Transcript for Episode 228: Cafe Culture in France

Categories: France How To, French Culture, Paris

Discussed in this Episode

  • Un café s’il vous plaît
  • Un déca s'il vous plaît
  • Un café allongé s'il vous plaît
  • Un Américain s'il vous plaît
  • Un café léger s'il vous plaît
  • Un noisette s'il vous plaît
  • Un café crême s'il vous plaît
  • Un petit café crême s'il vous plaît
  • Un grand café crême s'il vous plaît
  • Le café du commerce à Figeac
  • Le café de la gare à Figeac
  • Un café-liégeois s'il vous plaît
  • Un chocolat-liégois s'il vous plaît
  • Un café gourmand s'il vous plaît
  • Un thé gourmand s'il vous plaît
  • Un thé noir s'il vous plaît
  • Un thé vert s'il vous plaît
  • Une infusion s'il vous plaît
  • Une tisane s'il vous plaît
  • Un café serré s'il vous plaît
  • Une carafe d'eau s'il vous plaît
  • Un verre d'eau s'il vous plaît
  • Qu’est-ce que je vous sers ?
  • On s’occupe de vous ?
  • Oui on a déjà pris ma commande
  • L’addition s’il vous plait


Annie Sargent 0:00
This is Join Us in France Episode 228. Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and I’m glad to be with you on this sunny morning in Toulouse. On today’s episode Elyse and I chat about cafe culture in France. This episode is part French lesson. Like what are the words you use in order to order your coffee in Paris? Part French culture lesson. So, cafe etiquette in France, what do you do? What do you not do? And at the end a little bit of a rant from me about finding the perfect cafe in Paris.

Annie Sargent 0:37
Show Notes and photos for this episode are on join us in This is where you’ll find all the French expressions we teach you today all written out.

Annie Sargent 0:50
There won’t be an episode two Sundays from now on April 14, because I’ll be visiting Nice and the Riviera with a dear friend of mine and I cannot travel and podcast at the same time. It still takes me eight hours to put together an episode, even all these years later. But I will release an informal un-edited Nice special report for Patrons that Sunday. So that’s April 14.

Annie Sargent 1:17
Join Us in France is brought to you by Patreon supporters and Addicted to France, the small group tour company for people who want to enjoy France to the fullest with zero stress. I still have a few spots left for the walking tours on May 8 to Montmartre and Pere Lachaise. And this may 7 to Saint Germain des Pres and the Latin Quarter. I hope you check them out on I would love to meet you in real life!

Annie Sargent 2:17
Good morning Elyse!

Elyse Rivin 2:18
Good morning Annie!

Annie Sargent 2:19
Or good generic time of the day you don’t we we don’t know when people are listening. It might be night for them!

Elyse Rivin 2:24
That’s true. But it’s morning, late morning for us. And I’m sitting here with my wonderful coffee.

Elyse Rivin 2:32

Annie Sargent 2:32
Right! Today we’re talking about cafes in France. How to order. So it’s going to be a bit of a mixture of language of how you can ask for these things in French.

Annie Sargent 2:34
And also the culture of cafes, because it’s quite different than what you’re used to. If you are from North America. I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Australia yet or New Zealand, so I don’t know.

Elyse Rivin 2:58
I would guess, maybe wrong. Yeah, that it is similar, but…

Annie Sargent 3:02
We don’t know yeah.

Elyse Rivin 3:02
But we don’t know.

Annie Sargent 3:03
We don’t know.

Elyse Rivin 3:04
But of course the whole idea of a cafe in North America or in Australia or even I guess Canada, whatever. It’s an it’s an idea that’s relatively recent. Compared to in Europe, where cafe culture like in France or Italy, or I think also in Spain, is something that goes back a long, long way .

Annie Sargent 3:30
Yes, we’ve had those things for a long time.

Elyse Rivin 3:31
A long time.

Annie Sargent 3:33
So I want to start by saying that cafe coffee, the flavor of coffee is highly subjective, highly, highly subjective.

Annie Sargent 3:44
The flavor of it. I’ve had people tell me that either in France coffee is wonderful, or that is complete crap. Yeah, I’ve heard them both. Right.

Elyse Rivin 3:54
They are both true, they are absolutely both true. They are both true, and it obviously depends enormously on the cafe you go to.

Elyse Rivin 4:05
And that’s the other thing. It’s like, Cafe is both the place and the drink. And so it can be confusing to people. I’m going to a cafe to have a…

Annie Sargent 4:05

Annie Sargent 4:15
No no, but I’m talking about the flavor of the drink.

Elyse Rivin 4:17
I know you’re talking about. Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 4:19
Can I just tell an anecdote because you know, I’m kind of nuts about coffee in general. When I first came to live in France, I was used to drinking what in the United States is called a French roast.

Annie Sargent 4:32

Elyse Rivin 4:32
Which is a dark roast coffee.

Annie Sargent 4:34

Elyse Rivin 4:35
And it’s very similar to Italian roast, or what is commonly known here as espresso coffee. Which is very, very darkly roasted coffee beans.

Annie Sargent 4:44

Elyse Rivin 4:46
And I went when it came to live here in Toulouse, there are a couple of places that are famous and have been around I guess for a long time that roast their own coffee beans. And so I went and very naively went in and asking for French roast. It’s kind of like asking for French fries in France, you know, it’s like, okay, it’s France, which…

Elyse Rivin 5:04
And the guy looked at me and he said to me, he spoke a little English. I was speaking in French, but he knew what I was asking for. And he said to me, we don’t do French roast here. And I said, Why? And he said, because what, what Anglos, I don’t even know if you knew I was American. He said, What Anglos called French roast is actually the way the Italians, grind and coffee.

Elyse Rivin 5:30
And he said, In France, people in general, don’t like coffee that roasted, it’s too bitter.

Annie Sargent 5:36

Elyse Rivin 5:37
So what they have here is basically what is called a medium roast coffee.

Annie Sargent 5:40

Elyse Rivin 5:41
And now you get even a lighter roast coffee.

Annie Sargent 5:43

Elyse Rivin 5:43
Which has become fashionable, and I was so disappointed. So much for French roast coffee! There’s no such thing!

Annie Sargent 5:51
Right. When my parents came to visit us the first time, I thought. Well, I’m not sure what coffee they’ll want. And so I just bought French roast coffee. And my mother after a few days said this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had. I don’t want this coffee!

Elyse Rivin 6:04
Which is too bad you didn’t know me, then you would have just sent me the beans, I would have loved it. You know? It’s very strange.

Annie Sargent 6:12
It’s very subjective. It’s what you like. Right? And the question is, when people ask, what’s the best one? I always, like. How am I supposed to know what’s the best one for you?

Elyse Rivin 6:26

Annie Sargent 6:26
It just depends on your, on your taste!

Elyse Rivin 6:29
Right. And it’s, it’s also true, it’s very interesting, because aside from the question of how well roasted the beans are, I’m not even sure how that works anyway. But you’re not someone who spends as much time in cafes I do.

Annie Sargent 6:44
No, I don’t.

Elyse Rivin 6:46
And and especially here in Toulouse, I have tested lots and lots and lots of cafes. And there are literally places that have said I will not go back to because I can’t stand the taste of their coffee.

Annie Sargent 6:56

Elyse Rivin 6:56
And that has nothing to do with whether it’s a coffee with milk not, etc, etc.

Annie Sargent 7:01
You just don’t like the flavor.

Elyse Rivin 7:02
I just don’t like the flavors don’t like the flavor.

Annie Sargent 7:02
Right. So it’s really important for for you visitors to understand that it’s subjective, and that you will hopefully find something that suits you. And we’ll give you some general guidelines of how you order different things and things like that. But I mean, there’s no, there’s no God of coffee, that decrees what it’s supposed to taste like. I mean, you’d have to have for everything…

Annie Sargent 7:28
Okay, so in America, you have Starbucks, and people have had Starbucks for decades. And if you order a Starbucks a specific way, in New York, or in Wisconsin, or in California, you get essentially the same drink.

Elyse Rivin 7:41
Right. Right.

Annie Sargent 7:42
So it’ll be the same size. It will be made the same way. They use the same techniques, they use the same beans. I mean, it should taste the same.

Elyse Rivin 7:49
It should taste the same.

Annie Sargent 7:50
We have nothing like that in France.

Elyse Rivin 7:52

Annie Sargent 7:53
Except, I mean, we do have Starbucks.

Elyse Rivin 7:54
We have a few Starbucks.

Annie Sargent 7:55
We have… in Paris, we have a bunch of them.

Elyse Rivin 7:57
A bunch of them. Yeah.

Annie Sargent 8:00
So if if you… I think Americans in general are used to knowing exactly what it’s going to be like.

Elyse Rivin 8:08

Annie Sargent 8:08
And you have to get that idea out of your mind. Because in France, even if you… Say, say you, you decide I’m going to order Cafe Au Lait all the time “cafe au lait”. Okay? Well, a cafe au lait in one Cafe is going to be different than another one and another one and another one. It’s there is no standard. So there are some general rules. Okay, so I’ve got 20 points I want to make about it.

Elyse Rivin 8:35
20 of them, that’s a lot!

Annie Sargent 8:36
20 of them, that’s a lot, yes. But some of them are going to go fast.

Elyse Rivin 8:39
But to just add to that, that, besides the fact that there… It’s very un-standardized, which is basically what you’re talking about.

Annie Sargent 8:49

Elyse Rivin 8:49
There are several companies that are all over France that are the companies that actually produce coffee beans that are sold to the cafe.

Annie Sargent 8:58

Elyse Rivin 8:59
And sometimes you can actually get an idea if you have a specific taste in coffee. Because very often, interestingly enough, I don’t know if it’s not every cafe, but very often the insignia of that brand.

Annie Sargent 9:13

Elyse Rivin 9:14
Is on the cups.

Annie Sargent 9:15

Elyse Rivin 9:15
Or there’s a sign in the cafe.

Annie Sargent 9:18

Elyse Rivin 9:19
That gives you an idea of where they get their coffee from.

Annie Sargent 9:22
Right. Right.

Elyse Rivin 9:23
If you’re someone who’s spending a certain amount of time in France, not just a few days.

Annie Sargent 9:28
You’ll get to recognize…

Elyse Rivin 9:29
You’ll get to recognize

Annie Sargent 9:30
A few brands and you’ll know. Oh, they serve that one or this one or whatever. Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 9:30
So it does help.

Annie Sargent 9:36
Okay, so the first thing is that most French people drink black espresso.

Elyse Rivin 9:44

Annie Sargent 9:45
And they drink it black. And they don’t add coffee or cream or any sugar. I mean, or cream or anything like that to it.

Elyse Rivin 9:53
You think most people drink it without sugar? Because that’s not my experience.

Annie Sargent 9:57
The few people I know who always put sugar in their coffee, feel terribly guilty about it.

Elyse Rivin 10:02
Oh, ok.

Annie Sargent 10:03
So my brother is one. He always puts sugar in his coffee. But the his wife looks at him cross-eyed, his sister looks at him cross-eyed.

Elyse Rivin 10:13
No, I that’s interesting. That’s, I don’t know that many people who don’t, don’t put a little sugar in their coffee. But you’re right.

Annie Sargent 10:21
It just depends.

Elyse Rivin 10:22
It just depends. However, what I was going to add too was that most people drink coffee black during the day. But I know a lot of people who drink coffee with milk in the morning.

Annie Sargent 10:33
Right. That’s a breakfast thing.

Elyse Rivin 10:34
It’s a breakfast thing.

Elyse Rivin 10:35
And it’s an espresso you will get.

Annie Sargent 10:35
We’ll get back to that in a second. So, if you just want a coffee, like all the other French people, you just say “un cafe s’il vous plait”.

Annie Sargent 10:43
And what will come out is an espresso. It’ll be about a quarter cup in volume of liquid. You know, it’ll vary a little bit. And they will bring it with some sugar on the side.

Elyse Rivin 10:58

Annie Sargent 10:58
Usually not sweetener.

Elyse Rivin 11:00
That’s right.

Annie Sargent 11:01
They usually don’t include sweetener. So if you are somebody who wants the sweet taste, but you’re diabetic, or you’re trying to lose weight, or whatever, and you use sweetener instead. Bring it. Have it in your bag. Because some places will have it, most places will not.

Elyse Rivin 11:18
in your experience because I don’t use it. And I do put a little bit of sugar in my coffee. Yeah, I actually do.

Annie Sargent 11:25
But see, you feel guilty about it!

Elyse Rivin 11:27
No, you’re making me feel guilty about it. I don’t feel guilty about it.

Annie Sargent 11:30
I put a lot of sugar in my coffee!

Elyse Rivin 11:34
I take a piece you know, I mean, in France, that’s the other thing.

Elyse Rivin 11:36
That’s the other thing is that sugar is in pieces, it’s not powdered sugar, like you get in Italy.

Annie Sargent 11:42
You’ll get both. It depends.

Elyse Rivin 11:44
I tend to break off one, if they’re not the teeny little ones, I use a half.

Annie Sargent 11:48
So there’s different shapes and sizes, and all of that.

Elyse Rivin 11:51
But I was gonna ask you, because it’s really not my experience at all. In cafes that don’t all automatically put out artificial sweetener. In your experience, if you ask do they have it? I don’t even know.

Annie Sargent 12:10
It’s hit and miss.

Annie Sargent 12:10
It’s hit and miss. I never. No I never ask anymore because some…

Elyse Rivin 12:11

Elyse Rivin 12:16
You just assume they don’t.

Annie Sargent 12:18
Yeah, I just assume they don’t if they don’t have it on the table or something. You know, in America, restaurant owners like to standardize. But in France, restaurant owners and cafe owners like to do their own thing.

Elyse Rivin 12:32
That’s right.

Annie Sargent 12:34
You know, and the rest of the world be damned.

Elyse Rivin 12:36

Annie Sargent 12:37
You know, they just do their thing. And so just because one Cafe is going to have a little, you know, like condiments and sugar packets on the table all the time. And that will usually include coffee stirreres, and maybe sweetener, whatever. Because that one does it doesn’t mean another one will do it. So don’t expect anything.

Annie Sargent 13:00
Most of the time. I know this, because my husband’s a diabetic and so he can’t have sugar. And he would rather drink it straight straight, then add real sugar. And so most places, they don’t give you a sweetener.

Elyse Rivin 13:13
Mm hmm.

Annie Sargent 13:14
No, they don’t. So that’s that’s one thing. So that’s “un cafe s’il vous plait”.

Elyse Rivin 13:18
Un cafe is always that.

Elyse Rivin 13:20
Un cafe is always espresso, nothing added to it.

Elyse Rivin 13:23
And if people want to have an idea volume of they’ve never been here at all. Because I was just in a place that specializes in both roasting coffee and and selling coffee to drink. And there, believe it or not, was a place where I did a test have never had coffee. And it was so disgusting to me that I will never go back. I hated their coffee!

Annie Sargent 13:44
You didn’t like it.

Elyse Rivin 13:45
But what was interesting is that they had a chart on the wall with the volume of liquid then they have according to things. And according to them, for those people who are interested in something as ridiculous is that an espresso is between 10 and 12 centiliters.

Annie Sargent 13:59

Elyse Rivin 14:00
Which is very small.

Annie Sargent 14:01
Yeah, it’s pretty small.

Elyse Rivin 14:02
It’s really small.

Annie Sargent 14:03
It’s like a quarter cup or something. Maybe a third of a cup, maybe.

Elyse Rivin 14:07
No I think it’s really a quarter of a cup. I really that would be about it.

Annie Sargent 14:10
Yeah. So then there are people who want decaffeinated coffee.

Elyse Rivin 14:15

Annie Sargent 14:15
And we call that “un deca”

Elyse Rivin 14:17
Un deca

Annie Sargent 14:18
Un deca. You don’t have to say on decafeine. If you want to you can.

Elyse Rivin 14:22
It’s hard to say!

Annie Sargent 14:23
It’s hard to say.

Annie Sargent 14:24
Don’t say it!

Annie Sargent 14:24
So we just say un deca. All right?

Elyse Rivin 14:27
And a lot of people more and more. I eavesdrop as I sit in my cafes. Wow, this is part of my world was sitting in a cafe.

Annie Sargent 14:35
That’s what you do!

Elyse Rivin 14:37
I eavesdrop. I watch people, I make notes. And I think about things I love it. More and more people are doing things like asking for decaf.

Annie Sargent 14:47
But in that case, you get the espresso or do you get it drip deca?

Elyse Rivin 14:50
You get an espresso. All the rest of it is the same. It’s whether you want espresso, okay, whatever.

Annie Sargent 14:55
Very good. All right, so then you have people like me who don’t like espresso, it’s too strong. And there are several ways to ask for a little more water in your coffee.

Elyse Rivin 15:06

Annie Sargent 15:06
You still get the espresso. They still run the espresso machine, but they will add a little bit of water to it.

Elyse Rivin 15:12
And the key is a little bit.

Annie Sargent 15:14
A little bit and that means like you go from a quarter cup to maybe a third cup it’s really not that much bigger, okay?

Elyse Rivin 15:21

Annie Sargent 15:22

Elyse Rivin 15:22
In some places actually have had to be a half a cup and then it’s sometimes two diluted.

Annie Sargent 15:26
It just depends again. So that’s called un cafe allonge.

Annie Sargent 15:27
Yes. stretched out.

Elyse Rivin 15:27
Yes. Which I like. What does it mean? It means lying down stretched out.

Annie Sargent 15:42
Or un Americain. Yeah, is another way to say that because they’ve noticed that Americans like don’t like their coffee quite as strong as all that. Or you could also ask for “un cafe leger”. Un cafe leger, which is normally what I order because sometimes they have a choice of… Sometimes the brand of beans that they use. They have some that’s roasted a little less than the others. So if you say “un cafe leger” they might bring you a kind of a more of the breakfast coffee in America or the what you call those you call them. Like “du cafe doux”? In France you can buy…

Elyse Rivin 16:18

Elyse Rivin 16:18
Beans that are called “doux”.

Elyse Rivin 16:22
I have no idea what that’s called in the States.

Annie Sargent 16:23
And that’s and that’s about the roast.

Elyse Rivin 16:25
I think it’s just a medium roast.

Annie Sargent 16:27

Elyse Rivin 16:27
I think that’s where I’m be i but i, to me, it has to do more with the way it’s made. But I’m not sure. Because I don’t know if that exists in the States.

Annie Sargent 16:34
Right. So the three I just mentioned is either allonge, or Americain, or cafe leger.

Elyse Rivin 16:39
Right. However, if you go into a cafe that’s not a Starbucks, a French Cafe. If you have an American or English accent. I’ve had this happen too. They automatically assume that you’re going to want an Americano?

Annie Sargent 16:40

Elyse Rivin 16:58
And you so you have to make sure that you’re very clear about what you’re ordering from them. Because they just have this because of Starbucks and all the rest of that. It’s like, oh, you’re American, this is what you want.

Annie Sargent 17:08
And they’ve had so many people look at them. Like they bring an espresso. They asked for “un cafe s’il vous plait” and they bring them an espresso and they’re like, what is this, that’s like a thimble.

Elyse Rivin 17:18
But I always ask for an allonge. If I’m in a French coffee shop.

Annie Sargent 17:22

Elyse Rivin 17:22
Cafe. I’m always afraid that I’ve asked for an Americano, they will add even too much water. Yeah, so I’m not sure

Annie Sargent 17:31
But but again, there’s no standard that says that in a cafe allonge you put you know, this amount of water extra and an Americano, you put this amount…

Elyse Rivin 17:40
You’re absolutely right. It’s not standardized. But I’ve really had it vary a lot.

Annie Sargent 17:45
Yeah, it varies a lot. Yes. So then, this is what I like to order is cafe au lait. Un cafe au lait s’il vous plait. This is typically two thirds of a cup to a cup of liquid altogether. Sometimes they bring it to me with the milk inside of it already. Sometimes the milk, they bring bring the milk on the side. Sometimes the milk is frothed. It’s always warm.

Elyse Rivin 18:10
It’s always warm.

Annie Sargent 18:13
But sometimes it’s warm and frothed and sometimes it’s just warm. So it again, cafe au lait, it depends

Elyse Rivin 18:20
In terms of volume, though, I find that that varies enormously. It depends. Yeah, cafe cafe and that they a lot of cafes make a difference between a small cafe creme and the cafe creme. There’s a real big difference because they’re there are two three cafes where I go a lot in in town. I don’t usually get that every once in a while I’m in the mood, but most of the time I don’t I get an allonge more. But I noticed that they will have one that looks like about a half a cup. And then I assume it means like it’s a double to whatever, but then you get a bigger one. And that’s when it’s like a full cup. If we’re talking about measuring cup sizes, you know, yeah, sizes so carefully,

Annie Sargent 18:59
So, cafe au lait or you know, or cafe creme. So, okay, so we have three levels of amount of milk that they will add.

Elyse Rivin 19:07

Annie Sargent 19:08
The least amount is going to be called noisette. Okay. Noisette is going to be maybe a half… a teaspoon’s worth a teaspoon more or less.

Elyse Rivin 19:21
It’s the noisette that is basically on top of an espresso size.

Annie Sargent 19:26
Right. So it’s it means hazelnut. So it’s about the size of a hazelnut.

Elyse Rivin 19:30

Annie Sargent 19:30
That they will add. And it could be milk. It could be cream. It could be whole milk. It could be whatever milk they have. In France, you cannot specify what milk you want with your coffee.

Elyse Rivin 19:45
Do you ever find. I’ve always assumed that it was simply standardized what we would call a 2%.

Annie Sargent 19:53
Right. It’s usually that, but some places don’t.

Elyse Rivin 19:57
I mean I have no… I don’t think they ever serve cream real?

Annie Sargent 20:00
I’ve had it be cream.

Elyse Rivin 20:02
Have you had it be cream?

Elyse Rivin 20:03

Annie Sargent 20:03
Yes, yes. It just depends. It really depends. Most of the time it’s just 2% milk.

Annie Sargent 20:07
The most common one.

Elyse Rivin 20:10
That’s the most common for everything.

Annie Sargent 20:12
But how much they put… So noisette is going to be the least amount. Barely, barely, you know, a half a teaspoon or something.

Elyse Rivin 20:20
Because the amount of coffee basically a noisette it is whatever they be add to it. It’s just the size of an espresso. They don’t add more coffee than that.

Annie Sargent 20:30
No, it’s just an espresso with…

Elyse Rivin 20:32
So it’s really tiny sometimes.

Annie Sargent 20:33
No, it’s really tiny with a with a teaspoon. Yeah, yeah.

Annie Sargent 20:37
Then you could ask for cafe creme.

Elyse Rivin 20:39

Annie Sargent 20:39
And again, you were mentioning that you’ve seen it in two sizes. So you could say un petit cafe creme ou un grand cafe creme.

Elyse Rivin 20:46
And some cafe actually make a difference and some don’t.

Annie Sargent 20:49
Right. Or cafe au lait is going to be more milk than that. And then a few places in Paris now you can ask for a latte.

Elyse Rivin 20:58
Can you?

Annie Sargent 20:58

Elyse Rivin 20:59
Is it really like a latte? Like people know from Starbucks.

Annie Sargent 21:03
It’s similar.

Elyse Rivin 21:04
Which means much more milk and much less coffee.

Annie Sargent 21:07
Right. So a latte they will have one shot of espresso (unless you ask for two) and, and have quite a bit of milk, you know, quite a bit of milk. But it’s still not going to be the you know, the grande, or whatever you call it.

Elyse Rivin 21:21
The volume on all of these is much, much smaller.

Annie Sargent 21:24
Right? Right. Right. Now, I’ve heard I’ve read. I was reading some blogs to prepare for this. And I’ve heard people say that in France, it’s a faux pas to ask for a cafe au lait outside of breakfast. I’m sorry. I do it all the time. I’m French. You do what you want!

Elyse Rivin 21:43
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think if people are trying to imitate the, the the idea of what people do when. It’s not that it’s a faux pas, it’s that most French people, most French people once they get done with breakfast, if they have coffee, they have it usually without milk.

Annie Sargent 22:04

Elyse Rivin 22:05
But there’s no such thing as a faux pas. You can have a cafe au lait whenever you want. I mean, you know, I mean, it’s just it’s not like they’re going to say no, you can have one now it’s breakfast time!

Annie Sargent 22:16
Yeah, that’s right. Okay, so then you have the cappuccino. Yeah, cappuccino. So let me see my my.

Annie Sargent 22:26
So it’s Cafe Au Lait. But if you ask a cappuccino, it should be frothed.

Elyse Rivin 22:31
It should be that’s what the definition of a cappuccino.

Annie Sargent 22:34
It should be frothed.

Elyse Rivin 22:35
Now, I need to make this as a warning.

Elyse Rivin 22:40
If you’re used to drinking a cappuccino, you need to know that it has become very fashionable in a lot of cafes in France, to make a cappuccino with whipped cream on top. And sometimes they don’t ask you, sometimes they just assume that you want that you want that whipped cream, as opposed to just frothed milk.

Elyse Rivin 23:04
And so if you if you don’t know how… I’m not sure what to do, to say, to tell people if they don’t know how to ask for that in French. Because in a lot of touristy places, of course in Paris, and whatever, the waiters all speak English, so you can ask. But sometimes it’s mentioned on them card on the menu, and sometimes it’s not. And so I have a tendency now when I… Sometimes I do like a cappuccino because that’s my equivalent of your cafe au lait in the afternoon.

Annie Sargent 23:32

Elyse Rivin 23:33
I will ask to make sure that it’s not that it’s not whipped cream.

Annie Sargent 23:38

Elyse Rivin 23:39
That is just frothed milk. Because, unless you love whipped cream, it’s sometimes a shock that you get this coffee, but this swirl of whipped cream on top.

Annie Sargent 23:51
And sometimes they will sprinkle a little bit of cocoa and over it and sometimes they won’t.

Elyse Rivin 23:56
Sometimes they won’t.

Annie Sargent 23:57
It just depends.

Elyse Rivin 23:59
think that unfortunately, that was like one of those things where let’s imitate what’s done in a lot of other places like Starbucks. Yeah, add something else to it. And yeah, that’s what has happened.

Annie Sargent 24:09
Right. Let me go back for just a second to this idea that you can’t ask for specific milk. This is important for people who are vegetarian. Well, not so much vegetarian but vegan. If you go to a cafe, and you want like almond milk, they probably don’t have it.

Annie Sargent 24:26
They don’t have it. So don’t. Yeah. So get your coffee black. And then you won’t have this problem because the in France is very unusual for cafes to have soy milk, or almond milk, or any sort of different milk.

Elyse Rivin 24:26
They don’t have it.

Elyse Rivin 24:42
It’s extremely unusual. And I have to say that there is one very big Starbucks in Toulouse, which has been open now for a couple of years. And I noticed that only recently, because it’s a franchise Starbucks. Yeah. Only recently have they started announcing that they have almond milk and soy milk.

Annie Sargent 25:05

Elyse Rivin 25:06
See, so

Annie Sargent 25:07
So, even at the Starbucks for two years they didn’t have almond milk!

Elyse Rivin 25:11
Because they are catering… Because Toulouse is not like the center of Paris.

Annie Sargent 25:16

Elyse Rivin 25:16
They’re catering largely to a French population anyway, but I was in there is just the other day. And it was someone who was clearly either American or Australia and or Canadian. I’m not even sure which. And who would asked if they had it. And the young woman behind the counter with a very big smile said Oh, yes, we finally do that. I thought Oh, yeah.

Annie Sargent 25:38
Yeah. So that’s good. Okay, I know Americans and Australians like to order Flat White.

Elyse Rivin 25:46

Annie Sargent 25:47
Or macchiato and things like that. Some places they won’t have any idea what you’re saying?

Elyse Rivin 25:53

Annie Sargent 25:55
I don’t know what you’re saying! I don’t know what a Flat White is!

Elyse Rivin 25:58
Outside of Starbucks, as far as I know, it does not exist.

Annie Sargent 26:02

Elyse Rivin 26:02
Okay. flat white is a new thing. That is largely, you could say it’s kind of like a cappuccino only it’s got more coffee, it’s stronger. In terms of the amount of coffee.

Elyse Rivin 26:15
More. It’s either more shots, or I’m not sure how they do it. But it’s still got froth in it. And a little bit of milk, but more froth. But my experience is that it is stronger. The ratio of coffee to milk is more coffee. That’s my experience.

Annie Sargent 26:15
Oh, so more shots?

Annie Sargent 26:36
Okay. All right.

Elyse Rivin 26:37
And macchiato, as far as I know, is simply an Italian word for something similar to a noisette.

Annie Sargent 26:46
I see. I yeah, I don’t know. I have no idea what it means.

Elyse Rivin 26:50
Because a couple of times. But

Annie Sargent 26:51
And even when I looked it up, I different people…

Elyse Rivin 26:54
Flat white is an invention as far as I know, of Starbucks, unless it comes from somewhere else. And I, you know, my brain gets addled a bit. And so a couple of times, I’ve gone into the cafes, which I love to do. And for some reason my brain comes out with macchiato, instead of noisette and I’ve had that… You know, how dogs sometimes look at you when you talk to them. And they don understand, you know?

Annie Sargent 27:15
They tilt their heads.

Elyse Rivin 27:16
Yeah, it’s like, the waiter will go like. What did you just say? I’m going to kind of hit myself and go I think I mean, noisette. That, you know, as far as I know, as far as I know, basically, that’s the only difference. One is Italian and one is French.

Annie Sargent 27:30
And also you have to be really aware of this: that it’s very different if you’re ordering in a large city such as Paris or Lyon or Marseille or whatever, or even Toulouse. Or, you know, le Cafe de la gare in Figeac or something.

Elyse Rivin 27:31

Annie Sargent 27:31
Not at all the same thing.

Elyse Rivin 27:42
No, not at all.

Annie Sargent 27:49
So, all a lot of these things don’t don’t have. I mean… because you are used to standard Starbucks service, you would think that maybe we’d have standard French Cafe service. But we don’t, we don’t.

Elyse Rivin 28:06
No, we don’t.

Annie Sargent 28:07
Some places like nobody ever asked for even a cappuccino. They might like look at you like

Annie Sargent 28:15
Some of these waiters, you know, they’re 16 what do they know?

Elyse Rivin 28:18
Well, not only that, but it’s true. If you’re outside of tourist areas, they just will not know what you’re talking about.

Annie Sargent 28:25
Right. Right. Another thing is in France we have this thing called cafe Liegois et chocolat Liegois. They’re not coffees at all. Well, not really.

Elyse Rivin 28:35
Not at all!

Annie Sargent 28:36
So this is a ice cream. Yeah, a ball of coffee ice cream. And they usually put some sort of coffee syrup on top. And if you ask for chocolat Liegois it’s going to be chocolate ice cream, with some sort of chocolate syrup on top and usually whipped cream. So this is a desert.

Elyse Rivin 28:55
It’s a dessert.

Annie Sargent 28:56
Right. If you ask for that for breakfast, they’re gonna probably be you a health warning.

Elyse Rivin 29:01
Probably. I’ll probably tell you is it too? They were they were we don’t do that for breakfast. Right.

Annie Sargent 29:08
Another thing that’s really really common in France is the cafe gourmand.

Elyse Rivin 29:12

Annie Sargent 29:13
Le cafe gourmand.

Elyse Rivin 29:14
Wonderful invention.

Annie Sargent 29:15
Right. So, that’s at the end of the meal.

Elyse Rivin 29:18
This is not for breakfast either by the way everybody.

Elyse Rivin 29:20

Annie Sargent 29:20
No not for breakfast, either. Just at the end of a meal. Lunch or dinner doesn’t matter.

Annie Sargent 29:25
You can ask for, and it’s usually on the menu.

Elyse Rivin 29:29

Annie Sargent 29:30
Ask for a cafe gourmand. Which means you will get an espresso with sides of bite size pastries. So it could be maybe they’ll have a macaron. Maybe home maybe they’ll have

Elyse Rivin 29:46
Some miniature flan usually

Annie Sargent 29:49
A little creme brulee. Maybe they will do a tiny little oh le truc de Bordeau la, les canelles de Bordeaux.

Elyse Rivin 29:56
Right, or a mini piece of brownie.

Annie Sargent 29:58
Or mini piece of brownie, mini piece of cookie. And some places they have several. So, with your little coffee will come 3, 4, 5, 6 little bites of dessert. Usually those costs more. And sometimes it’s just a couple of them.

Elyse Rivin 30:14
That’s right. I’ve never seen less than three. To me. It’s one of the greatest inventions in French cuisine in the last century. The cafe gourmand. You can do a cafe gourmand and even asked for an allonge. And they even now do it now the gourmand. If you if you if you’re really not someone who drinks coffee. And it’s basically a sampler of desserts. And I’ve never seen less than three. And I’ve never seen more than five. And depending on the…

Elyse Rivin 30:46
But what my one experience with that is, is that most places you can’t substitute things. In other words, you get the choices that they put together for that day or that week.

Annie Sargent 30:56

Elyse Rivin 30:56
And they’re very often, you know, small bites of things, which I think is brilliant. Because that way if you can’t make a decision about what deserve to have, you know, you can have… And then there are a couple of places. And I know one on Toulouse that I’ve just recently discovered where you… They were young French people who run this cafe, it’s a kind of a cafe, it makes a little bit of food at the same time. But they’re cafe gourmand is so enormous that you need three people to finish it.

Annie Sargent 31:25
Right. Some places, it’s, it’s a lot. But usually they’ll charge you, you know, 10 euros for it. You know, the price will probably tell you exactly how much is in it.

Elyse Rivin 31:36
But it’s a lot of fun if you want to have a real little sampler of different desserts, and usually, there’s always one you don’t want. So if you’re with somebody else, they’ll eat it. You know, whatever. I mean, it just it, it’s really fun, I love it.

Annie Sargent 31:50
I’ve seen them like maybe a mini baba au rum, maybe a mini strawberry tart. Some places don’t have those. It just depends. So, if you’re in the mood for coffee at the end of your meal and a little bite size of something sweet cafe gourmand is excellent.

Elyse Rivin 32:07
It’s a wonderful idea.

Annie Sargent 32:08
Yeah. And then tea and coffee, tea and herbal tea. Yes. So I call it I ordered that. So you can ask for anti war then you will get black tea. Right? or green tea. Right? Exactly. Get only T was CVS, epically black tea, or green tea, if you don’t spit. Some places will let you spell specify everything. Some places will bring you a nice box, right? with different choices and the way you and you choose some places, all they have is black tea. And that’s what we get. And then as you go, that’s it. That’s like the caffeine you call mass. A few jack. I’m sorry, if there is one. Maybe it’s lovely. I don’t know. I’m just making this up. You’re making it up. Yeah, make?

Annie Sargent 32:55

Annie Sargent 33:00

Elyse Rivin 33:02

Annie Sargent 33:03
same thing. So some places I asked for Earl Grey. And they understand and they bring me or gray. I’ve never had much luck. I also like breakfast tea. But I’ve hadn’t no luck asking for breakfast. You know,

Elyse Rivin 33:17
basically, if you want to have this is another thing.

Elyse Rivin 33:22
Francis become more tea aware? Yeah, in the last 10 years. So before that cafes, and it didn’t even have to know, if you ask for tea. They will ask you sometimes what kind, right, but they’re still talking about either a black tea or a green tea for them. And if you ask for tea, and those specify, for instance, Earl Grey, or green tea, you will get the equivalent of like a Lipton’s plain ordinary, right, right black, which is kind of like an English Breakfast without being called English breakfast. Right? Right. You have to go to a nice, really nice cafe or, or I settled take to get a right choice of tea. Right? Right.

Annie Sargent 34:05
So So in most cafes, they won’t have a big selection. Some places do some places, some places, I’m happily surprised that they bring out a box with a few choices. You know, it’s very nice.

Elyse Rivin 34:15
However, if you are interested in herbal tea, and I’ve seen this happen a lot, where

Elyse Rivin 34:24
Americans particularly don’t know that you’re not supposed to use the word t as soon as they hear the word t they think a tea with caffeine, right?

Annie Sargent 34:32
So the herb, the what you call an herbal tea is called seasonal or you know, future Okay, in season or in a physio. And we never ever ever call it

Annie Sargent 34:47

Annie Sargent 34:48
That sounds like something for the cows. Yeah.

Annie Sargent 34:51
So in design enough is young. Yeah. Okay. And they will bring you sometimes they have a choice of

Annie Sargent 34:58
tea more. Whatever. Meal Yeah, sometimes come on me.

Annie Sargent 35:04
Sometimes you have a choice. Sometimes they don’t. And it’s not really standard but if you’d like an herbal tea at the end of the day, it’s designed or, or,

Elyse Rivin 35:14
and be very careful to not ask for tea and and sometimes I’ve heard people ask for mint tea. Most cafes unless they really are a cafe that also has a nice selection of all kinds of teas and herbal teas. If you ask for that they will give you a green tea with mint. So you have to know whether you really are wanting caffeine or not.

Annie Sargent 35:40
But if you’re in a place that is Middle Eastern, obviously they will bring you the coffee or tea or amount with no added sugar it with a lot of sugar in it is delicious. Oh, I

Annie Sargent 35:51
love that story. Very love that stuff.

Annie Sargent 35:53
Okay. Another way you can order your coffee. And I’m I doubt most of you will do that. But it’s called Blue cafe city. cafeteria is even stronger and smaller than espresso. Yes. Okay.

Annie Sargent 36:09
It’s undrinkable.

Elyse Rivin 36:11
It’s like the shot of espresso you get in Italy, which is literally just enough to put a little liquid in your mouth, swallow it. And then you can go fly to the moon. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 36:23
so symbol. Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 36:24
is a symbol of the strongest coffee you could possibly imagine. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 36:28
so that’s called cafe city, which means tight, yes, tight, tight coffee. If you know, Harry, it’s perfectly okay to just go to the bar the counter and ask for your coffee there. Sometimes they charge less for coffee, if you just get it standing up. Not always. But if you if you sit down at a cafe, they will assume that you have time and you may not have a waiter rushing to your table within seconds. Exactly. You might have to wait a few minutes. But if you are enough Hurry, just go to the counter. Ask for now, I would like to say something.

Elyse Rivin 37:07
In in Paris, it is the general policy, which is of course an unwritten law. Because I’ve actually talked to barristers in Toulouse about this. It is basically an unwritten law in Paris, that if you go into a cafe and go up to the counter, it will be less money than if you sit down inside or outside. It makes no difference. It is an unwritten law. So of course an individual cafe can make the decision exactly not do that. However, cafe latte, I’m sure they don’t.

Annie Sargent 37:37
I’m not sure.

Elyse Rivin 37:38
I don’t know. I may have only been there once and I you know, it was an expensive enough fair. Yeah. But it is a fact that you know, a lot of cafes that I’ve been to in Paris, it is extraordinarily amazing to see that it’s half the price. If you stand at the counter. Yeah, and that doesn’t matter what it is, it could be a cafe, it can be. So it doesn’t make any difference, they charge you less than charging less, because they’re assuming you’re not going to stay around for a while right to lose. And I don’t know if this is true in other regional big cities, they will not do that. And now I discovered that it was a decision made collectively by all the cafe owners introduce to not make a difference in price so that it doesn’t matter whether you’re standing or sitting, it will be exactly the same price

Annie Sargent 38:26
or cafe. The price of coffee in France. Okay, if you say if it’s in replay most places, you will pay a euro 50 you know, 50 to a euro 70. Right. It’s more or less that right now there are places that charge way more than that. Okay. The touristy place.

Annie Sargent 38:49
Will wheelchair it will charge as much as eight euros. I’ve never seen that. I’ve seen it up. Well, it was a caffeine early. Okay. Benefit across from pleasurable. Yeah, there’s this beautiful in the cafe and it was raining cats and dogs and I had my camera with me. So I run into the cafe I sit down. It was pretty it was I took some photos is beautiful. That’s why it was expensive. 850

Annie Sargent 39:16
Yes. And my niece got a tea I think and hers was same it was it was almost 20 bucks. That’s outrageous. For to drink. That’s

Annie Sargent 39:26
like that’s really outrageous. So I’ll never

Annie Sargent 39:28
go get even if it’s raining cats and dogs. I’m never going into that thing ago. I mean, I

Elyse Rivin 39:33

Annie Sargent 39:34
come on, it’s like five times more. I’m bad at math. But if you for the fourth time when I asked her carefully, I usually pay. You’re talking terrorists prices? No, no, I’m too I’m talking here in the south and to lose. If I’m if I asked for kefir is going to be 253 5350

Unknown Speaker 39:52

Annie Sargent 39:52
Yeah. Yeah, we’re like, Hey, you know, my little cafe in the next village? It’s less

Elyse Rivin 39:59
of an for sure.

Annie Sargent 40:01
So it just depends,

Elyse Rivin 40:02
you know, go to the cafe for the cafes on the plastic capital. Oh, yeah. And especially is already two euros. Yeah, just an espresso. So it’s touristy. It’s a means the main big square. Right. Right. Right.

Annie Sargent 40:19
So prices will vary, Larry, but they have to post the prices in public. Yes. So if you if this is something that concerns you, the price you’re going to pay, before you enter there is it has to be posted somewhere it has to be posted somewhere my law. So yeah, so look at look for that.

Elyse Rivin 40:37
And not only that, but if people pay attention, the the the sign will say, sitting down and standing up to different prices,

Elyse Rivin 40:49
particularly in Paris. So you will have the list of at the counter. And then the thing if you’re in this sitting in

Annie Sargent 40:54
the guy, I never look at these lists. I mean, sometimes I just go

Elyse Rivin 40:58
times, I if it’s a cafe, I don’t really know.

Elyse Rivin 41:04
Depending on the situation, but I just asked a few times. Yeah, to get an idea.

Annie Sargent 41:10
Another thing is you can always ask for water to go with your coffee. Yes. Always, always, always. So you can ask for overdoses will play so so you could say anger fit in play right now would be perfectly fine any time of day? Or if there’s several of you could ask, you know, for three coffees and a half dollar. Yes. Okay. So that’s, that’s the rule, they have to, if they serve you anything that they’re going to charge you for, you can ask for tap water.

Unknown Speaker 41:37

Elyse Rivin 41:40
Sometimes people are uncomfortable with the idea that if you are several people, and only for instance, supposed two or three people, and only two people want to order something to drink, it’s okay. You can sit down and ask for a glass of water. Just a glass of water. Yeah. Now you can’t do that unless other people are ordering. Right. But there it is. It can happen that Yeah, you can just say, you know, this just doesn’t want to order cafe and they have to see if I play right.

Annie Sargent 42:07
Yeah, they might try to upsell you and say I’m behind you. Right, you know, but you know,

Annie Sargent 42:13
that’s it. Okay, some common things that cafe, wagers might say to you is guess crucial to say? Yes. Because we say meaning, what do I bring to you? What do I serve you? Okay, then when you place your order, maybe another waiter will come by and say also give the Who? And that means?

Elyse Rivin 42:37
Are we taking care of you?

Annie Sargent 42:38
Yeah. Have you been taken care of? And to which you can say yes or no, we know whatever. If you want to be you.

Annie Sargent 42:48
You can say yes or no. Or you could say honor the Sharpie marker mom who

Elyse Rivin 42:52
was dictated Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s sophisticated. But I mean, we have we have people on in either listen to the podcast, who are pretty sophisticated, I’ve had the experience of having a waiter. And this is particularly case, it’s waiters, mostly in cafes, interestingly enough, and not in restaurants, but mostly mostly waiters, who just come and stand there and wait for you to order? They don’t say anything at all. They just kind of look at you. And just like, Yeah, what do you want, you know, and that’s

Unknown Speaker 43:19
true, this,

Unknown Speaker 43:20
really, if you’re standing there, and they’re just standing there, waiting for you to say something, okay?

Annie Sargent 43:25
When you’re ready to go, you can say let this young person who play and the problem is in France, sometimes it takes them forever to bring you the bill. And so what I do is I just get up and I go to the counter and I pay everyone, I don’t wait, do not wait, do not be fuming in your seat going. When are they going to bring me the bill? I I think without exception, they must put a ticket down on the table, which means you know, the take the ticket and you go up to the counter, and some places, you will just point to the table where you were and they keep track grey table number. And so they can just say, Oh, you were table 15.

Elyse Rivin 44:04
But very often I find that they will ask me for the paper, you know, so yeah, so yeah, you didn’t get up and not wait for the waiter. Make sure you take that little paper, right?

Annie Sargent 44:11
They put a paper on your on your table. That’s what it’s for. Otherwise, just say I was over there. But probably they know where you were like, you know the

Elyse Rivin 44:19
guy on if it’s a big player,

Annie Sargent 44:21
but the person doing the counter keeps an eye on who’s paid and who hasn’t. So it’s, it’s fine.

Elyse Rivin 44:27
The other thing is and it is perfectly okay, when you are really interested in watching the world go by or if you want the real what I like to call the real French experience to sit and linger. Right? A while in a cafe. Right?

Annie Sargent 44:44
A while meaning an hour, an hour and a half. Not all day, right? No, but

Elyse Rivin 44:49
you can sit for an hour with a cat. Oh, yeah, that’s perfectly all right. And

Annie Sargent 44:53
I have a lot of acquaintances and friends who are bloggers or they are authors. And they are ask Is it okay? If I bring my laptop and work in a cafe? Right? All right. So there it you have to know that French people don’t bring their laptop to the cafe into Starbucks, except for Starbucks, then they do. But if you sitting by yourself at a cafe, you will sometimes see some people looking at their phone. But mostly they’re sitting there looking the world go around the world go by that’s mostly they’re not they didn’t go to the cafe to look at their phone, they want to see cafe because they wanted to just sit and enjoy the sun or, or look at, people go about going by and think and whatever. If you want to take your laptop and work, it’s fine. But I would advise you to one not ask for a plug. So if you if there is a plug in right next to you, you could sit in a place where there’s a plug and plug your phone and your usual I think they would be unusual if you might get a dirty look, okay, if you do, just leave, just pay and leave and go somewhere else. And

Annie Sargent 46:11
cafe culture is so totally different than America in France. I mean, Catholic culture in France is so totally different than it is in America. In America, people go to Starbucks, it seems to read their laptop. I don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

Elyse Rivin 46:28
People go to Starbucks, because it’s the culture of Starbucks. I think it was conducive to people having I’ve been to Starbucks where people have business conferences where people sit around for hours. It’s part of the mentality. And the philosophy of a place like Starbucks that invites people to have they have arm chairs. They have nice, very comfortable seats and things like why would you go to Starbucks to work big. I love working in a cafe. Okay, I absolutely adore. One of the reasons I like living in France, is because I am more apt to work on ideas and write things down sitting in a cafe you

Annie Sargent 47:08
bring in a paper or a No, no, you’re right. Okay. Okay. And that’s not so strange people pulling out a notepad or some writing and writing or reading. That’s not unusual. It’s the it’s the whole screen the screen thing that’s unusual,

Elyse Rivin 47:24
it is unusual, however, you what you will notice. And this is not typical in cafes in the heart of touristy Paris, for instance, but other parts, you will see that more and more cafes will have a sign saying whether they have Wi Fi or not. Yes, that’s so people can bring whatever it’s either their phone or their iPad, or

Annie Sargent 47:42
if you sharing the Wi Fi with a few hundred people is going to suck. I

Elyse Rivin 47:46
mean, I think that’s why I noticed that it is done here at the Starbucks. Because they even have plugs. I mean, it’s designed for

Annie Sargent 47:56
that, right? Starbucks is different. It’s very different most cats

Elyse Rivin 47:59
phase. No, you’re right. And the other thing is, and this is kind of a little off the side, but it has to do with the idea of doing this. There’s a safety issue. If you’re in a Starbucks, because I go to the one here as you can tell, I actually go to cafes a lot.

Elyse Rivin 48:17
I’ve seen a couple of the people that I know we’re kind of what you could call I guess regulars who bring their their computer and their work. They feel comfortable enough actually getting up going in reordering something or going to the bathroom. And they not do that. Yeah, never do that in a regular cafe. Specially if you’re sitting outside Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 48:40
Nothing on a table. Yeah, no, you don’t leave a book. You don’t leave a laptop. You don’t leave a phone. Yeah, it’s not something that’s done. Yeah.

Annie Sargent 48:49
So if you really want to sit at a cafe in Paris, and right for an extensive amount of time, I would say either go to Starbucks or go to their if you see other people doing it, then it’s probably fine in that that that’s probably the culture in that particular cafe. Or you could try it and if you get dirty looks move on to another one.

Unknown Speaker 49:11
I don’t

Elyse Rivin 49:12
think I’ve ever seen anybody get dirty looks for sitting and reading or writing for time. I think after about an hour if you’re a cafe that’s order something else you’re already so Michelle or something like that. Yeah, you know was so hyper hyper hyper touristy. After an hour they might ask you to ask for another coffee. Yeah, but I’ve never seen anybody get dirty looks for sitting and and writing a little bit. Oh, no, no, or reading a book or No,

Annie Sargent 49:38
I mean, the guy who comes on he pulls out his laptop and he plugs it in our end is going to be working there for all day.

Elyse Rivin 49:45
Honestly, any other than Starbucks. Have you ever been in a cafe that has plugs?

Annie Sargent 49:52
Yes, I have. But they’re not meant for the public. For them vacuum the place? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 50:00
well, that’s what I’m saying. Yeah, then

Annie Sargent 50:02
for sure. whatnot. Right You know, they don’t install extra there. They’re not there for the public right there because they need them for for the vacuum cleaner or something. Right? But but not Yeah. See, for me, I go to a cafe to get away from work when I go to a cafe it’s I don’t certainly don’t take my work with me. If I’m in Paris, it’s different because I don’t have my you know, my workstation with my extra screens and all of that but I’d rather work from home that

Unknown Speaker 50:30
Yeah, then from a Catholic but

Annie Sargent 50:33
that’s just me I’m very French that way I guess I

Annie Sargent 50:35
like to

Elyse Rivin 50:36
well I don’t know about that. I think that also depends because us you have tourists obviously want to see the world go by. But I think a lot of people who live in an urban environment they go to a cafe to be outside

Annie Sargent 50:50
but to be outside to get away from work

Elyse Rivin 50:52
out on things and just yeah and sit and enjoy the fresh air or sometimes the site and that why a lot of people will hang out in a cafe right?

Annie Sargent 51:03
And a lot of people in Paris have very small apartments right and so they can’t really invite their friends over at home because they don’t even have enough chairs or big enough table for everybody so very often people in Paris will meet at a cafe right because then there’s room for everybody you know that’s what it’s for and that’s why cafes in Paris or so for because you know even locals enjoy them but I find that’s true here and

Elyse Rivin 51:32
yeah there’s the weather is nice. Oh yeah high school kids meet and hang out together in a cafe certainly do. working people at lunchtime or right after work will move me

Annie Sargent 51:43
Yeah, phase

Elyse Rivin 51:44
don’t have just coffee. They also have beer and juices and wine and wine and all kinds of other photos and things like that. Yes,

Annie Sargent 51:55
that’s perfect. Yeah, there’s no such thing as a cafe in France that doesn’t have a liquor license. That’s right. So they you know, at least I don’t think so. I’ve never seen one they can always serve you a glass of wine

Annie Sargent 52:06
or beer or soda,

Annie Sargent 52:09
soda you know? juices

Elyse Rivin 52:12
whatever famous the famous drinks that up in France people drink a lot in the summer which are with these syrup’s you know these? Yeah, fruit syrup’s. You know you can get a Perrier with a syrup in a ya know, things like that.

Annie Sargent 52:24
However, like your husband the milk with milk?

Elyse Rivin 52:27
Strawberry. Yeah. Someone who never drink anything other than beer, wine and coffee, except in the summer. Who likes this cold milk with strawberry? Sarah it is the most unbelievably.

Annie Sargent 52:42
So we’re sitting next to their Luxembourg Gardens. Right and we’re enjoying a nice ray of sunshine. And he shows up any orders milk with strawberries?

Elyse Rivin 52:52
Like, what a pink. It’s called.

Elyse Rivin 52:59
only applies. So like, yeah, yeah, it’s like really? Okay. Okay.

Annie Sargent 53:05
Like, the syrup. It’s like Monte Carlo are gonna do would be you know, the check kids drinks. And if you have American kids, they probably wouldn’t like

Annie Sargent 53:17
it. Maybe. Maybe Yeah,

Annie Sargent 53:19
but they wouldn’t. They definitely wouldn’t like the mint. No, I don’t think it was a French minty syrup is very, very, very.

Annie Sargent 53:28

Elyse Rivin 53:28
if you want if you want to go to a place that does not have alcohol, then you have to go to a salon detail. salon De De De De De is something that is very popular now. And yes exist 15 years ago, and it’s

Annie Sargent 53:45
rare. 15 years ago. It’s very rare.

Elyse Rivin 53:46
It’s common. Now there were lots of them. And they specialize in all kinds of teas. All kinds of coffees, hot chocolate and dessert, right

Annie Sargent 53:55
desserts very

Elyse Rivin 53:56
seriously wonderful desserts. Yeah, there you go. Might if they sell food also have a glass of wine, but they wouldn’t have a hard liquor life. No, no, no, they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t.

Annie Sargent 54:07
So So that’s it. That’s that’s Catholic culture. Now there’s something I want to say that I kind of touched on it a little bit at the beginning. But I want to get back to this. Somebody. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Cora. Normally. It’s, it’s a site where people ask questions. And some of the times the questions are very thoughtful. And sometimes they’re really idiotic. Like, like, so somebody asked me specifically, and they can tag you and ask you questions. And this person asked what are the most authentic and legendary, in parentheses frequented by the provisions and not tourists, Parisian bistros and cafes. So you want it to be legendary? And but French people only? Like, are they gonna check idea the tour?

Unknown Speaker 54:56
No, but I gotta say,

Annie Sargent 54:58
Oh, you guys get out?

Elyse Rivin 55:00
No, but I think people you know, we’re talking about that. There is such a thing as famous cafes. Right? There really are. And then you have famous cafes that are

Elyse Rivin 55:12
I would say still a mix of real persuasions, and then tourists. And then you have famous cafes like the ones at Sasha mouth, which are almost exclusively

Annie Sargent 55:22
through the floor.

Annie Sargent 55:24
It’s just come on. I

Annie Sargent 55:26
never hear anybody speaking French in there ever

Elyse Rivin 55:28
like, but if you go to some of the ones in Montparnasse, of course, you have real Parisian right? Yeah. But it’s because they’re not just cafes, they’re also brasseries, right?

Annie Sargent 55:41
But also, you know, if this person says he wants it to be authentic and legendary, but if it’s legendary, it’s been written up in blogs, books, right? If it’s been mentioned, at any point by Rick Steves can be very sure that it’s going to be full of visitors, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you don’t, if you want, locals, then get away from all the places that are up. There’s a blog written about it. If you heard about it from TripAdvisor know, it’s going to be tourists.

Unknown Speaker 56:18
tourists. What you Well, I,

Unknown Speaker 56:19

Elyse Rivin 56:20
suggestion is this unless you don’t venture out of major tourist areas, where let’s say we’re talking about Paris, if the parents is nice and big, and it’s got zillions of cafes, in lots of different neighborhoods, what’s the best thing to do is leave the heart of the major tourist areas wander around, and when you find a beautiful cafe with nice tables outside,

Annie Sargent 56:46
sit down there, right? Try it out. Try it, try it.

Elyse Rivin 56:49
Yeah, because those are usually cafes that are appreciated by the people in a particular neighborhood, right? You have every in Paris, you have everything from the dingy, grungy, local little cafe that you would not want to set foot in, yes to really beautiful cafes with big terraces that are in neighborhoods that most tourists would never go to unless they are wandering, because there’s nothing to see this. It’s just a local area with maybe some a nice car for maybe you see nice buildings, maybe you see some trees in front of you see people walking up and down the sidewalk. But that’s where you get an idea of what people really do.

Annie Sargent 57:26
Right in Paris, Paris, and you’re going to I don’t know, the catacombs. Yeah. Right around the catacombs, there’s going to be able to tourists, yes. But if you walk away a little bit, even, you know, 500 meters, then it’s not tourist town anymore. It’s regular French town.

Elyse Rivin 57:44
It’s just old 14 around this, right. So.

Annie Sargent 57:47
So that’s what you need to do. But if you feel the need to seek a recommendation, either on a blog or on a group, or in Facebook, or anything like that, well, if you if it’s recommended, probably it’s going it’s it hasn’t been recommended a ton. It’s going to be mostly tourists and feeling more secure the regular cafes that that French people go to all the time. Don’t get written up. Now. They don’t get recommend. No, they don’t recommend regular old cafes. But I’ve never had a tourist asked me Hey, can you recommend a regular old cafe know they always want the best or the most famous? Or the most of these are the most that Well, you can’t have it both ways

Elyse Rivin 58:30
you either those exist, but they will certainly have tourists. And right now if people want to go to legendary cafes, the three areas I would suggest are exactly right across from

Elyse Rivin 58:45
Central now.

Unknown Speaker 58:45
Yeah, well, you have the do that goal. And I’ll do my goal for you to flow.

Annie Sargent 58:50
When you have Montparnasse where you have the dawn,

Elyse Rivin 58:53
yep. And you have the others that are wonderful that are huge, because they’re also brasseries, and they’re famous, also add the two or three around the chat today, where the theaters are, yeah, Sarah Bernhardt theater. And I think the other ones just called the theater of Paris, but I’m not even sure. And there are two three cafes there that have beautiful with art deco and Art Nouveau in writers, right. And they are used by the people who go to the theater and by the tourists and this and that, but they’re famous and they’re beautiful inside, right,

Annie Sargent 59:23
and they are going to cost more. So and so every you know, every day provisions don’t go there. I mean, they might go there one day like,

Annie Sargent 59:34
or they might go there right across from the greedy phone says, you know, it’s mostly going to be beautiful old Cafe is gorgeous.

Unknown Speaker 59:41

Annie Sargent 59:42
right, it costs a lot of money. Cuz

Elyse Rivin 59:45
he was saying that when I mentioned to you about just before, if you want to do something really out of the way you really and really explore, for instance, the GABA list, which is what you know, there are quite a few train station in Paris. It’s a beautiful, beautiful, renovated Art Nouveau building. Yeah. And it has magnificent historical monument cafe inside it. That’s our new low. But I would say it’s not worth it to take a bus and go out of the way just to go to that neighborhood just right into it. But if you happen to be in the 10th or 11th, around the small

Annie Sargent 1:00:20
right then, yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful. Beautiful, right? You have the cafe latte by the by the Opera House, which costs a fortune. Yes. And you are. But if you ask for recommendations on TripAdvisor, or on the Facebook group, guess what people are going to tell you, they’re going to tell you about the famous ones.

Elyse Rivin 1:00:38
Yeah, exactly.

Annie Sargent 1:00:40
Which is fine. But you can’t say I want famous and locals only because they don’t check it out the door. Okay. And also, you have to know that there’s 2.3 million Persians, and at any given time, 23 million visitors each year. Okay, so the ratio here 2.3, verses 23 million, that’s enormous. Of course, there are a lot of visitors in Paris, and there are lots of cafes, right? There are lots of so if you go a little bit outside, sometimes all it takes is walk 500 meters. Yeah. And you will find the places that nobody talks about. Nobody writes a blog about nobody certainly podcasts about because what am I going to do on the podcast, give you a list of normal little old French cafes? Nobody’s gonna listen to that. It’s not interesting. Yes. Then just little old friend said, Look, if you’d like to caffeine, you come in, you know, but nobody writes them up

Elyse Rivin 1:01:34
there. Which is why it doesn’t mean that bad in a neighborhood that’s not highly to Right, right.

Annie Sargent 1:01:39
So somebody else asked, Does anyone have recommendations for non touristy local bistros in Paris? I’ve tried searching all threads, but I’m mostly finding touristy places with mostly English reviews. I’ll be staying near the Luxembourg Gardens, but willing to take the metro and when venture out to Okay, so this is a more thoughtful question, because this person obviously understands that, you know,

Annie Sargent 1:02:06
again, if you have to ask for a recommendation, you won’t get the answer will never be the regular old. So

Elyse Rivin 1:02:12
listen to all of these questions is simply walk into a non touristy neighborhood. That’s right. I mean, there’s a ton of a ton of them. And they’re nice neighborhoods and their giant, the the Luxembourg Gardens has two sides of it that face semi show and load the owner and Sandra man. And the other two sides are beautiful neighborhoods that are less frequented by the tourists. And you just walk

Unknown Speaker 1:02:37

Elyse Rivin 1:02:38
them, right? You can go up to the moment, and you go that way you can go up to the area around the law school will choose assess. And you can walk into those streets there that are absolutely gorgeous, right? And it’s very nice neighborhoods, and there are very hordes

Annie Sargent 1:02:57
reputational visitors, it’s got your mic, Miss, but it’s not normal. Is there a lot of visitors masses of people? Right, right. That’s, to me I,

Elyse Rivin 1:03:09
when you travel, you either accept that you’re going to visit a city for a certain amount of time. And you’re going to see this sites, which means you’re going to be like every other tourist and go to certain areas. And that’s just the way it is because you want to see those things. And everybody else does two more you decide that for a day or two or half a day, you’re going to venture way out of the tourist areas just to see what it’s like current just walk, just walk, just walk and if something appeals go in, and but yeah, if you asking for recommendations, they’re only going to tell you about the famous place. Right? That’s just how it goes. Also, you have to be a little weary of

Annie Sargent 1:03:48
Instagram influencers. So there are people on Instagram that have a lot of followers. And sometimes if I were if I owned a cafe in Paris, that’s completely unknown. Because it hasn’t, you know, because I didn’t go there. And because someone didn’t go there, like it makes a difference. Who ate there anyway, but that’s just me.

Annie Sargent 1:04:14
But I would try to get an Instagram influencer to come and get their picture taken in my little cafe. Right, right. And all of a sudden, all the Instagram people will show up, which would be nice.

Elyse Rivin 1:04:29
But they’re secretly being paid for it.

Annie Sargent 1:04:31
Exactly. They’re being paid for it. Which

Annie Sargent 1:04:33
nothing wrong with being paid. But

Unknown Speaker 1:04:34
but but it’s an advertiser

Annie Sargent 1:04:36
again, yes, it’s an ad and they don’t really have to make it that clear that it’s an ad. Exactly. So So again, if farmers to, if you see it in a blog, if you see it on Instagram, if you see it

Annie Sargent 1:04:51
on all of these places,

Unknown Speaker 1:04:53
it’s not going to be

Annie Sargent 1:04:55
like, you know, it won’t, it won’t be locals only. That’s it, you know, also, if you exit Paris and go see the rest of France, if you go to note, if you go to to lose, if you go to even Bo Bo’s a lot of visitors, but

Annie Sargent 1:05:15
these are places where the ratio of local to tourists is much, much less Yes. Right. And so necessarily, you won’t run into as many tourists. But so for people who really are interested in seeing France and hanging, rubbing shoulders, with French people then get out of Paris. That’s the easiest way to do it. Actually, the easiest way to do it, right, just go anywhere besides Paris, you

Elyse Rivin 1:05:42
can even go to France, which is an hour away by

Annie Sargent 1:05:44
trances calls, go to the godliness go to house

Elyse Rivin 1:05:47
right. And there you’re you’re in champagne country with a gorgeous Cathedral and there’ll be some tourist scores. The rest of it is

Annie Sargent 1:05:54
the ratio tourists to local is that is normal right into lose the the ratio of tourists to local is actually we don’t have that many tourists. We don’t have that many tourists and to lose. Bordeaux has more tourists. Mass, he doesn’t have that many tourists because people are afraid of all the rumors they’ve heard that are all stupid, but okay. They’re worried about them. So Leo will have more tourists of those would have more

Annie Sargent 1:06:24
to Oh, nice to have a lot more tourists. I’m going to nice next week, by the way. And I’m hoping to be a tourist, the tourist for

Annie Sargent 1:06:32
a week.

Annie Sargent 1:06:33
But I am French but I see you also have French people are tourists. That’s right.

Unknown Speaker 1:06:38
That’s right.

Annie Sargent 1:06:40
I think that

Elyse Rivin 1:06:44
there’s a difference between going a place because you’ve read some very good recommendations that specifically like for a restaurant or a place to see or whatever. And then why not? Because you have to decide whether you trust what other people write about a place. In which case you say, Okay, I’m going there because other people have heard about it seen their been there done that whatever, right? Or you are as a traveler venture off to do your own thing. Yeah. And in that case, you discover things on your own. I guess it’s not my mentality to ask for suggestions in general, I will read things in guidebooks, but specifically because I am interested in knowing what is interesting from a historical point of view, or what sites to see or what areas are nice neighborhoods or what are maybe neighborhoods you don’t know if you want to go into that kind of thing, I think is useful information. Right? But as far as cafes and restaurants, I will go and that just going to make my own judgment about it, you know, under and sometimes I don’t care if it’s touristy. If it’s a place that really looks like it’s a lot of fun. And so what if it’s filled with tourists, right? Right, really nice, be fine, it’ll be really

Annie Sargent 1:07:57
beautiful view and the food looks good and smells and

Elyse Rivin 1:08:02
hungry. Just sit there, you know, you don’t have to schlep it all the way across the nation, just to go to the place somebody recommended it. So the fact is that, you know, especially in a city like Paris, which is a foodie city anyway, if you go to neighborhoods that have lots of restaurants, whether they’re touristy or not, so the good restaurants are always crowded. Yeah, period. Yes. matter whether you’re credited with tourists or the crowded with people who are really from there. Right, right. So I think a lot of people just want to go someplace that they’ve heard about, which is fine, it’s totally fine. If you don’t want to go to a place that’s heard about then you have to venture off on your own.

Annie Sargent 1:08:43
Exactly. And you have to be a little bit more daring and sometimes you’ll be delighted and sometimes you go and that was me. Exactly. Yeah. Take a chance with fine

Elyse Rivin 1:08:52
Eddie. Even things that are highly recommended it may not be to your tastes in the end anyway. Correct. So

Annie Sargent 1:08:59
coffee guys like coffee? You might hate the flavor. And if everybody writes it up and this is the best coffee in Paris Exactly. You if you don’t like it you don’t Same for wine, you know exact like people give grew so okay, it’s fair to say if this is well made wine or not, right? Okay, if this is like a provenance that we know that we know they didn’t go buy the cheapest great from, I don’t know, Portugal to make this French wine that’s got a inexpensive label. But But beyond that, it’s a matter of taste. Smell taste

Annie Sargent 1:09:40
nice. You have been wonderful again. Oh, thank

Unknown Speaker 1:09:43
you. I love

Annie Sargent 1:09:44
talking about coffee. Yes, yeah, yeah, she she you really are someone who spends a lot of time and

Elyse Rivin 1:09:50
and i love it i mean it really I love it. I I love watching the world go by It is a place where I am inspired to take notes right things

Elyse Rivin 1:10:02
I must say that I like places that are pretty that where the environment is nice. I don’t think that’s a problem. I you know, I don’t like going to dingy, grungy place. Sure, sure. I love the fact that in especially here in the south of France a good part of the year you can sit outside.

Annie Sargent 1:10:22
I love that you know? And but if you sit outside there’s gonna be smokers

Annie Sargent 1:10:26
not as much as there used to be Well, yeah, but still

Annie Sargent 1:10:29
more than in America

Annie Sargent 1:10:30
more than in America. But I must say that

Elyse Rivin 1:10:35
maybe or maybe it’s just that there are cafes that I go to words not that many people that smoke I don’t know. I’ve been lucky. I mean it. The truth is, if it’s not someone who’s blowing it in my face, I don’t care. Right, right. I’m not gonna I would rather do that then be inside and hide away. Yeah, accepted in the winter time, of course, of course. But I love it. I just love the idea that it’s part of the world that we live in here.

Annie Sargent 1:10:59
And so if you come to France in the winter, a lot of these cafes they will kind of close off the terrorists heater and have heaters especially in Paris because the weather is not quite as nice in Paris as it is in the south, where we are in Toulouse. So very often you will have places where you can kind of be semi outside exactly, even though you’re kind of you know

Elyse Rivin 1:11:23
and and just I was just thinking the the there’s there are rituals around cafes that are part of life and friends for instance, if you are in a part of a city that has an outdoor food market, that will always have cafes around it. Yeah, because one of the things people do is after going to an outdoor food market, they will sit and have a cafe yes of course and it’s a really fun thing to do right what happens here and to lose that happens everywhere neighborhoods in Paris that happens pretty much everywhere. Yeah, so those are parts of the things it’s like if you want to get an idea of what life is like in friends, even in villages that have a day market and outdoor market. Yeah, there will always be a cafe or two.

Annie Sargent 1:12:03
Yeah. And also if you go in to visit covered market Yeah, the current market usually has a cafe in size. Usually they do not always but the nicer ones are have a caffeine side and you’re saving in Spain actually. Yeah, they usually do and you know, it’s a good place to go. Sit and thinkers didn’t

Elyse Rivin 1:12:27
enjoy if you look at all the food and get up an appetite

Elyse Rivin 1:12:31
and before he would go and have something to eat

Annie Sargent 1:12:34
all right, Lisa, thank you so much. You’re quite welcome any Oh wow. Everybody

Elyse Rivin 1:12:39
over have a good cafe.

Annie Sargent 1:12:41
Yes. Enjoy your cafe.

Annie Sargent 1:12:44
Thank you. I’ll Veena shoot see.

Annie Sargent 1:12:48
saucy, saucy maybe. I do apologize novena and Kevin Lawrence for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week, I released Patreon rewards this week. Lunch break French was about Grey Poupon, the imposter and a very French recipe using digital mustard. And the French history brief was about the French president who fell out of a train guess he really did. So lunch break French is a French lesson. But unlike other classes you might take this is a full speed, I do not slow it down. I read the text in French first, then in both French and English sentence by sentence so that you can understand what I was talking about. Even if you didn’t catch everything by ear. You know how it goes right? you practice your friends with something like dual lingo, the app or something like that. And they constantly give you the thumbs up.

Annie Sargent 1:13:46
You said wrench,

Annie Sargent 1:13:49
then you come to France and it’s like another planet.

Annie Sargent 1:13:53
That’s because French people don’t talk like they do a new lingo. Now you need to learn a slow pace, I get that that there’s a really important place for that. But at some point, you need to test your ears with the real stuff. And that’s where lunch break French comes in. And lastly, I released two of my best photos of France for $2 Patreon supporters to my patrons, I say thank you so much for giving back. It’s a pleasure to work on these rewards for you. And to those of you who aren’t patrons yet I say please chip in, visit forward slash join us PhD or un join us, no spaces or dashes to see how you can make a difference in my life and do your part as well. Thank you to the nice people who responded to my request for new trip reports. I could take some more. So if you are interested in doing a trip report with me, please email me at join us in And as you know you you are my only form of marketing. So please, if you know somebody who is coming to visit friends, let them know about join us in France, you can send them to the website or you could tell them that they could search for join us in France in their favorite podcasting app. Or it could be Pandora could be Spotify. It could be any I mean anywhere you get your podcasts really were everywhere. So thank you very much for getting the word out. Alright, have a wonderful week of trip planning and I’ll talk to you next week. And then the week after that I won’t unless your patron and then you’ll get this special report from these are

Annie Sargent 1:15:42
the join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sergeant and copyright 2019 by addicted to France. It is released under Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license

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Categories: France How To, French Culture, Paris