas in Australia and David in the USA. In 2010, driven by a desire to share more than a short black, they launched ‘Frog Fight’ evenings (a barista competition), before each created their own coffee shop a few months apart – Télescope for David and Ten Belles for Thomas (since sold). But a deeper urge to control the whole coffee chain and the quality of the raw product ultimately pushed them together to focus on bean sourcing and roasting. Joined by Jeff Marois they founded Belleville Brûlerie in 2013, named after the bubbling neighbourhood where their first premises was originally located.
“To best respect the freshness of the beans, the menu of original coffee changes throughout the year.”
Like fruit and vegetables, coffee has its own seasonality. Harvest times vary from country to country, region to region, and even variety to variety. To best respect the freshness of the beans, the menu of original coffee changes throughout the year. Their names pay tribute to the territories and the people who make these grains exceptional – Hunapu, Benjamin Paz, Jesus Moreno, Hallo Fuafate, Neptaly Bautista, Kopakaki, Nkonge.
Alongside single origins, Belleville Brûlerie has created a range of coffee blends with playful names so that everyone can find ‘Pantoufle’ at their feet (named after the morning blend and created for a gentle awakening). Each aromatic profile – radiant, muscular, balanced – is to be chosen according to your tastes and the moment of tasting. It doesn’t matter if you are a coffee fan or not. The recipes evolve according to the seasonality while still respecting the initial creation of the aromatic profile.
The coffee selected for Tribe Paris Batignolles is La Fontaine – an homage to their café-bar ‘La Fontaine de Belleville’. It is characterised by a beautiful balance where the sweetness in the mouth marries with a body clearly present in the cup.
Belleville Brûlerie was founded by three young partners:
David Flynn had his first contact with coffee in the United States, where he worked, in parallel with his studies, for a chain of coffee-shops whose name must not be mentioned. He trained with some the best baristas and roasters, including Trish Rothgeb, before arriving in Paris. Ensuing was a visit to La Caféothèque, the opening of Télescope and the launch of Belleville Brûlerie, where he holds the position of President, Director of Communications and Marketing and Director of Coffee.
Thomas Lehoux had his first experience of coffee culture in Australia. Back in Paris, his passion for coffee developed further and he joined La Caféothèque. He went on to open one of the first coffee shops worthy of the name in Paris, the Ten Belles, before launching Belleville Brûlerie. His role is business-to-business manager.
Jeff Marois was a client of Ten Belles from the start and is a specialist in the start-up world, having previously worked in both web and music. He joined David and Thomas to launch the Belleville Brûlerie adventure. Jeff is in charge of the financial and strategic side of the business.