Do the French need a coffee revolution?

I love a great cup of coffee, indeed I can not start the day without a good strong coffee (none of that instant muck thankyou). When in France I have been a little concerned about their poor coffee offerings, its either expresso or the vile (IMO) filtered stuff.

Here in the Uk there seems to have been an explosion of the coffee shops, where once the highstreet was full of charity shops it is now full of coffee shops, packed out with men in suits (a mobile office), yummy mummies (a mobile feeding stop for babies) and women that lunch.

So whats your experience of coffee in France? Is it time for a coffee revolution, a time to banish the filter coffee jugs and jars of instant muck?

oh yes, forgot the square of dark chocolate with a perfect tiny espresso or even a ristretto if you can find one and need a real caffeine shot ;-)

IMO coffee should be an espresso - just like most bars in France serve, and I do like to have a square of dark chocolate on the side. One of the things I hate about trips to the UK is not being able to get a proper coffee - or any coffee served smaller than a bucket!

never dared trying it, i was never brave enough!

I agree with Ben on this one but not 100%... without a doubt the best espressi and cappuccini have been in Italy as you'd expect. I hate instant coffee or the American style wishy washy stuff with milk and god knows what else in it. In the south of France most, but not all, bars serve ok coffee - just have to take a look behind the bar to see what they're using before you buy! Worst I've had was in Brittany, I asked for a cappuccino from their board and got a huge thing with whipped cream on top - I sent it back and asked for a plain, small espresso, as i didn't trust them to make a proper cappuccino even after explaining what it normally (in Italy at least!) consists of.

Instant coffee = UK to me

best coffee = Italy

descent coffee = southern France (but watch out for exeptions - bar/resto/hôtel with just a jug of percolating coffee that's been on the go all lunchtime...!)

Hi James, if you're convinced that the French do only offer the two types of coffee you describe then I would suggest that you don't enter that market at all or redo your homework on market-research ;-).

I admit, I love the French coffee-tradition which is more related to the Italian one. That huge professional espresso-machine you can find in almost any café, bar or restaurant, using the bean-to-cup principle long before the big firms laid their hand on it.

There will undoubtly be a place for your firm's concept in the market, to start with the big towns. But then again anyone who puts caramel into a cup of coffee and still maintains that he/she loves a good coffee makes me smile a bit.