Enjoying life the French way #3 - Pause Café
It is said that French people can enjoy their life by prioritizing free time for themselves and their family: They actively try their best to create such free and happy time, and it includes the way they cook and eat.
In this blog post serie, we will introduce some tips to help you creating enjoyable time the way French people do it.
And in this post, we will talk about the coffee in France and how important it is in the daily life of its people.
What is French coffee exactly?
French people love coffee very much. But it is not really about the "French roast" coffee beans or the "French press" which are actually not that popular in this country. It is not even about the type of coffee, usually a simple expresso or "café allongé" with no particular needs for premium beans or coffee service.
No, French coffee is a more about a culture, and how the French drink and enjoy their coffee instead of what they're actually drinking in their cup. It's all about the experience: Sitting down in coffee shop or "en terrasse", simply enjoying your drink in the morning before going to work or after your lunch break, known as "la pause café", alone or with friends and chatting or simply watching people go in the street.
The truth is the way the coffee is drank is more important than its taste.
"Les douceurs", a great addition to coffee.
A coffee is rarely drank alone in France. At the very least, it will include sugar but most often a small treat will be eaten in addition, simply because it is a way to make the experience last longer as well as being even more enjoyable.
As for the breakfast, coffee is one of the regular beverage and will mostly be accompanied by a croissant or a "tartine", some butter and jam spread on fresh bread such as baguette or pain de campagne. Some french might even dip their food directly in their coffee!
But the most common way to enjoy coffee in France will be after lunch, with a small treat like black chocolate, butter-flavored sablés or galettes. Usually simple yet still tasty and deligthful.
A recent popular trend is the "Café Gourmand", enjoyed in most restaurants usually as a dessert: an expresso served with three small portion desserts, including any type of food from biscuits, cakes and pies to ice cream and more sophisticated desserts such as macarons.
This dessert is probably the epitome of French coffee culture: a coffee time so long that it needs to become a dessert in itself, for a happy and slowly enjoyed moment.
I hope you can find the time to appreciate coffee, not only for its taste, but also for the delightful experience it can bring when paired with tasty treats. Taking time to enjoy your "Pause Café" will surely bring joy to your life!
- Mikael B.