Wake up and smell the coffee!

France has a reputation for serving great coffee – but you need to know what to ask for!

Ask for ‘un café’ (s’il vous plait) and it will arrive black, and go down in one gulp.

Here is some useful vocab to make sure that you always satisfy your coffee cravings!


Un (grand) café…….

….glacé – iced coffee

…. Liègeois – iced coffee served with ice cream (optional) and whipped cream

….serré – extra-strong espresso, made with half the normal amount of water.

Un allongé/américain – espresso with extra water

Un express – plain black espresso

Un (grand) crèmeespresso with warmed or steamed milk. 

Un noisette espresso with tiny amount of milk in small cup.

Un déca or décaféiné – decaffeinated coffee.

(NB Un café au lait (milky coffee) would usually be served at home in a breakfast bowl – but would be understood in any café as coffee with milk)

….s’il vous plait


Coffee 2

Un café gourmand

Many cafés and restaurant now offer a ’café gourmand’ – an espresso served with a selection of ‘mignardises’ (mini cakes and mousses ).

The first “café gourmand” is believed to have appeared in restaurants in Paris around 2005 and probably runs alongside the shorter lunch becoming more fashionable in the 21st century. In place of the traditional starter, main course, cheese, dessert, and coffee, the “café gourmand” saves that litle bit of time – and also allows you to test several small desserts in one go.

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