Misto coffee, also known as cafe au lait, is a beloved coffee drink with a smooth, creamy texture and balanced coffee-milk flavor. In this article, we’ll explore everything that goes into making this delicious yet straightforward beverage. Follow other useful articles from Mocha Art Cafe right below!
What Exactly is Misto Coffee?
Misto coffee is made by combining equal parts freshly brewed coffee and steamed milk. This gives it a milder coffee taste compared to espresso drinks like cappuccinos or lattes, which use more concentrated coffee. The milk also lends a lush, velvety texture.
You can make misto coffee with any type of brewed coffee – drip, French press, pour over, etc. As long as you mix it equally with steamed milk, you’ll end up with the quintessential misto coffee flavor and texture.
Origins in Cafe au Lait
Misto coffee traces its origins back to France, where it’s better known as cafe au lait. This directly translates to “coffee with milk” – a fitting name for this straightforward yet tasty drink.
The French have enjoyed cafe au lait as part of their morning ritual for centuries. It’s considered a classic French breakfast accompaniment alongside pastries like croissants.
Why People Love Misto Coffee
There are several reasons misto coffee has become so popular not just in France, but around the world:
- It’s simple to make while also feeling a bit indulgent. The steamed milk gives it a rich, creamy quality similar to fancy espresso drinks.
- The flavor is very accessible and balanced. With equal coffee and milk, it avoids being too harsh or bitter for many people.
- It can be customized easily with different coffee varieties and milk types to suit individual tastes.
- It has an authentic, cozy, European cafe feel without complex barista skills required.
Next, we’ll break down the easy process of making misto coffee at home.
How to Make Misto Coffee
One of the appeals of misto coffee is how achievable it is to make a cafe-quality version at home. All you need is some basic coffee brewing equipment and a way to steam milk.
Ingredients & Equipment
To make misto coffee, you will need:
- High quality coffee beans and a brewing method like drip machine, French press or pour over
- Milk – any type can work including dairy milk, plant-based milks, etc.
- An electric milk frother, stovetop steamer, or whisk for foaming milk
- A mug or cup
- Sweeteners like sugar or honey (optional)
Follow these simple steps for foolproof misto coffee every time:
- Brew coffee. Use your preferred brewing method to make a small batch of coffee, about 1 cup’s worth. Make sure to follow standard brewing guidelines for that method.
- Steam milk. While coffee is brewing, steam or foam milk in a small pitcher or directly in a mug. You want air incorporated but no thick foam. Remove from heat once hot.
- Combine. Pour the hot, freshly brewed coffee into your mug or cup. Then add an equal amount of the steamed milk and stir gently to combine.
- Sweeten if desired. Taste and add sugar, honey or other sweeteners if you want. Be careful not to over-sweeten the already velvety drink.
- Enjoy immediately! Misto coffee is meant to be consumed fresh and hot. Savor the harmonious melding of flavors.
And your delicious misto coffee is ready to drink! Feel free to customize as you get the hang of it.
Tips & Variations
There are so many ways to adapt misto coffee to your personal preferences:
- Use different coffee beans like bright, fruity varieties vs. dark, chocolatey roasts
- Experiment with plant-based milk or creamers for extra richness
- Add flavors with vanilla extract, cinnamon, chocolate shavings or nutmeg
- Top with foam or whipped cream extra decadence
- Sprinkle cocoa powder or nutmeg on top for an extra pop of flavor
Be creative and come up with your own signature version!
Perfect Pastry Pairings
A time-honored French tradition is enjoying cafe au lait alongside a flaky French pastry. The same goes beautifully for misto coffee.
Some delectable baked goods that pair perfectly with misto coffee’s mild sweetness include:
The quintessential French pastry, a croissant’s layers of buttery dough beautifully complement misto coffee’s creamy flavors. Enjoy your croissant either plain or with jams, chocolate or almond spread.
Pain au Chocolat
This chocolate-filled cousin of the croissant plays perfectly off misto coffee’s mild flavors. The bittersweet chocolate mingles deliciously with each sip.
Almond croissants offer both frangrant, toasted nuts and vanilla pastry cream as delightful counterparts to velvety misto coffee. Let the almond essence dance on your palate between sips.
Scones or Muffins
For a simpler bakery choice, scones and muffins like blueberry, bran or cinnamon raisin make an easy yet tasty pairing. Allow the misto coffee to cut through the density beautifully.
So embrace the French cafe spirit by enjoying your homemade misto coffee with one (or more) of these sublime pastries!
Misto coffee offers an accessible yet gourmet coffee experience through its combination of smooth steamed milk and freshly brewed coffee. Much like a cafe au lait in France, it can be personalized endlessly while keeping an balance of flavors at its core.
Hopefully this guide has demystified this beloved drink so you can begin crafting your own custom versions at home. So grab your favorite coffee beans, milk, mug and pastry and start enjoying misto coffee’s blend of comfort and indulgence.