What is a Misto Coffee and How Does It Taste?

What is a Misto Coffee and How Does It Taste?

Caffe misto or cafe au lait is a coffee perfect for home brewers. The coffee does not need any hefty appliances. You just need some good coffee beans and steamed milk.

Caffe misto is also great for those who have issues with coffee bitterness. Cafe au lait is half coffee and half milk, so the taste is well-balanced. It's a popular drink in home brewers and coffee shops and is known for its simple rich combination of coffee and hot milk.

It's for home brewers who don't have time to whip up foam each time they need a quick cup of coffee.

In this article, we will discuss what a misto is. We will share a quick guide on making it and give some tips to make the coffee better.

How is Caffe Misto different from Cafe Au Lait?


What is misto?

Misto is an American version of cafe au lait. Cafe au lait is a popular coffee in France sold in every coffee house. In French, cafe au lait means coffee with milk.

Both cafe au lait and misto are the same with minor differences in how it is served. In America, misto is served in a regular mug, while the French do it in a bowl in a more traditional way.

How is Caffe Misto Made?

misto coffee

On a basic level, misto combines coffee and hot milk. However, there is a technique to it, like the base coffee or how much you should steam the milk.

Misto is a half-cup coffee, and the other half is filled with steamed milk. Unlike most other coffee drinks, misto is not an espresso-based drink. You can use any coffee made with French press, drip method, or pour over. One of the coffee is misto, and the other is filled with steamed milk.


Coffee 100 grams

Hot Milk 100 grams or half a cup

Make half a cup of coffee. Use medium roast beans. Brew it any method you like, like pour-over, French press, or even Aeropress.

Meanwhile, put the milk on the stove in a pan. Once the milk is boiling, you can whisk it multiple times to add some air. Misto does not need to have this layer of foam on the top like a latte, but whisking milk adds some bubbles.

You can also use a milk frother if you have one, But don't make thick foam of milk. Simply steam it enough to add bubbles to the milk.

Fill half a serving cup with brewed coffee, add heated milk, and that's it. Misto or cafe au lait is ready.

You can use non-dairy milk or regular milk and adjust the intensity of coffee to your liking. The basic recipe of misto calls for an equal amount of coffee to milk ratio.

How is Misto Different from Latte?

latte vs misto

 It is easy to confuse misto coffee and latte as they have the same essential ingredients. However, both latte and misto are different coffees.

Latte combines warm milk and coffee. It is an espresso-based drink. You need to add one or two espresso shots to the drink's base. This delicious coffee drink has some milk in it. Baristas add a layer of milk foam on the top.

Latte is also served in coffee houses with latte art that looks very beautiful. So the key differences between latte and misto are:

  1. Latte is an espresso-based drink, misto is not. You need espresso shots; single shot or double shots will do, depending on the serving mug or glass.
  2. Latte has a darker coffee flavor as espresso has a more intense flavor.
  3. Latte has thick scoops of foam on the top. At the same time, misto has some bubbles but not thick foam.
  4. You need a milk frother or espresso steam wand to make foamed milk.
  5. You can use any milk in the misto; for the latte, whole milk is recommended to make milk foam on the top.
  6. Latte has more milk as there is a base of espresso, then milk in the middle and top it with thick milk foam. So the milk ratio becomes 2/3 in a latte.

Caffeine Content in Misto vs. Latte

cappaccino vs misto

The amount of caffeine in any drink depends on the recipe, the serving size, the amount of coffee used, the type of roast or coffee, the size of the mug, and the ratio of coffee to milk.

The amount of caffeine in latte and espresso is different due to the brewing method. The latte uses espresso shots, so it has an additional amount of caffeine than the strong drip coffee.

It is interesting to note that though espresso has a strong coffee flavor and aroma, the amount of caffeine in it is less than other coffee which is brewed for a more extended period.

Espresso makes the water go through the coffee with pressure. The water passes through the coffee bed extracting all the flavor and aroma. However, drip brew coffee for a longer period; even though the amount of coffee used in espresso is higher, the caffeine level of drip coffee is higher.

As latte is an espresso-based drink, a single espresso has less caffeine than half a mug of brewed coffee in misto. Generally, a mug of misto has 75 grams of caffeine. The amount can increase with bigger mugs.

How is Misto Different from Cappuccino?

Latte and cappuccino are almost similar drinks, but both have a different ratio of milk. A cappuccino has more milk than a latte. A cappuccino contains more milk foam than a latte.

The coffee beans are dark roasted to balance the milk taste in the cappuccino. The coffee grind is also finer than in other types of coffee. Cappuccino requires equipment to make an espresso shot with thick milk, but misto is a simple coffee with milk.

Misto is easier to make, requires less time, and requires no equipment other than a coffee maker. It can be a French press, drip method, Aeropress, or pour over technique.

How Can I Make Misto More interesting?

Misto is a simple drink, but adding some extra ingredients can make it a bit more special. You can make a tasty drink by adding different flavors like hazelnut, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

You can make misto sweet by adding sugar content. Misto is a bit on the side of sweetness due to scalded milk used in the misto. By heating milk, sugar is activated.

You can add sweet syrup like maple or honey on top, but that will change the taste of misto. The delicious drink can be customized in many ways.

Final Words

Caffe misto or cafe au lait is a popular breakfast drink in the USA. The fact that it does not require any special equipment makes it all the more desirable for home brewers.

It has a strong coffee aroma and a balanced taste. 

No thick foam and no fancy latte art are required to serve misto. That makes it a simple cup of coffee everyone needs in the morning with a proper kick.

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