Ordering coffee in France is not just a transaction; it’s a cultural experience. Understanding the French coffee culture and the language used in cafes can enhance your enjoyment.

Learn how to order coffee in French

This guide will take you through the essential French phrases, cultural nuances, and types of coffee you might encounter, ensuring you can confidently order coffee like a local in France or any French-speaking country.

Mastering the art of ordering coffee in French

From a wide variety of coffees to delicious French breakfast, you can explore a lot while being in France. You probably already know the word “café,” which means the drink and the place serving it. A cup of coffee in French is literally “Une tasse de café,” but most people will just say “Un café.”

Types of coffee to order in French

Latte / coffee with milkCafé au lait
Iced coffeeCafé glacé/Café frappé
Black coffeeCafé noir
A cup of coffeeUne tasse de café
Decaf coffeeCafé décaféiné
Coffee with creamCafé crème
AmericanoCafé allongé
RistrettoCafé serré
Viennese coffee (with whipped cream)Café viennois
Filtered coffee/Regular coffeeCafé filtre/Café régulier (Québec only)
Explore different types of coffee

Few handy expressions to order coffee

Do you want coffee?Voulez-vous un café ?/Veux-tu un café ?
Coffee breakPause café
I need coffee!J’ai besoin d’un café !
I’m sure you want a coffee!Vous prendrez bien un petit café !
Can I offer you a coffee?Je peux vous offrir un café ?/Je peux t’offrir un café ?
Let’s talk over a cup of coffee.On peut en discuter autour d’un café.
Do you want to have coffee?Voulez-vous aller boire un café ? Tu veux aller boire un café ?
Let’s have coffee.On se prend un café ?
Let’s meet at the coffee machine.On se retrouve à la machine à café ?
Do you want to take a coffee break?Voulez-vous prendre une pause café ?/Tu veux prendre une pause café ?

How to order coffee in French?

Coffee, please.Un café, s’il vous plaît.
I’d like a coffee, please.Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît.
Black coffee, please.Un café noir, s’il vous plaît.
Do you want coffee with this?
Yes, I’d like a coffee, thanks.
Voulez-vous un café avec ceci ?
Oui merci, je veux bien un café.
How would you like your coffee?
With milk, please.
Comment souhaitez-vous votre café ?
Au lait, s’il vous plaît.
Could you please bring coffee with dessert?Pouvez-vous s’il vous plaît amener le café et le dessert ensemble ?
Two Americanos, please.Deux cafés allongés, s’il vous plaît.
Two coffees, black, no sugar please.Deux cafés noirs sans sucre, s’il vous plaît.

While ordering coffee in French, you must consider some cultural considerations. There are some cultural aspects of every region. For example, there are specific ways to ask, ‘How are you in French’? You must get the cultural insights to get along with the locals well.

Cultural tips for ordering coffee

Take your time: In French cafes, it’s common to linger over your coffee and enjoy the ambiance.

Use “s’il vous plaît” and “merci”: Politeness is highly valued in French culture, so use these phrases when ordering.

Be polite with the waiter

Know when to order: In France, cafes typically serve coffee all day, but it’s more common to order a café crème or café au lait in the morning and a café noir after a meal.

Understand the bill: In French cafes, the price of your coffee can vary depending on where you sit. Standing at the bar is often cheaper than sitting at a table.

Enjoy the experience: Ordering coffee in France is not just about the drink but the entire experience. Take the time to savor your coffee and soak in the cafe’s atmosphere.

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Frequently asked questions

How do you order a coffee in French?

To order a coffee in French, you can say “Bonjour, un café, s’il vous plaît,” which translates to “Hello, a coffee, please.”

What are the different types of coffee I can order in French?

In France, you can order various types of coffee, including café noir (black coffee), café crème (coffee with cream), café au lait (coffee with milk), and espresso.

How do you ask for a specific type of coffee in French?

To ask for a specific type of coffee, you can say “Je voudrais un café noir” (I would like a black coffee), “Un café crème, s’il vous plaît” (A coffee with cream, please), or “Un espresso, s’il vous plaît” (An espresso, please).

Is it common to drink coffee in French cafes?

Drinking coffee in French cafes is a common social activity. It’s not just about the coffee itself but also about the experience of sitting in a cafe and enjoying the ambiance.


Ordering coffee in French can be a rewarding experience that immerses you in the local culture. You can confidently order coffee like a local by learning the essential phrases and understanding the cultural nuances.

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