How to make the best Italian Coffee in Paris

Paris Coffee : Coffee in Paris

If you’d like to know how to make the best Italian coffee in Paris, here are my simple instructions.  Of course the secret is pracitce, practice, practice.  When you’re really good at it, invite your friends over. Ask them to bring the brioches, the pastries, etc, and you’ll provide your new Barista skills :-)

Of course you WILL need a kitchen, or at least a hotplate to brew the coffee and to heat the milk, so if you’re a tourist you’ll need to make friends and get invited back to someone’s home. Or – if you’re like me – you’ll take your wee coffee pot with you on holidays – in your suitcase :-)

Ready? Grab a French press coffee maker

For the best coffee in Paris, you may need to make your own :-)Of course if you want FABULOUS Italian-style coffee in Paris, you simply should consider buying yourself an Italian espresso pot which sits on the stovetop – I have several sizes — they’re also known as a French press coffee maker. The small one is a 3 cup size.  This is what I use, so these instructions for the best coffee in Paris are based on what I use at home.

For the best thick creamy hot milk, use this milk plunger.I have discovered the best kept secret in the universe for hot creamy milk for your latte … shhhh! come closer! I have to whisper … :-)

I discovered a MILK PLUNGER, which is like a small glass Bodum coffee pot, which you pour your hot milk into. You then push the plunger up and down about 10 times to aerate the hot milk, and wonders of wonders, the milk goes thick and creamy! There is no Barista who can teach you to do this as easily or as well. Trust me :-)

So this is what you need:

  • coffee pot like the one shown here
  • milk plunger
  • fresh full-cream milk
  • water
  • the coffee of your choice – ground and ready – I like La Vazza coffee, but Illy coffee is excellent, as are other brands – pick the one you like best – it may be a French roast coffee
  • stove
  • coffee cup or latte glass.

Ok – here are the steps for
how to make the best Italian coffee:

  • open up the coffee pot (mine is a Bialetti brand, so I tend to call it a ‘Bialettei’)
  • it is in 3 pieces – the base, or reservoice, where the cold water goes
  • pour in water up to the little hole where the steam will escape;  if you put too much water, it will stream out this whole as it heats up
  • the middle section of the Bialetti is where the ground coffee goes, so sit this in position now over the water-filled base of the Bialetti
  • pour in the coffee to fill this but don’t tap it or pack it down too tight or the hot water won’t be able to get through
  • the top part is where the HOT coffee will end up
  • now screw the top part onto the base with the coffee in the middle, to look like this:
For the best coffee in Paris, you may need to make your own :-)

Put the Bialetti (French coffee press) on the stove – I generally put it on medium heat.

How does the Italian coffee pot work?

As the water in the bottom heats up, it is forced upwards into the centre of the Bialetti where the coffee is.  The force of the hot water going through the coffee grounds flavours the coffee, and forces it up into the top section of the pot – as espresso.

When you hear a gurgling noise, it means the coffee is being created.  Some people take the Bialetti (French coffee press) off the stove too soon, before all the water has been turned into coffee.

What you’re looking for is for all the water from the bottom of the Bialetti to end up in the TOP of the Bialette – as espresso coffee.

My tip for you is to look and see if you can see the coffee close to the lip of the top part of the Bialetti.  Don’t get too close, but you should be able to see the hot black coffee in the spout.  If not, gently – very gently – lift the lid a small bit to see where the coffee is.  There will be boiling steam coming out of the pot, so be careful.

If I can see the hot coffee at the lip of the spout of the Bialetti, I know it’s finished pushing all the water through, and it’s ready to take off the stove.

Making the best hot creamy milk for your coffee

For the best thick creamy hot milk, use this milk plunger.Once I’ve put my coffee on the stove to start its amazing journey, I prepare the milk so it will be hot and ready at the same time.

I start by pouring the cold FRESH full-cream milk into my coffee cup to measure out how much I need. I pour up to about half way on my coffee cup – you might like different amounts of milk – more or less – that’s entirely up to you.

Once I have the measure right, I pour it into a little milk saucepan and pop it on the stove.  As soon as it’s ready and bubbling, I turn off the heat.  By now your coffee is probably also ready.

Pour the hot milk into the milk plunger, put the lid on, and start pushing it up and down.  The glass will be very hot so be careful how you hole it.  Don’t plunge TOO vigorously or the hot milk will come out the spout and burn you.

As soon as the milk has doubled in volume – or thereabouts – it’s ready.

Putting the hot coffee with the hot milk

Paris Coffee : Coffee in Paris : cafe latte - using a French coffee press

Pour your hot coffee into your coffee cup. Carefully pull the top of the milk plunger and shake it into the milk to remove the foam, then place the top into the sink.

Pour the thick hot creamy milk into your coffee cup.  If the cup is full and you still have hot milk left over, leat them both sit for a few seconds until the milk settles into the coffee.  Tap the coffee cup once or twice on the bench to help the milk, then pour in the remainder with foam if you like it.

I generally gently stir the coffee once, to blend the two together. Voila! You’re done!

Wondering where to buy the coffee pot, milk frother and Italian coffee?

You’ve just learnt how to make the best Italian coffee

So – once you’ve made your espresso using your favourite Arabica beans ground to perfection, and your hot creamy steamy milk, you have everything you need for the perfect coffee in Paris.

Now that wasn’t as hard as you thought, was it?


Just in case you don’t have time to do that, pop over to one of these cafes in Paris …

Paris coffee : Paris cafes>>  My favourite Paris cafes

Where to buy Arabica coffee beans in Paris France

I’ve read online that the best places to buy a delicious aromatic bag of Arabica beans is at one of these locations:

256, rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
close on Sunday and the month of August

Cafes Amazone
11, rue Rambuteau, 75004
open on Sunday

Comptoir Richard
145 rue Saint-Dominique, 75007

At the Bodum shop you can buy coffee pots of all types in glass:

Bodum shop
Forum Les Halles
103 rue Rambuteau, 75001

Please note – the French press coffee maker may be called another name, like the Italian Bialetti pot I own, shown above.

The best coffee in Paris, France : Paris coffee : Paris cafes