Here’s Your Guide to Ordering Coffee in France

Nothing is more romantic than ordering a cup of coffee on a Parisian terrace. An opportunity to enjoy this hot beverage is definitely something you should do on your next French vacation.

However, if you aren’t familiar with French coffee traditions, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed with the options and the whole process. Here’s your guide to ordering coffee in France to be sure that you don’t get lost.


If you order a “coffee” in France, you will be given a small cup of extremely strong espresso with no sugar and no milk. This is an acquired taste, so be careful if you only order “un cafe!”

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au lait is an extremely popular choice in France. One shot of espresso is combined with a larger portion of steamed milk to create a creamy, delicious beverage that people absolutely love.


Cappuccino isn’t only made in Italy, also being found in France commonly. Thirty percent espresso, fifty percent steamed milk, and twenty percent froth create this rich, milk-rich hot beverage.

Cafe Americain

An “American coffee” is the name that the French give to a watered-down espresso. That’s right, the beverage that France sees as a weak version of coffee is just espresso with hot water added.