In the mid-1880s... more than 42,000 cafés may have been operating in the city of Paris. (In comparison, Seattle, America's stereotypical coffee capital, has only about 60.) Unlike the members of today's drink-on-the-run coffee culture, 19th-century Parisians lingered in the café... --Bertina Loeffler on "The World of the Paris Café"

le kawa (kawa) noun, masculine
  --informal or slang for "cup of coffee"

Noir comme le diable, Chaud comme l'enfer, Pur comme un ange, Doux comme l'amour. Black as the devil, Hot as hell, Pure as an angel, Sweet as love. --Talleyrand (on how coffee should be).

A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

Joseph, the Sicilian carpenter, sets down his ruler next to the new sink.
"Tu bois trop de café," he says, in his usual, blunt manner, like when he says "Give me a glass of water," or "Get me the broom."

"I know," I admit, firing up the espresso machine anyway.
"Ce n'est pas le café américain,"* Joseph fusses.
"No. ...It is Italian."
"Bene!"* says Joseph. "Give me a cup."

References: tu bois trop de café = you drink too much coffee; ce n'est pas le café américain = it's not American (or what the French call "weak") coffee; bene! (Italian) = good!

"Café bouillu, café foutu" = boiled coffee is spoiled coffee
le jus de chaussette = coffee with too much water, a.k.a. "American coffee"

More coffee terms:
"un petit noir" (un p'tit noir) = "a little (cup of) black" (an espresso)
un expresso = espresso
un café serré = "a tight coffee," short, with a little water
un café au lait = equal parts coffee and milk
un noisette (un café noisette) = a small coffee with une larme ("tear" or "drop") of milk

Among friends, you might also use the informal term "kawa": "Un kawa, s'il te plaît!" "Coffee, please!"

Listen: hear the word 'kawa' pronounced: Download kawa.wav

Cappuccino/Espresso: The Book of Beverages This perennial best-seller offers scores of recipes for cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and other espresso-based beverages. You’ll also find history and information on flavored syrups, toppings and garnishes.

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