Caffe Misto: Learn Everything You Need to Know about it!

Updated on: June 1, 2023
Author: Nick
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Caffe Misto Learn Everything You Need to Know about it!

Welcome to the world of the caffe misto! This delicious drink is a mix of coffee and milk, and it's the perfect way to start your day. This drink has a rich history, and it's been enjoyed by coffee lovers for centuries. Today, the caffe misto is more popular than ever, and it's easy to see why.

If you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for a delicious new coffee drink to try. But with so many choices out there, it can be tough to know where to start.

That's why I'm here to introduce you to the caffe misto and how it differs from other coffee and milk beverages, like the cafe au lait, the latte, the cappuccino, etc...

What is a Caffe Misto?

Simply put, a caffe misto is a delicious coffee beverage made with equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk!

The brewed coffee can be made using different brewing techniques, such as a pour-over, a French press, or simply a drip coffee maker.

The key to a good caffe misto is to use high quality coffee beans and to steam the milk until it is frothy and creamy.

For an extra special treat, you can top your drink off with a sprinkle of cinnamon or chocolate shavings. Yum!

Caffe Misto vs Café au Lait: What are the Differences?

Have you ever been to a cafe in Paris and ordered a caffe misto, only to find out that you received a café au lait instead? If so, you're not alone! 

In fact, if you are ever in Paris, I recommend you ask for a cafe au lait and not a caffe misto, to avoid getting dirty looks... Haha!

Most people think that the only difference between a café au lait and a caffe misto is the amount of hot milk that is used. However, this is not the case. The main difference between these two drinks is the type of milk that is used.

For a café au lait, warm milk is added to the coffee. This milk is not frothed, and as a result, the drink is less creamy than a caffe misto. For a caffe misto, on the other hand, frothed milk is added to the coffee. This gives the drink a creamier texture and also makes it slightly sweeter than a café au lait.

Fun Fact: Did you know that steamed milk tastes sweeter than non steamed warm milk?

The sugar in milk (the lactose) caramelizes as you steam it, making it sweeter. Keep in mind that you don't want to cook the milk too quickly, as this may scorch it and ruin the taste.

Caffe Misto vs Cafe au Lait

Caffe Misto vs Latte: What are the Differences?

The main difference between a Caffe Misto and a Latte is the type of coffee that is used as well as the milk to coffee proportions. 

A cafe latte, or "milky coffee", is an espresso based drink with steamed milk. A caffe misto, on the other hand, is made with brewed coffee and steamed milk.

The proportion of milk to coffee also differs between the two drinks. Cafe lattes have more milk than caffe mistos, making them smoother and creamier. While a caffe misto is equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk, a latte is 1/4 espresso and 3/4 foamed milk.

Plus lattes almost always come with latte art! But this is not required for a latte to be called a latte. It just makes your drink pretty as well as tasty - what else can someone ask for?

That's why lattes are one of my favorite drinks!

Cafe Misto vs Latte

Caffe Misto vs Cappuccino: What are the Differences?

Similar to the latte, the main difference between the caffe misto and the cappuccino is the type of coffee that is used and the milk to coffee ratios.

A cappuccino is also made with espresso for the coffee base and the remainder of the drink is steamed milk. But the cappuccino has more frothed milk than a latte or a caffe misto does. The milk portion of a cappuccino is made with equal parts milk and milk foam.

This makes the cappuccino quite light and airy!

Cafe Misto vs Cappuccino

Which drink is the healthiest?

If you are anything like me, super strict with your diet and usually have black coffee every day, every now and then you might want to spice things up a bit without going overboard. So you decide to treat yourself for a coffee with milk in it...

Quite adventurous, don't you think?! Haha...

When it comes to the calories in these drinks, it is solely based on the type of milk being used and the quantity of it, since coffee barely has any calories.

So the higher the fat content in your choice of milk, then the higher the calories. And the more the milk to coffee ratio, then the more the calories.

Having said that, if we use the same milk and cup size for all of these drinks, then the caffe misto and the cafe au lait should be the healthiest because they both have the least amount of milk in them.

In case you're a goldfish like me and you forgot, the caffe misto and cafe au lait are made of equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk, while the latte and cappuccino are 1/4 espresso and 3/4 steamed milk.

How many calories are there in a Caffe Misto?

This question might be important to you if you count your calories!

So in order to answer this question, I have put together a list of the calories per 1/2 a cup of milk for each type of milk and non-dairy alternative:

  • Whole Milk: 73 calories
  • 2% Milk: 61 calories
  • 1% Milk: 51 calories
  • Skim Milk: 43 calories
  • Unsweetened Oat Milk: 60 calories
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk: 20 calories
  • Soy Milk: 64 calories

Which drink has the most caffeine?

This is where things get a little complicated...

Since the caffe misto and cafe au lait both use brewed coffee but the latte and cappuccino use espresso from an espresso machine, we will need to find some kind of common ground so we can compare apples to apples.

In order to do that, we will have to compare the caffeine content in mg based on 100 ml of coffee.

  • The caffeine content in 100ml of brewed coffee is: 74mg
  • The caffeine content in 100ml of espresso is: 224mg

But don't be fooled my friend... I'm about to go Leonardo DiCaprio's Inception on yo a**...

Caffe Misto & Leonardo DiCaprio

At first glance, it appears that the latte and cappuccino have more caffeine, but these numbers are deceiving!

The serving size for one shot of espresso in a latte or cappuccino is 30ml, which equates to 67mg of caffeine, while the serving size of brewed coffee in a caffe misto is 250ml and that equates to 185mg of caffeine...

So even though it first appears that the espresso from an espresso machine has more caffeine, when we compare the actual drinks with the same cup size, the caffe misto will have more caffeine, even if you opt-in for double shots of espresso in your latte or cappuccino (134mg of caffeine).

Caffe Misto Recipe

You can make a Caffe Misto with just your coffee maker and milk frother! It’s not as fancy but it will still give you that rich, bold flavor.

You can use a drip coffee maker, a pour-over, a French press, and even a percolator!

If you choose to use a French press or percolator, then keep in mind that the coffee will come out stronger and bolder than using a pour-over or a drip coffee maker.

Keep that in mind when you're making this drink, and try out a few coffee to water ratios before you settle for one that works best for you!

First Step: Brew Your Coffee

I recommend using 20g of ground coffee per 1 cup of water, and if you prefer your coffee strong, then go with 30g of coffee per cup of water. I recommend you use high quality coffee beans and grind them yourself right before brewing your coffee!

Second Step: Steam Your Milk

If you own a milk steamer, then that would be the best choice, but if you don't, then there are other ways to warm and froth your milk with tools you most likely already own in your kitchen. Check out this article for more information!

Final Step: Make your Drink

Once the coffee is brewed and the milk is steamed and frothed, pour the coffee into your cup and stop at halfway. Then pour the milk on top until there's an inch of room left, then scoop from the frothed milk and add it on top!

And there you have it! A delicious Caffe Misto made right at home...

Quite simple, right?

What milk can I use for my Caffe Misto?

You can use any type of milk you want for a caffe misto, from non-fat to whole milk, and even non-dairy alternatives such as oat milk, almond milk, or soy milk.

However, we do recommend using milk with higher fat content, which allows for a creamier and smoother drink!

Again, you want to try different options out before choosing your favorite milk type for this drink.

Does Starbucks Cafe Misto have sugar?

The Starbucks Cafe Misto is made the same way a traditional cafe misto is made, which means the sugar in the drink is from the milk and not added sugar. So in a Grande Cafe Misto from Starbucks, you can expect to have 10g of sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between a Caffe Misto and an Americano Misto?

The main and only difference between a caffe misto and an americano misto is that the americano misto is made with espresso and hot water. The milk to coffee ratios for both drinks are the same!

Is a Caffe Misto sweet?

If you don't customize your caffe misto, then it won't be sweet. But if you prefer a sweeter drink, then try adding sugar, sweeteners or flavored syrup to add an extra oomph to your drink.

What's the difference between a Caffe Misto and a Flat White?

A flat white is pretty much the same as a latte with less foam on top. So the main difference between a caffe misto and a flat white is the type of coffee being used and the milk to coffee ratio.

Can I make an Iced Caffe Misto?

Absolutely! Almost any hot coffee can be enjoyed iced. Just look at all the Starbucks iced coffee drinks! So, all you have to do is cool down your brewed coffee with ice cubes, then add the cold milk, or non-dairy alternative, on top. And voilà, you got yourself an iced caffe misto!

Is a Caffe Misto Good?

This really depends on your preferences and how you like your coffee. If you prefer a drink that is slightly darker and stronger than a traditional latte, then you might enjoy having a caffe misto. The best way to figure this out is to try it and let us know!

Does a Cafe Misto have foam?

Yes, a cafe misto has steamed milk which is comprised of hot milk and foam. On the other hand, a cafe au lait does not have milk foam. So if you prefer a creamier drink, request a cafe misto.

Can I add an espresso shot to my Cafe Misto?

Yes, you absolutely can! You can customize this drink as you wish and if adding an extra shot of espresso is what you want, then do it! This would be called a Red Eye Caffe Misto, and it is going to taste strong and it's going to give you a great kick of caffeine to keep your day going. It might even give you wings (I'm just kidding here, please don't jump off a ledge or something... Haha!)

Starbucks Coffee Misto

Final Thoughts

So now that you know the difference between a caffe misto and other coffee drinks, next time you’re in line at Starbucks or your favorite local coffee shop, be sure to order this underrated drink. It might just become your new go-to!

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!
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