Why You Should Never Order Filter Coffee In France

Many of us are united by the same daily routine: Starting the morning with a cup of coffee. Not only does it provide that energizing boost, but also comes with a range of health benefits, which make it the most widespread psychoactive substance. However in addition to its wondrous biological effects, coffee's also intertwined with intriguing cultural customs.

From the distinctly strong taste of Turkish coffee to the lesser known Vietnamese Coffee called Bạc Xỉu and boozy German drink Pharisaeer Kaffee, there's a beauty in how varying cultures sip and savor. So whenever you're in a coffee-consuming region, it pays off to abandon the go-to order, and sample how it's done locally. For example, if you're in France, it's all about espresso-based drinks.

So if a drip — or any filter prepared — coffee is your go-to, you might want to rethink your order when in France. Most cafes won't even brew it, and if they do, it's likely made exclusively for tourists. There is a French name for it: café filtré. However, locals craving a similar experience will nearly always settle on the Americano-like café allongé instead.

The French prefer espresso-based coffee

As with other areas of Europe, espresso culture is ubiquitous in France. In neighboring Spain, the most common order is milky café con leche on an espresso base, and we all know how much the Italians love espresso. The French also prefer their joe on the intense and concentrated side. Ask simply for "un café," and you'll receive a shot of espresso, which also goes by the names of café noir and café express. And don't expect a to-go cup; the culture is to enjoy the drink on the spot. In fact, it's an all-day ritual, not even limited to the morning. There's likely an espresso shot after lunch, and even post dinner, too.

As a result, it's hardly a surprise that a tall filter coffee doesn't quite fit into such a framework. If you do want something a little smoother and with milk, you can always go for a café crème, which comes with foamed milk. And exclusively at home, there's the milkier and larger café au lait. So in fact, there are a range of French coffee drinks you should try at least once, but filter coffee isn't one of them.