No other country is as well-known as France for its “savoir vivre,” the art of living which, added to their passion for coffee, is an important feature of their national culture. With an annual per capita consumption of 5.6 kg of coffee, the country of love and the Eiffel Tower is positioned in the mid-range of the coffee consumption comparison between the Old and the New Continent.
Coffee is mainly enjoyed at home, prepared with coffee machines or the French Press (plunger coffee maker), an all-French invention dating back to 1900.
Despite the preference for a more intimate consumption, coffee bars are still well frequented and have a long tradition in France, as well. Typically, a café au lait will be drunk here, accompanied by a croissant or with “French toast”: toast covered with a few spoonfuls of jam. The French café au lait is half very hot and intense filter coffee (or double espresso), and half milk, often frothy. The perfect café au lait is made by pouring the milk and coffee into a thick bowl, known as a “Bol,” at the same time.
During the day, the French love to delight their palates with an espresso (“petit noir”) or a black coffee (“café noir”) sometimes diluted with water, known as a “long” coffee.
Often, black coffee with added Cognac is ordered after dinner. A Café Granit, a sweet and intense coffee with Moka liqueur, is another popular alternative.