WHERE: 58 rue d'Argout, 2ème arrondissement
WHEN: 8h-18h Monday-Friday; 9h-18h Saturday, closed Sundays
HOW MUCH: crème 4.2€; espresso 2.5€
METRO: Sentier (line 3); Étienne Marcel (line 4)
BEANS: Varying, on rotation (Lomi, Coutume, amongst others)
FOOD: Homemade pastries, sandwiches, wraps
New Zealand is a quirky place, with some memorable place names. Ever heard of Waipu? Why not? What about Cape Foulwind, the closest cape to neighbouring Australia?
Matamata is another Kiwi town that has made a name for itself. This small rural settlement at the base of the Kaimai Ranges was used as the location for Hobbiton in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Thankfully, New Zealand isn’t only known for its beautiful Middle Earth landscapes - our neighbours across the Tasman also have some damn fine coffee.
It should thus come as no surprise that you can find some damn fine coffee at Matamata Coffee in rue d’Argout, Paris 2ème.
Franco-Kiwi couple Gaël and Leigh Soucasse, along with their barista friend Gérald Arékonamand, kicked things off in September 2014 after dabbling in specialty coffee for a few years. The three out-of-towners (Gaël and Gérald being from Toulouse and La Réunion respectively) have done an excellent job in creating a great café with a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Seating 10-15 upstairs and more downstairs, it’s a great place to come for breakfast, lunch or for an afternoon pick-me-up.
The place was actually such a hit when it opened that the the Mayor of Matamata, Jan Barnes, wrote to the owners to express her and the town's delight at the prospect of being the namesake of a trendy Parisian café. See for yourself when you go there: the letter's up in the bathroom.