Coffee in Paris
How do I order a coffee in French? I know I am going to get one of those espresso type little cups, and that is OK.
How do I order a decaf for my wife?
Is it possible to order anything that resembles an American cup of coffee in a cafe?
how do i do so without embarrassing the heck out of myself?
Not hard at all but very frustrating until you get the drift.
For your wife's decaf, order a café décaféiné (last word has 4 syllables). Some waiters will call it a deca.
For something pretty close to American coffee, order a café allongé (last word has 3 syllables)
As someone who can't drink coffee without at least some milk, I think you should be warned that if you order a déca (DAY ka) or café allongé, they will be delivered to your table "straight up" (with no milk on the side) unless you specify otherwise. I believe the term 'noisette' refers to an espresso with a bit of milk or cream. A decaf w/milk would be café crème décaféiné (not to be pedantic, but this word has 5 syllables: day ka fay ee nay). Not sure though about ordering an allongé with milk/cream. I think in that case it might have to be requested separately : avec crème. (Someone who knows better than I might wish to comment here.) If you & Mme Tito drink your coffees black, then disregard the above!