Monday, April 21, 2014
How to order Coffee in Paris
Coffee in ParisIn a city where cafe sitting and coffee drinking is a large part of the lifestyle, it's important to know the basic bean-essentials
* Café (kuh-fay) is plain coffee with nothing added, but is strong as it is brewed like espresso.
* Café/Café Noir/Espresso/Express: A shot of espresso, often very dark and bitter
* Café Allongé: Espresso diluted with water
* Café au lait (kuh-fay oh-lay) is a popular French coffee style that has been popularized in America. In France, this is simply coffee with steamed milk, and it's almost always wonderful. You will sometimes get the coffee served in one pot or in the cup, and then a pitcher of steamed milk to pour in as you please.
* Cappucino, cafe latte - Milky coffee, plain and simple. Your average café will rarely differentiate between any of the terms. These drinks will be espresso-based with a large proportion of milk, and the milk at your average place will be sterilized, shelf-stable, and slightly chalky. The price will be more expensive than an espresso. Cappuccinos typically cost slightly more than a café crème, will taste generally the same, and often come with cocoa powder or whipped cream on top. We’ve never seen a Parisian order one. It’s popular among visitors, and priced accordingly.
* Café crème (kuh-fay khremm), is, as it sounds, coffee served in a large cup with hot cream.
* Café Décafféiné (kuh-fay day-kah-fay-uhn-ay) is decaffeinated coffee. You will still need to tell them you want milk (lait) or cream (crème) with your coffee
* Café Noisette (kuh-fay nwah-zett) is espresso with a dash of cream in it. It is called "noisette," French for hazelnut, because of the rich, dark color of the coffee.
* Café Americain (kuh-fay uh-meyhr-uh-kan) is filtered coffee, similar to traditional American coffee. Café Léger (kuh-fay lay-zjay) is espresso with double the water.
Other terms that will come in useful when ordering coffee or visiting a French café: Sucre - (soo-khruh) - sugar. Since French coffees are strong you may want to request more, or ask, "Plus de sucre, s'il vous plait," ploo duh soo-khruh, see voo play.)
Chocolat chaud - (shah-ko-lah show - hot chocolate
Finishing tips:Milky coffee is generally served at breakfast along with your meal. Otherwise, café (meaning espresso) is usually served after dessert as the finishing touch to your meal.
It’s not common to ask for half-caff, full-fat vs. low-fat milk, wet vs. dry coffee. Expect blank stares. French coffee tends to be quite bitter. You may need to use more sucre.
Iced coffee is hard to come by. You want to ask for café glacé. Most places will just pour coffee over ice, . Unless its actually on the menu.
It’s quite rare to see soy milk, but it can be found at Starbucks and we’ve spotted it at Loustic and Tuck Shop as well. Ask for soja (pronounce the j). Nutmilks? Good luck.
You’re welcome to ask for un petit pichet à lait, Milk on the side. But still except stares at some places. There is usually one kind of milk, and it comes from a box. It’s chalky, shelf stable and flavorless. Specialty shops like Coutume will use fresh milk.