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Uncovering the Truth Behind French Coffee Myths

French Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide

Coffee has always been an integral part of French culture, where it’s consumed multiple times a day, not just for the caffeine fix but also for the social aspect. If you’re planning a trip to France or simply want to explore a new coffee culture, this article will cover everything you need to know about French coffee.

French Coffee Basics

French Coffee Definition

French coffee is often associated with espresso, the concentrated coffee beverage typically served in small cups. Espresso is the foundation of most French coffee drinks, from a simple espresso shot to a cappuccino or latte.

While espresso originated in Italy, it quickly spread to France, where it has become a staple in coffee shops and cafes.

History of French Press

The French press, also known as a cafetire or press pot, is another popular brewing method originated in France. It was invented in the early 19th century and has gained immense popularity ever since.

The French press is a simple yet effective brewing method that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in hot water before separating the grounds from the liquid by pressing a plunger down through a mesh filter.

Popular French Coffee Drinks


Caf is a staple in French culture that refers to a small serving of espresso. It’s typically consumed black and has a rich and bold flavor.

French cafes often serve a warm croissant, or a Pain au Chocolat with a cup of cafe to start the day.

Caf Crme

Caf Crme is similar to a cappuccino, but with a lesser amount of foam and more steamed milk. It’s usually served in a larger cup than an espresso or caf, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a milder taste.

Caf Americain

Caf Americain is a type of coffee that’s similar to drip coffee and is usually served with a side of hot water. It’s often consumed by those who prefer a milder taste as it has a lower concentration of coffee than an espresso.


Noisette, meaning hazelnut in French, is a single shot of espresso combined with a small amount of steamed milk and topped with froth. It’s usually served in a smaller cup than a caf crme, making it a perfect choice for those in search of a more potent flavor.

Caf serr

Caf serr, meaning tight coffee, is a French term for an extra-strong shot of espresso. It’s similar to a traditional espresso, but with a higher concentration of coffee, making it a perfect choice for those who need an energy boost.

Caf viennois

Caf viennois is a coffee drink that’s similar to a caf crme, but with whipped cream instead of steamed milk. It’s often served with a sprinkling of cocoa powder, making it a perfect choice for those with a sweet tooth.

Caf dca

Caf dca, meaning coffee with milk, is a typical French coffee drink that consists of equal parts of coffee and hot milk. It’s usually consumed in the morning as a part of a balanced breakfast.

Caf Gourmand

Caf Gourmand consists of a small cup of espresso accompanied by a trio of mini desserts such as macarons, madeleines, and tartlets.

Ordering French Coffee

How to Order Coffee in France

Ordering coffee in France is relatively easy as most cafes and coffee houses have a standard menu. If you want to order an espresso, you can ask for a caf, and if you want a cappuccino, you can request a caf crme.

If you’re uncertain, you can always ask the server for a recommendation.

Milk and Sugar Options

When it comes to milk choices, most French coffee shops offer cow’s milk or lactose-free milk. Soy or almond milk are less commonly found, so it’s important to check before ordering.

Sugar is typically served in a separate container on the side, allowing customers to add as much or as little sweetness as they prefer.

French Coffee and Pastries

Pastries are often served with French coffee and are a staple of French breakfast. Croissants, pain au raisin, clairs, petit fours, and smooth tarts are some popular choices that pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.

In conclusion, French coffee culture is steeped in tradition and boasts a vast variety of drinks that cater to the unique tastes of coffee lovers. Understanding the basics and ordering coffee like a local can enhance your experience and provide a peek into the vibrant French culture.

French Coffee Myths and Truths

French coffee is often associated with rich, robust flavors and aromatic brews. However, there are various myths surrounding the French coffee culture that need to be debunked.

In this article, we will explore the common misconceptions about French coffee and uncover the truth behind them. Myth: French Coffee is Made with French Roast Coffee Beans

One of the most common misconceptions about French coffee is that it’s made with French roast coffee beans.

However, this is far from the truth. French roast refers to the degree to which the coffee beans are roasted, not their country of origin.

The French roast coffee beans are typically roasted until they turn dark brown and have a shiny, oily surface. While this type of roast is popular in France, it’s not exclusively used for French coffee.

French coffee can also be made with other roast profiles, such as medium, light, or even single-origin coffee beans. In France, coffee is typically roasted to bring out the individual characteristics and flavors of the bean.

Coffee shops take pride in sourcing their beans from all over the world, selecting the best quality and roasting them to perfection. Myth: The French Press is the Most Popular Way to Make Coffee in France

Another common myth about French coffee is that the French press is the most popular way to make coffee in France.

While the French press is a popular method in France, it’s not the only way to make coffee. Espresso is the primary method of preparing coffee in France.

The iconic tiny cups of strong coffee are found in almost every coffee shop and cafe throughout the country. Espresso has been a part of French culture for over a century, and it is considered the standard drink in most coffee shops.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the popularity of alternative brewing methods such as the pour-over and AeroPress. However, traditional French cafes still rely on the classic espresso machine.

Truth Behind Common French Coffee Myths

There are several misconceptions surrounding French coffee culture. Here are some truths behind these common myths:

Myth: French coffee is dark and bitter.

Truth: While French roast coffee beans are roasted until they’re dark brown, French coffee, in general, is not always dark or bitter. French coffee can be smooth and well-balanced, with unique flavor notes and varying levels of sweetness.

Myth: French coffee is always served with pastries. Truth: While it’s true that French coffee is often accompanied by croissants and pastries, it’s not always the case.

French coffee can be consumed on its own, and it pairs well with a variety of foods, including sandwiches, salads, and savory crepes. Myth: French coffee is expensive.

Truth: While some French cafes may be expensive, many local coffee shops and cafes offer affordable options for coffee lovers. You can find affordable cups of coffee in France, especially in small cafes and bistros.


French coffee culture is rich and diverse, with many myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Understanding these myths and uncovering the truth can help you appreciate the nuances of French coffee and its culture.

French coffee is not just about rich and dark roasts or the French press. It’s a diverse world of flavors and brew methods that cater to different tastes and preferences.

French coffee culture has several myths and misconceptions surrounding it that need to be debunked. One of the most common myths is that French coffee is made with French roast coffee beans, but the truth is that coffee in France is roasted to bring out the unique flavors of the bean.

Additionally, while the French press is popular, espresso is the primary method of preparing coffee in France. It’s essential to understand the truth behind these myths to appreciate the nuances of French coffee and its culture.

Remember, French coffee is a diverse world of flavors and brew methods that cater to different tastes and preferences, and appreciation for this is key to fully understanding French culture.

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