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Mastering the Art of Ordering Coffee in France?

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I just don't get it. All I want is a mug size (even large tea cup size) of black coffee. Heck, I don't care if the mug is filled up with espresso -- I'm partial to strong, black coffee!

I should have asked this question at the beginning of our 3 week trip, not the day before it ends, but hope to get one decent size cup before we leave tomorrow!!!

I've tried a "double" and get a demi-tasse size shot of double espresso that is essentially a two gulper. I've tried a cafe "long" and get a thimble size shot that is not even a one gulper. I've asked for "cafe Americain" and just get a weird look.

I've thought of asking for cafe au lait without the lait. Or being really sneaky and running off to the local Casino express and buying a small jar of instant, then asking for a pot of hot water!!!

In the hotels we've stayed in, most have the new coffee machines with a variety on the coffee menu, so when I press "cafe long" or a "double" I get a big cup of black coffee. But sitting in a cafe or even the hotel lobby and asking for the same thing, I wind up with a thimble.

I'm embarrassed to ask this question I've been to France so many times -- but I just cannot master the art of ordering coffee!!

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