Daily Archives: July 3, 2013

Paris A to Z. C is for…

C is for Café.

The café is a hallmark of Parisienne daily life. Streets upon streets are lined with wicker chairs, facing the road, with tourists and locals alike, sipping their coffees, eating delicious pastries. At the cafe, it is highly encouraged to be a flaneur, and observe the world the people passing by. I enjoyed sipping my coffee, nibbling on a tart au pomme and watching the cars maneuver the streets in a frightfully lawless way. Watching a bus make a right turn onto a rather small street with busy cars was more entertaining that one would think. 

The cafe culture in France goes back centuries, and was were the intellectuals would meet to discuss philosophical topics of conversation. Where artists would showcase their work, and where the leaders of the French Revolution would meet to discuss their plans.

“The quintessential French cafe has seating indoors and out with small (usually round tables) and plenty of wooden paneling and red and black decor. However today’s modern Parisian cafés come in all shapes and sizes some decorated in chrome and stainless steel but most of them still stick to the traditional intimate interior and outdoor sidewalk seating.” (Cafe de Flore)

The basics to ordering coffee in France: 

Un café – A strong brewed espresso, served in a very small cup. (Definitely not the giant coffee cups we see in the US).

Un café allongé – An espresso in a normal size cup with hot water or milk added upon request.

Un crème – creamy French coffee, what the locals order while tourists request a cafe au lait.


The A to Z Guide of Ordering Coffee In France 

BistroChic guide to Ordering coffee in France