Since the first coffee house opened in Paris in 1672 coffee drinking in France has come a long way. As well as cafe au lait and espresso you can now choose from a variety of flavors to suit your mood such as a Cafe Noisette which is a rich dark coffee with hazelnut flavor and a dash of cream, or a coffee with a spirit added to cheer you up if needed.
The opening of more coffee bars in France is beginning to change the way that the French drink coffee. Instead of grabbing a cup and drinking it immediately they are now sitting, relaxing and enjoying their coffee and perhaps accompanying it with a delicious fresh croissant. On the other hand, some consumers are indulging in ‘Le Whif’ which is a type of inhaler, or vaporizer which looks much like a tube of lipstick. It takes about eight whiffs to produce the equivalent of an expresso, and is suitable for people who are too busy to stop at a cafe and indulge their coffee habit.
Fair trade coffee has found its way onto the French shelf, and so has decaffeinated coffee for those who prefer to leave out stimulating caffeine. The French are also beginning to consume more instant coffee, probably as its flavor has improved and it’s readily available to purchase in many different forms.
The French reportedly average a staggering 25,000 tons of coffee between them, helping them to remain the worlds largest consumers of coffee in the world, with Japan and Italy at their heels. There are roughly 72,000 cafes in which coffee consumers can enjoy a cup of steaming brew, and approximately 50,000 coffee retail outlets from which to purchase coffee of all descriptions, although Arabica beans are now one of the most popular types, and much of French coffee comes from the Ivory Coast and Brazil.
According to Euromonitor Internationals the ‘Hot Drinks in France’ market report the French are drinking less coffee and are buying more tea. This is rather surprising news as the French have always been famous for their romance with coffee. This is good news for tea drinkers visiting France however, who will be able to enjoy a good cup of tea whilst everyone else is drinking coffee. Though it must be said that the French sometimes have great taste where coffee is concerned, and it would be a shame for visitors not to learn more about coffee while in France.
http://www.theage.com.au/national/inhaling-your-coffee-the-french-say-oui-20100330-r8uz.html (Le Whif)