What Is Caffe Misto and Café au Lait? Get the Facts Now

By Marcus Deeprose

Updated on:

Caffe Misto is the same drink that you know as café au lait, a great delicious drink that was recently added to the Starbucks menu. Caffe Misto Starbucks is milky but different from other traditional drinks like cappuccino, macchiato, etc.

Many people don’t have enough knowledge and they are always confused about Caffe Misto Starbucks and latte because both contain coffee and hot milk and look very similar.

In this article, we will discuss Caffe Misto in detail and help you understand the difference between café Misto and latte. So, next time when you visit Starbucks, you will be confident about what you want to drink, Caffe Misto or latte. 

What Is Caffe Misto?

Do you want to know what is cafe Misto? The American version of Cafe au Lait is called the Caffe Misto and looks similar to a latte. Starbucks baristas are very much familiar with the terms but you need to be careful while ordering the drink.

Caffe Misto is made with foam on top which can be adjusted according to your preferences. Some people prefer it with warm milk and no foam, while others like it with a high coffee-to-milk ratio. The basic ingredients remain the same – brewed coffee and warm milk.

In short, Cafe au Lait is a mixture of brewed coffee and warm milk in equal quantities. Starbucks usually brews drip coffee stronger to make it tastier. Caffe Misto Starbucks’ price is approx. $4 for a large cup which is cheaper than espresso drinks. 

This amazingly tasty drink has its roots in china. Johan Nieuhof (Chinese ambassador) tries to make the drink very first time in 1660. However, the coffee with milk in a café setting is said to be a gift from a Vienna-based Polish Shop owner.

The history of the café Misto is unclear but it is believed that its origin can be in France in the 17th century. The café Misto that we enjoy today at Starbucks is made using skimmed milk is developed recently in the 20th century. 

How to make café Misto?

Making Caffe Misto Starbucks at home comprises various steps that make it unique and extra tasty. You can make it home with simple ingredients and home utensils. The process of making the café Misto is mentioned below:

How to make café Misto?

Ingredients required-

  • Milk (whole milk) – 1 part
  • Coffee (strong or medium) -1 part
  • Sweetener (optional)
  • Measuring cups
  • Stove
  • Saucepan 

Process of making

  1. Brew the coffee using the French press drip. It’s better to use dark roasted Brazilian, java, or Sumatran beans as they go well with milk. Most people prefer a stronger brew to manage the flavor after adding milk. 
  2. Put the milk in a saucepan and bring it to bubble on the stove. Traditionally, café au lait is made using hot milk but starbucks uses frothed milk.
  3. Put milk and coffee in different measuring cups and pour them into your mug simultaneously which helps you to get an equal ratio and avoid foaming while stirring. 
  4. You can add sweetener if you wish at this point and enjoy your fresh milk and coffee combination named cafe Misto. 

Additional tips for making misto

  • Using the French press, you can make frothed milk. Simply add milk to the French press and make sure the milk should be warm. Pulse the plunger up and down lightly a few times. It will enable some bubbles to start foaming at the top.
  • Don’t worry if your coffee is brewed a bit stronger than usual as it will be diluted after adding milk with a 1:1 ratio. Strong brewing will help to balance the taste later with milk. 

You can adjust the temperature and coffee and milk ration in your Cafe au Lait. Like some people prefer cafe Misto with less amount of hot milk instead of a 1:1 ratio. 

    • When you order the café Misto from Starbucks, make sure to ask them how they make it and tell them what are your preferences. 
    • you can add flavours to your café Misto by adding any of your flavoured syrup to the milk during warming it. It will infuse great flavour into your café Misto. 

What is Cafe Misto at Starbucks?

If you’re unfamiliar with Caffe Misto or cafe au lait,  it’s a French tradition that involves combining coffee and hot milk to make a delicious drink. Cafe Misto is a great way to enjoy the flavour of both coffee and milk in one drink.

Caffe Misto comes in roasted hazelnut milk and contains 33 grams of whole milk, which is about the same amount as one cup of skim milk. So when you order a Cafe Misto from Starbucks your taste buds won’t go off track by noticing the milk flavour once again.

What can be added to Café Misto?

Although Caffe Misto Starbucks is very tasty when you make it with simple ingredients many people prefer to experiment with taste. You can add any flavoured syrup like pumpkin spice, vanilla, etc for giving a sweet flavour.

You can also add whipped cream on the top to give a fuller texture to your café misto. Many people prefer it with hazelnut syrup. The same things can be added to a latte also to give it a different taste. 

Taste of café misto

If you are familiar with the taste of latte, it will be easier to understand the taste of Caffe Misto Starbucks. Cafe au Lait is not bitter in flavour as it is not made using espresso.

It contains a flavour of warm milk with shine and balances the flavour of strong coffee. the milk helps to dilute the strong coffee flavour and make a smooth, balanced and amazing tasty drink.  If you don’t like the strength of espresso, you will surely love the café misto.

Caffe Misto appears soft and comfortable with no frills. It’s not artistic but looks amazing with the integration of milk and coffee. It possesses a strong flavour but a smooth finish.

Its lactose soluble due to the steaming of milk and give a sweet flavour naturally. The warm milk produces microforms due to the presence of a steam wand and looks more soothing than normal coffee or latte.

Caffe Misto vs latte

Are you also confused between a café latte and café misto? Let’s discuss them in detail and understand the difference. The meaning of both the names is coffee with milk in a different language but many things make them different.

Firstly the brewing method. The main difference between the Caffe Misto vs latte is their brewing method. The latte is made using espresso whereas the café misto is made using a French press or drip.

Espresso produces crema which is the foundation element of café latte art which makes it more expensive than cafe misto. However, café misto and café latte look the same.

Caffe Misto vs latte

The caffe misto Starbucks is made from warm milk and brewed coffee which sometimes produces foam but café latte always has foam as it is made using espresso and foamed milk. 

Another difference between café Misto and café latte is the coffee. Latte has espresso while misto has brewed coffee. Milk is also one of the major differences. You can add more variety of milk in Caffe Misto like foamed milk or simple warmed milk with a 1:1 ratio of milk and coffee.

But, in café latte, you can only use the espresso that follows a 1:3 ration of coffee and milk. The milk has little foam to create latte art. The caffe misto doesn’t have any art as it is made of brewed coffee. 

Cafe late is called the espresso drink. Starbucks serves lattes with frothed milk and latte art topping. The key difference is the type of black coffee used in the process of making both drinks.

Latte is espresso based while Misto is a drip coffee. talking about the taste, espresso offers a stronger taste than drip coffee, so latte contains a 1:3 ratio of coffee and milk while café Misto has an equal amount of coffee and milk to balance the strong flavour. 

The ratio of the ingredients used also makes the café misto and caffe latte different from each other. For making café misto, you have to mix the milk and coffee in a 1:1 ratio, while in latte, you need to use 3 ingredients- espresso shot (1/6), hot milk( 4/6 and milk for foaming (1/6).  

What is cafe misto vs latte Caffeine and calorie content?

Many health freaks worry about the caffeine and calories in the café micro. If you are also among those people, we will tell you all about the caffeine and calorie content of café misto in starbucks in the table below:

Caffe Misto Café Latte
Serving  16 fl oz 16 fl oz
Calories 110 190
Caffeine 150 mg 150 mg
cholesterol 15 mg 30 mg


Caffe Misto vs flat white

Before understanding the difference, you must know about starbucks coffee flat white. So, let us introduce you to the drink named as flat white. Flat white is an espresso-based drink made up of skimmed milk possessing a strong and dominating flavor of the coffee.

The amount of skimmed milk used in this drink is small and forms a microfoam layer. The foam layer is velvety with a glossy finish. The glossy finish appears due to the steaming process which produces small bubbles on the milk surface. If you wish to enjoy a drink with a strong taste of espresso that feels creamy, you must go for flat white. 

Latte starbucks coffee flat white and café misto are 3 different drinks with varying tastes but the same ingredients. They also appear similar when served. Flat white is made using less milk as compared to café misto.

The flat white is espresso based while the misto is made using brewed coffee.  so basically, a flat white is somewhat similar to the latte with less foam on it. The main difference between café misto and flat white is the type of coffee used and the milk ratio.

Final words

Café Misto is a very simple drink made from brewed coffee and milk and a great choice for those who avoid espresso. The people who like a more diluted and balanced flavor would love the taste of café misto.

It’s versatile and easy to make at home without any special equipment using simple coffee and milk. So, now you know what cafe misto is and how it is different from a latte. Next time you will be more clear in your choices while ordering the drink at starbucks.

We hope the content was useful for you to understand the details about what is cafe Misto and caffe latte including their caffeine, cholesterol, and calorie content.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. Is café misto the same as Starbucks coffee flat white?

Ans: Café Misto and Starbucks coffee flat white are similar but possess many differences too. The flat white is espresso based while café misto is made using brewed coffee. The flat white is made using hot milk while café Misto contains warm milk. 

Q2. Does Caffe Misto Starbucks have sugar content in it?

Ans: Yes, Starbucks serves some sugar in café misto to make it tastier but the amount of sugar used is only 10 gms. They use sugar because they do not use any flavoring agent or cream in café misto. Around 2% of sugar comes from milk, but the natural sugar content changes according to the type of milk.

Q 3) difference between Cafe Misto and cappuccino?

Ans: Cafe Misto is made with coffee, milk and foam – but in a different ratio than what you get when you order a cappuccino. While the espresso and milk make up half of the espresso-to-milk ratio in a cappuccino, this ratio will be effectively doubled to two because of the addition of foam.

Q 4) difference between cafe misto and americano?

Ans: The difference between cafe misto and americano is mainly in the intensity of coffee such that The Caffe Misto coffee is made from foam on top which can be adjusted according to your preferences.

Q 5) does Cafe misto have caffeine?

Ans: Caffe Misto is not caffeinated, instead it naturally has caffeine released from a delicious blend of ethically sourced espresso, arabica and robusta coffee beans.

Q 6) does Caffe Misto have sugar?

Ans: Yes, Caffe Misto does have sugar. Depending on how the coffee is brewed and what kind of milk is used, the amount of sugar in a Caffe Misto can vary. For example, if you use whole milk and brew your coffee with a dark roast, your Caffe Misto will likely have less sugar than if you use skim milk and brew your coffee with a light roast.

Q 7) is cafe Misto and cafe au lait the same?

Ans: Cafe Misto and Cafe au Lait are similar drinks, but they do have some differences. The main difference is that Cafe Misto is made with foam on top, which can be adjusted according to your preferences. While, Cafe au Lait is a French traditional coffee made with equal parts espresso and hot milk without foam. Both drinks can be customized according to individual needs and taste.

Also Read: 

The Serious Health Benefits Of Black Coffee Without Sugar

How Much Caffeine Is In a Starbucks Frappuccino?

How To Make Turkish Coffee At Home? The Pursuit Of Taste

How Much Caffeine in Mountain Dew: Few Surprising Facts

Iced Americano Recipe – The Best Way to Make Iced Coffee

Marcus Deeprose is a passionate entrepreneur who believes in the power of great coffee to bring people together. He has dedicated himself to providing high-quality information and advice on all aspects of the coffee experience from brewing to sourcing. Marcus also enjoys sharing his knowledge of coffee through public talks and workshops, where he is able to educate his audience and foster meaningful connections within the coffee community. No matter the setting, Marcus seeks to bring joy and passion to every cup of coffee.

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