What is Caffe Misto | Famous Starbucks Drink

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Johny Morrisson

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♡ Written by Humans for Humans

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

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

How to Make Caffe Misto

The best thing is you can easily prepare Caffe Misto at home without the need for fancy Espresso machines or Milk frothers.


  • Brewed Coffee
  • Whole Milk


1. Prepare Coffee

Prepare a cup of coffee using your favorite method. But keep serving size in mind. For example, if you want to make 12 oz of Cafe Misto then brew a 6 oz cup of coffee.

You can make coffee using a French press or drip coffee maker; whatever method you prefer. Traditionally, a French Press Coffee Maker is used to make a strong cup of coffee.

Use dark or medium dark roasted for Caffe Misto as they pair well with the creaminess of milk.

2. Heat the Milk

Heat the milk on the stove at medium heat until small bubbles start appearing.

You can also use the microwave to heat the milk.

Traditionally, Caffe au Lait is made with hot milk, not frothed milk. However, at Starbucks, they serve Cafe Misto with frothed milk.

How to make Caffe Misto

Some Expert Tips for Making Caffe Misto

  • If you’re using a French Press to prepare your Caffe Misto, don’t overlook its frothing potential. After brewing your coffee, warm up some milk and pump the plunger of the French Press for a quick and easy froth. It will add a luxuriously creamy texture to your homemade Misto.

  • Always brew the coffee at a high coffee-to-water ratio for a strong concentration, as this stands up better when diluted with milk. I like to use a 1:13 ratio, which equates to about 15 grams of coffee for a 6 oz serving. Play around to find your ideal strength, but a robust coffee is key.

  • Everyone’s taste buds are unique. Experiment with coffee-to-milk ratios to find the perfect balance for your taste.

  • To make Caffe Misto sweeter you can add various sweeteners and syrups. Vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut syrups can add a delightful sweetness to your drink.

What’s the difference in Caffe Misto and Latte

Both coffee drinks share coffee and milk as their fundamental ingredients. However, the main difference lies in the coffee base. Misto coffee employs brewed coffee or French press coffee, while lattes are prepared with espresso.

Caffe Misto has a stronger taste compared to a Latte as it is prepared with a smaller proportion of milk.

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 simple warm milk.

Unlike a 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 80-130 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 6 oz of brewed coffee which has 80-120 mg of caffeine.

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

Is there a difference in Caffe Misto and Cafe au Lait

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.

There is one small difference though, Starbucks differentiates its Caffè Misto by adding a layer of foamed milk on top while there is no foam in traditional Cafe Au Lait.

Also, It is possible that the ratio of milk to coffee in Cafe Au Lait differs from one cafe to another but traditionally it is prepared by using equal amounts of coffee and milk.


What is the difference between Americano and Misto?

An Americano starts with espresso, diluted with hot water for a bold, black coffee experience. On the other hand, a Caffe Misto is a harmonious blend of equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk, creating a creamier, milder flavor profile.

What coffee does Starbucks use for Cafe Misto?

Starbucks specially crafts its caffe misto beverage using its Sumatra Single-Origin dark roast coffee. The Sumatra dark roast coffee provides a full-bodied and intensely bold coffee flavor that stands up well when mellowed out by steamed milk.

Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap on everything you need to know to master the Misto Coffee!

Let me know if you decide to give this balanced coffee and milk mixture a try after reading this. I’d love to hear how your homemade misto creations turn out! Feel free to share your brewing tips and favorite flavor variations too.

Caffe Misto Recipe

Caffe Misto is usually relatively easy to make at home and usually does not require expensive machines.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • French Press or Drip Coffee machine to brew coffee
  • Stove to heat milk and water


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


  • Prepare a strong cup of coffee using your favorite method.
  • Heat the milk on the stove at medium heat and make sure to remove the heat before the milk starts boiling.
  • 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.

Read Articles about other delicious Coffee Drinks:

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About, bringing passion and expertise to the world of coffee.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.