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French Breakfast™ Blend
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French Breakfast™ Blend

In the winter of 1980, I flew to Paris on coffee business. It was my first visit, and my host Pierre Aurbach, “The man who had brought BIC to America,” had asked if I had wanted to stay in an American hotel or a French one. I had chosen to be billeted where a French executive would choose to stay, and Pierre had made arrangements for me at Regina, on Place de Pyramides, across the street from Tuileries Garden in the 1st Arrondissement. My rooms were just set in the mansard roof. They had tall windows, and a view of the Eifel Tower just left of center. As I remember it, the suite was opulently decorated, with eggshell blue walls, heavy hanging tapestries, and a canopy bed. I’m a New Yorker, and we don’t impress easily, but my first reaction to this deluxe Parisian hostelry, with its ancient and elegant elevator cage, was the chorus of an old 1919 Tin Pan Alley ditty,  "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?"

 

My first breakfast in Paris was fresh fruit, croissant, chocolate brioche (my first) and coffee. The coffee was served with heated milk from tall china pots with long gently curved spouts. They were poured high, together, and slowly into a heavy earless white bowl, large enough such that you had to pick it up with both hands, immersing all your senses in the singularly exquisite aura of coffee, and Paris. I came close to swooning.

 

I can only imagine that Edwin J. Gillies must have had a similar experience, a century before as I can still taste that first bowl of Parisian coffee in a cup of his "Registered" French Breakfast old Mocha & Java type blend; A roasty mixture of Gillies Standard™ and Rich Dark Roast™ coffees. -DNS (coffeeman)

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