Bonjour! This morning, I’m making a true French breakfast, otherwise known as le petit dejeuner, which is a spread of cafe au lait and croissants.

Cafe au lait

The French commonly enjoy cafe au lait for breakfast. The drink is made with half coffee and half steamed milk. We made the coffee using a french press percolator, which you’ll often find in households throughout France. A bialetti or moka pot will do just fine as well. Europeans aren’t keen on the drip or filtered 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 press. Hot coffee to start the day and revitalize the soul.

Serve in a cafe au lait bowl, also known as un bol de café. Top with an equal part of steamed coffee. This seems similar to a cortado, but the difference is that one makes a cortado with espresso rather than drip coffee.

cafe au lait and croissants and pain au chocolat on a blue and white plate

Croissants and pain au chocolat

Butter up your croissant or slice of baguette (une tartine), with a bit of jam (confiture). Butter and sea salt (sel de mer) will also do just fine. If you have a sweet tooth, bite into your pain au chocolat and savor life’s simple pleasures.

We had traditional croissants and a pain au chocolat from All Crumbs Artisan Bakery in Toledo, Ohio, which paired beautifully with the coffee.


1 part hot strong coffee
1 part steamed milk, lightly foamed


Brew coffee and steam milk. Into a bowl or mug, pour equal parts of strong hot coffee and steamed milk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *