Skip to Content

How to Order Coffee in French (9 Ways) Plus Vocab and Expressions

So you’re heading to a French cafe and want to order coffee like a local? In this guide, you’ll learn how to order coffee in French. Plus tons of other expressions, vocabulary, and specifics about ordering coffee drinks in France.

coffee in french

Guide to Coffee in France

Coffee brings locals and tourists together. When you visit France, it would be great to know how to order your coffee craving in French.

In this guide, I break down all the specifics, both vocabulary and expressions. Plus 12 specific French coffee drinks to try on your trip.

To begin, let’s cover the most important question.

“Can I have a coffee please?” in French

Here is the simplest way to order a coffee in French.

  • “Un café, s’il vous plaît.” A coffee please.
  • “Je voudrais un café s’il vous plait.” I would like some coffee please.

When you order “un café” you’ll get an espresso. Espresso is the standard coffee in France.

coffee in france

French word for coffee

The French word for coffee is café. It is pronounced as (ka-FAY).

Coffee in French is le café (m).

How to say coffee in French

Coffee in French is café and is pronounced as (ka-FAY).

It is two syllables: ca·fé

Here’s how to pronounce coffee in French:

How to spell coffee in French

Coffee is spelled almost as it sounds: c·a·f·é

But as you probably noticed, the French word café has an accent over the “e”. This accent (é) is called an acute accent.

It is used to aid in pronunciation by indicating which syllable to stress when speaking.

le consulat paris cafe
Le Consulat Cafe in Paris, France

How to Place Your Coffee Order

To go beyond ordering a basic coffee, you’ll need to know the common types of coffee in France.

Here are the basic coffee drinks with a basic description.

6 Common Names for French Coffees

You’ll notice that espresso isn’t on this list. That’s because espresso refers to the process, not the drink. In France, coffee is espresso.

  1. Café: When you order a café you’ll get an espresso shot. This is the standard coffee in France, not the “drip” coffee popular in many American coffee shops. Here’s how espresso differs from drip coffee.
  2. Café au Lait: Either espresso or strong drip coffee with warm steamed milk. Similar to a latte.
  3. Café Allongé: This is a watered-down espresso, similar to an Americano. While you won’t find many options for drip coffee, this is a good alternative if you’re craving a coffee similar to home.
  4. Café Crème: This is the French version of the Italian cappuccino. It is espresso topped with foamed milk.
  5. Café Noisette: Named after the color the espresso turns after having some hot milk added. Noisette is French for hazelnut.
  6. Café Filtré: You won’t find many options for drip (or filter) coffee in France, except in some tourist areas. If you can’t find drip coffee, try café allongé (similar to an Americano).

Of course, you can also find many other popular coffee drinks, like ristretto, iced coffee, and cappuccino popular in Italy.

price of coffee in france

How French Coffee Shops Work

Much like coffee shops in Spain, cafes in France are different from most found in the United States or Canada. In France, you order a coffee drink, and they make it for you.

Then you will drink it.

None of this back and forth to add more sugar or cream, then more sprinkles and syrup. Just choose the drink you are craving and enjoy.

You can order coffee at bistros, brasseries (breweries), restaurants, and cafes which are easily found in most communities and towns in France.

In France, coffee is commonly enjoyed where it’s ordered. You won’t see people walking around with disposable coffee cups, in part because they’ve been banned. And because it just isn’t part of the culture.

When you order coffee, you’ll likely enjoy it at the bar or at a table.

how to order coffee in france

When the French Drink Coffee

Most coffees with milk are enjoyed with breakfast or for a mid-morning coffee break.

After lunch, espresso (without milk) is most common.

“Would you like coffee?” in French

  • “Aimeriez vous du café?” Would you like some coffee?
  • “Veux-tu un café?” Do you want a coffee?

“More coffee” in French

  • plus de café. More coffee.
  • plus de café s’il vous plait. More coffee, please.

These expressions can be helpful when asking your waiter for another shot.

How to say milk in French

It is probably no surprise that milk in French is lait.

What is cup in French?

In French, the word cup is tasse.

  • Cup of coffee: tasse de café
  • Half cup of coffee: demitasse de café

Plural of café in French

Making coffee plural in French is actually very easy. Not much changes.

Here’s how it looks:

  • One coffee: tasse de café
  • Two coffees: deux tasses de café

Learn more about forming plural words in French.

“To drink coffee” in French

  • Boire du café: to drink coffee
  • Consommer du café: to consume coffee
how to say coffee in french
Menu at French Tea House

Vocabulary for Ordering French Coffee

  1. Café déca (décaféiné): Decaf coffee
  2. Avec un peu plus d’eau: with a little more water
  3. l’addition s’il vous plaît: The check, please.
  4. Sur place: on the spot
  5. Chocolat chaud: hot chocolate
  6. Tasse de café: Cup of coffee
  7. Chaud: hot
  8. Trop chaud: too hot
  9. Froid: cold
  10. Sucre: sugar
  11. Cannelle: cinnamon

Ordering Coffee in France (Video)

Learn how to order a coffee in France with this short video. This video will help show the basic differences in coffee drinks with French/English subtitles.

how to order coffee in french

Have more travels planned? Here’s how to order coffee in Italian and Spanish.

Your Turn

What types of French coffees are on your list to try? Have a tip or correction? Please let me know. I’m just learning French – and working off of my old high school French. Any suggestions, corrections, and additions are welcome.