Ordering the Right Coffee in a French Café

If you are in Paris on a holiday and you want to enjoy a cup of coffee, don’t let the language barrier spoil your experience. With the help of a language app, you can order coffee the way you like it and also enjoy the famous café culture in Paris.

When you ask for coffee or un café in Paris, nine out of ten times you will be handed a cup of espresso— strong black coffee. Espresso is the most commonly ordered coffee in Paris. However, there are few variations you can ask for and tailor the espresso according to your taste.

  • Une noisette

An espresso with a dash of foamed milk or a spot of cream

  • Un allonge

Weaker black coffee or espresso diluted with water

  • Un serré

The strongest coffee you will get to taste in Paris

  • Café filtré

Filtered coffee, also known as café américain

  • Café crème or café latte

Plain, milky coffee

  • Un café décaféine

Decaffeinated espresso

If you want your coffee to be milkier, say “plus de lait” (more milk). Don’t ask for a cappuccino in a Parisian café because you will be handed a cup of watery, milky coffee with a lot of froth. Cappuccino is Italian not French, so in order to get a coffee according to your taste, you can use a language app to get familiar with French espresso variations.

Fun Facts

  • People in France like to dip their baguettes (French bread) or croissants in their café crème (espresso topped with foam milk) during breakfast.
  • The French like to drink un express (espresso) post lunch or dinner.
  • There’s no take-away when it comes to French coffee, so if you are in a hurry you can drink your coffee standing at the bar. But if you are ordering from a corner store, you can say “àemporter” and take the coffee with you.
  • The French dip a sugar cube in the coffee and eat it when it turns brown (faire un canard). Sugar sucre is always served with coffee in the form of cubes or in little sachets.
  • You need to say “sur place” if you want to drink coffee inside the café or on the terrace.

There are several user-friendly language apps for smartphones and tablets such as “Learn French Quickly” by AlterGyan that can help you learn French in your spare time. You don’t have to carry your language book or enroll in a French online learning course. Install these apps on your smartphone and start communicating with ease.

When you type a word in English, the app will show you many phrases in French that contain that particular word. You can also hear the pronunciation of the phrase in the voice of a native speaker. Such apps to learn French are perfect for tourists or beginners who wish to assert their Parisian flare and enjoy their French holiday to the fullest.

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