We know that coffee culture is supreme in Italy. I just came across this humorous take on a comparison of Italian with French coffee:
ASK HIM FOR A CAFE AU LAIT ONLY IF YOU WOKE UP WITH HIM
It’s almost impossible to find a drinkable cup of coffee in Paris: the coffee here is among the worst I’ve ever had. Before Francophiles race to chime in about how bad American coffee is, yes, I agree with you. There’s a lot of bad coffee in America. The difference is there’s the possibility of finding a good cup in the States.
Plus North Americans have an excuse: we don’t share a border with Italy, that magical kingdom of coffee, where each tiny sip is a multisensory explosion of flavor.
From the moment the barman puts that little cup under the spigot, until I polish off the last of the syrupy espresso that trickles out of the tiny cup, my mind can’t concentrate on anything but that intense dose of masterfully extracted coffee. Ah—il espresso perfetto.
In a country where there’s such an emphasis on fine dining, whose good food is celebrated not just here, but around the world, it’s stupefying why Parisian coffee is so vile that fed-up French food writer Sophie Brissard described it as “donkey piss.” The only good coffee I’ve found in Paris has been in places run by Italians. To them, serving bad coffee would be an insult to their entire culture. When I asked the woman at the Italian tourism office how she was able to live in Paris and subsist on the coffee served here, she looked as if I’d made her queasy just by mentioning it. “I will not drink coffee in France,” she responded. “I only drink tea.”
Lebovitz, David. The Sweet Life in Paris: (pp. 165-166). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.