- After the Arabs brought coffee to the European market only in small quantities, trade began to flourish at the beginning of the 17th century.
- The French press and so, café au lait, was invented much later, probably around 1850 in France.
- 1659 opened the first French coffee house in Marseilles.
- In 1686 the Café Procope was opened – the first café in Paris
- In addition of being venue for artists, the café developed as a place of political exchange. It was liked by philosophers of the time, so the Enlightenment philosophy of France developed in the 18th century. From Voltaire and Rousseau to Balzac, Victor Hugo and Napoléon Bonaparte.
- The café is even linked to the founding of the fundamental ideas of the French Revolution.
- Of course you get Arabica coffee in France. Tradition, however, have rather dark roasted Robusta beans. This is due to the fact that in the former French colonies in West Africa Robusta is mainly cultivated – according to this the import was supported by the government.
French Coffee Preparation
café au lait is very common for breakfast. Traditionally, it is served in the “Bol”, a bowl-shaped dish. Important: Coffee and hot milk are poured at the same time, otherwise it is not real! And the coffee is from a french press.
If you order un café you get an espresso. However, if you want a large coffee, you should order a grand café or a café double.
Other French coffee variations are:
- café serré: an espresso with half the water (ristretto in Italy).
- café allongé or un américain: This espresso is stretched with hot water.
- café crème: French coffee with frothy milk, can be ordered as petit crème and grand crème.
- noisette: an espresso with a little bit of warm milk – similar to an Italian caffè macchiato
- déca: decaf
- café filtre: filter coffee, often with a plastic filter placed directly on the cup.
- café arabe: turkish coffee
- café brûlot: cognac flambéed with sugar and poured with coffee, orange liquor, cinnamon, cloves and cream.
- café au kirsch: black coffee in a bowl to which cherry brandy is poured from the carafe according to taste.
- mazagran: sweetened French coffee with brandy, Maraschino and Angostura on ice in a glass with a straw or traditionally a deep conical cup without a handle but with a porcelain base.
- café royal: 1 cup of strong coffee, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp cognac or brandy
- canard: is a black, sweetened coffee with Marc de Champagne.
In French cafes you get rather sandwiches and savory snacks with your French coffee. If you prefer something sweet, you should go to a Salon de Thé or a patisserie.
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