De Bon Matin: How to order a coffee in Paris

September 30, 2008 by  

In Paris, coffee is not something that is taken lightly. A noticeable difference is the staff in the Café. They are not disinterested, gum-chewing college students working through hangovers. The staff are noticeably older, more professional but often less sexy (although my mother informs me that, depending on your age and how sexy you find a hangover, the more mature allure of the Parisian staff might turn your crank).

If what you want is a big, strong, black coffee you should order a Grand Café Noir, aka double espresso (pictured front). For a single, just ask for Café Espresso (but they don’t really pronounce the final ‘o,’ making it sound more like Café Espress).

If bitter is not your thing, perhaps you’re more of a Grand Chocolat type. It is the richest, smoothest, thickest hot chocolate you can imagine, finished with some whip cream and chocolate dust (pictured left).

If you like your coffee with a lot of hot milk, you are after a Grand Lait (the one pictured top also has a touch of miel — honey).

Cappuccino (pictured right) in France is a shot of espresso with foamed milk on top, usually finished with a healthy shake of chocolate dust. Once the foam dies down or is consumed, you are mostly just left with strong coffee.

If you’re more of a coffee-with-hot-milk kind of person, you’re after a Café Crème. It is about a half/half mixture of espresso and warmed (not steamed or foamed) milk.

Filtered or drip coffee is not very common in France. And with all these delicious Cafés to try, why would you want drip? But in case you can’t do without, you can order an Americano. It will likely be a shot of espresso in a larger mug topped up with hot water.



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One Response to “De Bon Matin: How to order a coffee in Paris”

  1. Going Medieval in Carcassonne : Ruby Suitcase on October 27th, 2008 1:39 pm

    […] she brings coffee with hot milk and we sip our café crème while browsing through brochures of the area’s many […]

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