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Jan 23, 2010 09:33 AM

Tea and Coffee

We have asked friends with a knowledge of French language and no on has found an answer.
Our question is there a French word for half n half to add in coffee or tea?
I don't care for the taste of milk in my tea or coffee.
I prefer either real cream or half and half creamer.
thanks from kndnwpt

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  1. "Cette poudre chimique barbare que les Américains ont mise en leur café"??

    Just kidding, of course.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Sam, are you really kidding?
      There is lait écrémé or demi-écremé. It looks and tastes like milk diluted with water.
      I have never seen "creamer" or half and half in France, dieu merci.
      If you don't like the taste of milk in your tea or coffee, then … wouldn't no milk be simpler?

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        O Sam, this was the last message you posted on the France board.
        So funny, so… you.
        I learned only today that you had left us more than 2 months ago.
        You were one hound I had always wanted to meet, thought i would, in fact counted on it…
        Fujisakasensei, I bow deeply to you. Have a good journey home.

      2. There's no half and half in France. But there's cream at every corner. Just ask for crème with your coffee. Some place would even whip it for you if you ask nicely.

        However, it is true that "café crème" actually often means café au lait. But the milk used is most often whole.

        For what it's worth, I like to stop at a good cheese shop, ask for a small jar of crème crue (raw, unpasteurised cream, one of the best things on the planet when it's good) and just bring it to the café. But then I tend more to flavour my crème with café rather than the opposite.

        1 Reply
        1. I am afraid "half n half" for beverages is uniquely American, I know of no other countries that use it. So there isn't going to be a French expression for it.

          Some countries have creams with a low fat content but these are generally specialist creams used in cooking, in the UK for example they have half cream that is 12% fat, or single cream at 18% fat, compared to whipping or double cream at 35 and 48% fat respectively. US half n half is usually 12% fat.

          The example Parigi I think are skimmed milks with some or most the fat removed making the milk lighter, normal milk has approx 3.5% and semi skimmed (demi-écremé) is 1.7% with skimmed (écrémé) at 0.3% fat, and yes they taste like water and the worst ones have a scary gray tinge.

          Solution, bring powdered creamer with you, drink it without milk, or try French style coffees you may find they are different enough so the milk type no longer matters.

          1. Thank you for helping everyone. I should have said that I don't use the powder creamer here in USA because of the chemicals. I use the organic half n half. So I will ask for crème, and it would be a treat to have it whipped or not.
            Being lactose intolerant I have found that the more organic the product, the less trouble I have

            3 Replies
            1. re: kndnwpt

              You should also get to know French coffee terms like Café au lait, Café crème, Petit crème, Noisette and Express, and Café Americain. If you just order "une cafe" you will probably get and express (espresso) with no milk. The "americain" is filter coffee and you add your own milk, all the others are all espresso coffees with varying amounts of steamed milk. Places that do filter coffee are probably in the minority.

              If you see Cappuccino on a menu it could (in a minority of cases) be a Cappuccino in the Italian style or it is more likely be a weird coffee with whipped cream, and I think that is the only example you will see of whipped cream in coffee (Souphie whipped isn't the same as steamed, do you really mean whipped?).

              For tea I would urge you to explore the various tea salons (Laduree, Mariage Frères, Fauchon etc) try some of their very interesting blends. These don't need milk, in fact milk would ruin most of them.

              1. re: PhilD

                Merci de nous aider avec les termes du café. RE:PhilD, Our French is limited, but we are brushing up each day before we arrive in Paris in May.. We are looking forward to trying a Tea Salon. I love Irish Breakfast, and my husband likes Earl Grey, so it will be fun to try some new flavors.

                1. re: kndnwpt

                  Every block in Paris has a place that claims to be a salon de the. Most serve tea bags.

                  French blends tend to be extremely floral.

            2. Cream, half@half, it doesn't matter. Nothing can make coffee in France palatable. Absolutely the worst coffee in Europe.

              5 Replies
              1. re: poser

                You clearly haven't spent much time in the UK.

                1. re: PhilD

                  You have a point there, but the coffee in France still is horrid.

                  1. re: poser

                    You also have obviously not been to Gocce di Caffé.

                    1. re: poser

                      You've also obviously not had to settle for Dunkin Donuts coffee. And it's wildly popular in the States! Aaargh!