France is renowned for its rich culinary traditions, and coffee is no exception. Stepping into a French café, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world where coffee is savored slowly, conversation flows, and the atmosphere exudes a charming allure. If you want to embrace the authentic French coffee experience, here’s a guide on how to order coffee in France like a local.
Embrace the French Coffee Culture:
In France, coffee isn’t just a morning pick-me-up; it’s a way of life. The café culture is deeply ingrained in the French lifestyle, and a trip to the local café is a daily ritual for many. Whether you’re strolling through the vibrant streets of Paris or exploring a quaint village, you’ll find numerous cafés with outdoor terraces, inviting you to take a seat, relax, and watch the world go by. So, immerse yourself in the ambiance, grab a seat at a sidewalk café, and let the coffee experience unfold.
Know Your Coffee Choices:
When it comes to coffee, the French have their preferences. To order like a local, familiarize yourself with the most common options:
Café (or Café Noir):
This is your classic black coffee, served in a small cup. It’s strong and flavorful, akin to an espresso.
Similar to a cappuccino, this coffee is made with equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, topped with a layer of froth.
Also known as a Café Américain, this is an espresso diluted with hot water, resembling a long black coffee.
An espresso with a dash of milk, resulting in a slightly lighter and nutty flavor.
How to Order Coffee in French?
When you enter a French café, you’ll typically find the barista or server behind the counter. Walk up to the counter, make eye contact, and greet them with a friendly “Bonjour” (hello) or “Bonsoir” (good evening) depending on the time of day. Unlike in some countries, tipping isn’t mandatory, but a small gesture is appreciated for exceptional service.
To order, simply ask for your preferred coffee, using the appropriate name from the choices above. For instance, “Un Café Crème, s’il vous plaît” (A Café Crème, please). If you prefer your coffee black, you can simply ask for “Un Café.”
Take your time before ordering in France, embrace the city first
One of the defining features of the French coffee experience is the unhurried pace at which it is enjoyed. Unlike in some countries where coffee is often consumed on the go, the French take their time to savor each sip and engage in conversation with friends or even strangers at neighboring tables. So, once you have your coffee, find a comfortable spot, and embrace the art of slow enjoyment.
Pair with a Treat:
In France, coffee is often accompanied by a delightful treat. From buttery croissants and pain au chocolates to delectable macarons and tarts, there’s a plethora of delicious pastries to complement your coffee experience. Indulge in the French tradition of “le goûter” (afternoon snack) and relish the combination of flavors.
In conclusion, ordering coffee in France is more than just a transaction; it’s an opportunity to savor the rich cultural heritage and embrace the café lifestyle. So, when you find yourself in this enchanting country, step into a local café, confidently order your coffee of choice, and savor the moment as you immerse yourself in the timeless French coffee experience. Bon appétit!
French Dictionary for Coffee Lovers:
Café – Coffee
Café Noir – Black Coffee
Café Crème – Coffee with Milk (similar to a cappuccino)
Café au Lait – Coffee with Milk (similar to a Café Crème but with more milk)
Café Allongé – Long Black Coffee (espresso with added hot water)
Café Noisette – Coffee with a Dash of Milk
Ristretto – A Shorter and Stronger Espresso
Double Espresso – Double Espresso
Décaféiné – Decaffeinated Coffee
Café Filtre – Filter Coffee
Café Americano – Americano (espresso with added hot water)
Café Viennois – Viennese Coffee (coffee with whipped cream)
Café Viennois Chantilly – Viennese Coffee with Whipped Cream
Café Viennois Glacé – Iced Viennese Coffee
Café Liégeois – Coffee with Ice Cream
Cappuccino – Cappuccino
Latte – Latte
Macchiato – Macchiato
Chocolat Chaud – Hot Chocolate
Chocolat Viennois – Viennese Hot Chocolate
Chocolat Liégeois – Hot Chocolate with Ice Cream
Thé – Tea
Thé au Citron – Lemon Tea
Thé à la Menthe – Mint Tea
Thé Chaud – Hot Tea
Thé Glacé – Iced Tea
Sucre – Sugar
Sucre Roux – Brown Sugar
Sucre Blanc – White Sugar
Édulcorant – Sweetener
Lait – Milk
Lait Entier – Whole Milk
Lait Écrémé – Skimmed Milk
Lait de Soja – Soy Milk
Lait d’Amande – Almond Milk
Lait de Noisette – Hazelnut Milk
Crème – Cream
Crème Fouettée – Whipped Cream
Mousse de Lait – Milk Froth
Chocolat en Poudre – Cocoa Powder
Canelle – Cinnamon
Caramel – Caramel
Vanille – Vanilla
Verre – Glass
Tasse – Cup
Petite Tasse – Small Cup
Grande Tasse – Large Cup
Mug – Mug
Gobelet – Takeaway Cup
Useful Phrases for Ordering Coffee:
51. S’il vous plaît – Please
Je voudrais commander – I’d like to order
Merci – Thank you
Un café, s’il vous plaît – A coffee, please
Merci beaucoup – Thank you very much
Un café noir, s’il vous plaît – A black coffee, please
Un café crème, s’il vous plaît – A coffee with milk, please
Avec du sucre, s’il vous plaît – With sugar, please
Sans sucre, s’il vous plaît – Without sugar, please
Avec du lait, s’il vous plaît – With milk, please
Sans lait, s’il vous plaît – Without milk, please
Un cappuccino, s’il vous plaît – A cappuccino, please
Encore un café, s’il vous plaît – Another coffee, please
Un latte, s’il vous plaît – A latte, please
Un chocolat chaud, s’il vous plaît – A hot chocolate, please
C’est délicieux, merci – It’s delicious, thank you
C’est parfait, merci – It’s perfect, thank you
L’addition, s’il vous plaît – The bill, please