Bonjour! This morning, I’m making a true French breakfast, otherwise known as le petit déjeuner, which is a spread of café au lait and croissants.
The café au lait is commonly served for breakfast in France. Half coffee, half steamed milk, but don’t you dare use cream. We made it using a French Press percolator, which you’ll often find in households throughout France, but a Bialetti or Moka Pot will do just fine as well (Europeans aren’t keen on the drip coffee that the Americans know and love).
We brewed Highland Humanity medium-dark roast made by Higher Grounds Coffee in Traverse City, Michigan. To make the French Press coffee, first grind your beans to coarse. Add 8 tablespoons of ground coffee to your French Press, then fill halfway with hot water. Let rest for 1 minute, then fill the rest of the way with hot water. Put the filter in, brew until you reach 4 minutes, then pressss… Hot coffee to start the day and revitalize the soul. Serve in a café au lait bowl, aka un bol de café, and call it a day.
Have you ever heard of un bol de café? I used to live with a French girl, and she’d drink her tea from a plastic cereal bowl. I thought, how strange. But now I see how comforting it must be. Scratch the mugs, ye olde Americaines, and buy me a vintage bol on Etsy ASAP.
Butter up your croissant or slice of baguette (aka une tartine), with a bit of jam (ou confiture s’il vous plaît). Butter and sea salt (sel de mer) will also do just fine. Honey, if you please. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, bite into your pain au chocolat and savor life’s simple pleasures.
We had massive traditional croissants and a pain au chocolat (my favorite) from All Crumbs Artisan Bakery in Toledo, Ohio, which paired beautifully with the coffee.
Orange juice on the side. On the terrace, pedestrians passing by. Now, you’re ready to start your day. C’est la vie Parisienne.