What is Caffe Misto | Famous Starbucks Drink

If you’ve been to Starbucks or a fancy coffee cafe, you’ve might have heard of Caffe Misto also known as Cafe au lait sometimes.

You might be wondering what is Caffe Misto and how it differs from Latte

Caffe Misto consists of half-brewed coffee mixed with half-hot milk. This is essentially a one-to-one ratio of coffee and milk. It is also known as Café au lait if you are outside Starbucks.

Caffe Misto is a delicious drink and you will surely love it if you are a fan of milk-based coffee drinks like cappuccinos or Lattes.

Now you might be wondering if both Caffe Misto and Latte are prepared by adding milk to coffee then where is the difference between Caffe Misto vs Latte?

Caffe Misto Vs Latte | What’s the Difference

Both coffee drinks are prepared with coffee and milk, but the main difference is that in misto coffee, milk is combined with brewed coffee or French Press coffee, and latte, on the other hand, is prepared with Espresso.

The second difference is Latte is always made with frothed milk with a layer of foam on the top while Caffe Misto is prepared with steamed or warmed milk.

The other difference you might notice is that you will never see a heart-shaped design on Cafe Misto as you usually see on Lattes since no foamed milk is used in Cafe Misto.

Unlike latte, you can easily prepare Caffe Misto at home. You can either prepare coffee in a French Press or a Drip coffee machine and heat the milk on the stove. You don’t need fancy Espresso machines and milk frothers to do it as in the case of Latte.

The caffeine content in both the Caffe Latte and Caffe Misto is almost the same and that is somewhere between 100-150 mg. Caffeine mainly depends on the type of coffee beans you are using and the amount of actual brewed coffee.

A serving of Latte is usually prepared with a double shot of Espresso which has 120 – 133 mg of caffeine while a serving of Caffe Misto is prepared with 8 oz of brewed coffee either by a French Press or Drip Coffee machine which has 100-140 mg of caffeine.

Also Read: What is a Latte (A Detailed Guide)

Caffe Misto Vs Cafe au lait | What’s the Difference?

There is no difference between Cafe Au Lait and Cafe Misto. In fact, Caffe Misto is a drink known to many as a Cafe au Lait 

Cafe Au Lait is a French word meaning “coffee with added milk”. And Cafe Misto is a Starbucks term for the same drink.

It may be possible that the ratio of milk to coffee in Cafe Au lait differs from one cafe to other but traditionally it is prepared by using equal amounts of coffee and milk.

How to make Caffe Misto at Home

Caffe Misto is usually relatively easy to make at home and usually does not require expensive machines. The first step is to make the coffee the way you want it.
You can make coffee using a French press or drip coffee maker with your favorite coffee beans. Medium or Medium-Dark roast coffee beans are preferable.
I personally like to brew my coffee in a French Press as it results in more robust and strong coffee.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • Your Favorite coffee beans
  • French Press or Drip Coffee machine to brew coffee
  • Electric Kettle or Stove to heat milk and water


  • 2 tbsp Coffee Grounds
  • 8 oz Milk
  • 8 oz Filtered Water


  • Prepare a cup of coffee using your favorite method. But keep serving size in mind. For example, if you want to make 16 oz of Cafe Misto then brew an 8 oz cup of coffee.
    Don't get obsessed with the 1:1 ratio of brewed coffee to milk while preparing Cafe Misto at home. Yes traditionally 1:1 ratio of brewed coffee to water is used but it entirely depends on your taste. You can add more milk if you prefer a lighter cup and lesser milk if you prefer a stronger cup. Personally, I use almost half the milk and then brewed coffee as I like it stronger.
  • Heat the milk on the stove at medium heat and make sure to remove the heat before the milk starts boiling.
    You can also use the microwave to heat the milk.
  • Traditionally, Caffe au Lait is served with hot milk, not frothed milk. At Starbucks, they serve Cafe Misto with frothed milk.
    So this step is completely optional. If you like the flavor of frothed milk then use a milk frother otherwise just combine the hot milk with brewed coffee.
    But what to do if you like frothed milk but you don't have a milk frother?
    Well! you can easily froth milk in a French Press
    Just add the warm milk to the French Press jar and move the plunger up and down 15-20 times or until you see a significant increase in the volume of milk. And your frothed milk is ready!
  • That's it, pour coffee right into a cup and warm milk ahead, you've just made your own Coffee Misto at Home!
    If you like to add sweetener then mix it into the brewed coffee before adding the milk.
    You can also add tasteful syrups like pumpkin spice, vanilla, or hazelnuts to enhance the flavor of Cafe Misto.

Final Thoughts

Okay, you get the idea of what Caffe Misto is and how it is different from Latte

The best thing is Caffe Misto is super easy to make. You don’t need fancy and expensive machines to make this delicious and balanced coffee drink.

Yeah, you can say Caffe Misto is the Starbucks term for Cafe Au Lait. Or you can also say Caffe Misto is an American name for Cafe Au Lait. As you will find Caffe Misto only in America. In Europe Cafe Au Lait is a more famous term for “brewed coffee with milk”


1- How many calories are in a cup of Misto Coffee?

Misto coffee comes in a variety of sizes – a small Misto coffee cup (8 ounces) can contain about 60-70 calories, while larger cups (16 ounces) can contain up to 110-120 calories

2- Is café au lait stronger than latte?

Generally, cafe au lait is stronger than cafe Latte.
It is because the milk to coffee ratio in Latte is 1:3 and in Cafe au lait it is 1:1.
Although Latte is prepared by adding milk to Espresso which is stronger than brewed coffee. But the larger coffee-to-water ratio in Latte makes it taste milder.

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Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.