While I’m typically an unwavering tea enthusiast, there’s something intriguing about savoring a cup of coffee when traveling. I love to sample the local flavors! In France, there are various unique coffee traditions and styles to explore. If you feel overwhelmed by the menu, here’s a brief guide to what you can expect to find on a coffee shop menu in France.
COMMON COFFEE MENU OFFERINGS IN PARIS:
Cafe: This is the espresso shot, bold and often a tad bitter. To tame its robust character, find a handy packet of sugar on the side for a touch of sweetness.
Allonge: Think of allonge as an espresso that’s been kissed with extra hot water to mellow out its flavor. Some places may refer to it as a cafe Americano.
Noisette: Here, we have the cafe (espresso) with a delicate drop of milk, adding a creamy touch to the rich coffee.
Cafe Creme: This is your espresso dressed in warm milk. It’s occasionally known as cafe au lait, but keep one thing in mind: the French prefer milk to cream. Low-fat milk in France is a rarity, whereas whole milk is the norm.
Filtre or Cafe American: If you’re in the mood for a cup of filtered coffee reminiscent of American-style coffee, look no further. This is your winner!
Flat White: For those who crave a potent caffeine kick, this concoction combines two shots of espresso with milk. It delivers a robust flavor profile.
SOME USEFUL TIPS:
- Pricing Quirks: Brace yourself for significant price variations between different bars and cafes. Standing at the bar for a quick coffee is a cultural experience. It also costs half as much as sitting down at the cafe.
- Seeking Sugar: If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll typically find sugar readily available on the bar. Look for it labeled as “sucre.”
- Delightful Pastries: Those delectable croissants perched atop the bar are indeed up for grabs. But, remember your manners and don’t grab them yourself. Politely request, “un croissant si vous plait,” and watch as your French accent charms the locals. Keep an eye out for freshly baked banana bread and lemon cakes, too.
- Afternoon Coffee Etiquette: In France, it’s a tad unconventional to request milk in your coffee after 12pm. To fully immerse yourself in the French way of life, stick to “cafe only” in the afternoon.
Whether you’re on a caffeine-fueled adventure or simply sipping your way through the café culture of France, we hope you have a delightful coffee experience. Bon appétit!