Caffe Misto

Caffe Misto

Trying out new varieties of coffee drinks has become a fun pastime for many. However, it can be hard to discern what makes them all unique. The taste of a Caffe Misto is one of a kind, but how is it made?

If you’re interested in learning about what makes up a Caffe Misto, continue reading to find out.

What Is Caffe Misto?

It may surprise you that a Caffe Misto is equal parts brewed coffee and milk. Many think that because of its creamy flavor, it contains more ingredients than it actually does. Additionally, a Caffe Misto can easily become confused with other milk-based drinks like lattes or cafe au lait due to the similarity in consistency.

Although other milk-based drinks utilize espresso, the Caffe Misto is made with regular brewed coffee. The strength of brewed coffee is less than what espresso contains. Therefore, if you want higher caffeine content in your coffee drink, you can use different roasts or coffee blends.

When brewing a Caffe Misto, most people make their coffee with a drip machine or a French press. For some, choosing which method to use will relate to personal taste preference. The product from a drip machine is much different in taste than what you get from a French press.

Alternatively, some coffee drinkers may utilize the Coffee press method for simplicity. The coffee press is highly portable and can easily be rinsed out and ready to use again. The cost difference between a drip machine and a French press is night and day. 

Often the decision comes down to what is available at the given time and your taste preference. Either way, you choose, you can create an excellent-tasting Caffe Misto to enjoy.


How To Brew a Caffè Misto

You can make the brewed coffee in a variety of ways to create the base of your drink, including but not limited to:

  • Drip Machine
  • Single Serving Machine
  • Pour-Over Method
  • French Press Method
  • Turkish Coffee

When deciding how to brew your coffee, you want to consider your preferred style. Making the base of your Caffe Misto with a brewed coffee that doesn’t appeal to your taste buds will ruin your entire drink. Therefore, it’s best to choose wisely.

While your coffee is brewing, you need to gather your supplies for steaming your milk and combining the two ingredients. You don’t want to have either element sitting for too long as it will cause them to rest and lose flavor. 

You will measure equal parts milk to coffee in ounces that correlate with your desired drink size. Therefore, if you want a 16-ounce drink, you will want one cup of coffee and one cup of milk.

Next, you should warm milk on the stovetop or microwave. If your coffee is nearing the end of its brew, you may like to utilize the microwave for this task for a quicker turnaround time. Some people will use a milk frother to foam up the milk after it’s heated, but this isn’t necessary.

Once the coffee and heated milk are ready to go, pour them together into one cup and stir. 

The word “misto” is Italian and translates into English as “mixed.” Knowing this helps you understand the meaning behind the drink’s name.

After your drink is ready, you can add syrup or flavorings. While this isn’t the traditional way to make a Caffe Misto, it has become more common throughout the years.

How Much Caffeine Is in Cafe Misto?

The amount of caffeine that you will have in your Caffe Misto will depend on the type of roast that creates the coffee base. Dark roast coffee beans typically have less caffeine than what you will find in a light roast.

Additionally, the size of your drink will dictate the amount of caffeine. Having 24 ounces versus 16 will give you a higher level of caffeine. 

That said, a 16-ounce Starbucks Caffe Misto coffee drink with no additional flavorings or toppings will come out at 150mg of caffeine. A 20-ounce cup of the same drink will have 195mg.

How Many Calories Are in an Average Cup of Caffe Misto?

Like the caffeine calculation, the number of calories in a Caffe Misto will depend on how it’s prepared. The Starbucks cafe misto variation referenced above will have 110 calories for a 16-ounce size. That variation is made with 2% milk.

The number of calories in your Caffe Misto will vary with the type of milk you use and any flavorings or toppings you add. For context, chocolate syrup is 55 calories per tablespoon, and whipped cream is 52 calories for the same amount. Additionally, using whole milk instead of 2% or skim will increase the number of calories.

A half cup of Whole milk has around 83 calories as against 46 calories in skimmed milk. The oat and soy milk carry about 68 calories.

Is Caffe Misto Sweet?

Traditionally, the only sweetness that you would get from a Caffe Misto is what you would get from the milk you choose and the type of roast. If you selected vanilla-flavored almond milk instead of a typical dairy option, your drink would have a sweeter result.

Furthermore, if you chose a coffee to use as your base that included different ingredients to boost the taste, that would also reflect in the sweetness of your Caffe Misto. Outside of those two components, there wouldn’t be anything that would make your drink sweet.

However, today people are customizing their drinks with various flavors of toppings and sweet syrups. Because of this change, it’s easy to have a sweet Caffe Misto.

Why Is the Milk Ratio Important in Caffe Misto?

The exact measurements affiliated with a Caffe Misto make the beverage what it is today. While you can vary the amounts, you won’t get the full taste of an authentic Caffe Misto. 

The Caffe Misto derives from the Cafe au Lait and the Cafe con Leche. All of them have the same makeup but with different names. The drink is meant to give a creamy coffee experience without adding espresso. The combination of equal parts of brewed coffee and steamed milk is a crucial reason why the beverage is so popular globally.

What’s the Difference Between Caffe Misto and café au lait?

As we began describing in the last section, Caffe Misto is the same as Cafe au Lait. Starbucks created its own version of the historical drink and gave it the moniker Caffe Misto. The same beverage is known as Cafe con Leche in Spanish-speaking countries. 

Starbucks has taken its own spin on traditional coffee drinks to create custom options several times. The Frappucino came from combining elements of different beverages. The Macchiato that resides on the Starbucks menu isn’t prepared in the same way it has been historically.

Additionally, while the Caffe Misto is the same as Cafe au Lait, the company uses frothed milk instead of steamed milk when making the drink.

As far as taste, the difference is minor. The texture of frothed milk versus steamed is a different consistency and often stays on the top of the drink. However, a Caffe Misto is a mixed drink. Therefore, the frothed milk is still mixed in, reducing the foam amount that it would otherwise have.

What’s the Difference Between Caffe Misto Vs Latte?

The most notable difference between the Caffe Misto and a Latte is that the coffee base in a Latte is made with espresso and not brewed coffee. Espresso is constructed much differently than your standard coffee, with a packing mechanism and pressurized brewing in an espresso machine.

Secondly, Latte is a milky coffee drink with significantly more milk than what you will find in a Caffe Misto. While a Latte will be ⅔ milk and ⅓ espresso with a thin layer of foamed milk, a Caffe Misto will be an exact 50/50 milk-to-coffee ratio. 

Caffe Latte

Lastly, a Latte often comes flavored and with frothed milk. You can add different syrups to your espresso in flavors of vanilla, peppermint, or a seasonal favorite – pumpkin spice. Your local coffee shop may add chocolate or top the drink with whipped cream or sprinkles. The Latte is much more customizable than a Caffe Misto.

If you took out the flavorings and customizations, the drinks still wouldn’t taste similar. This reason is partly due to the milk ratios and the coffee base. Espresso tastes more intense than brewed coffee, adding a different flavor profile to a drink.

If your espresso is fresh with a nice layer of crema, you can make nice Latte art designs on your café latte.

What’s the Difference Between Caffe Misto Vs Cappucino?

When comparing a Trad Misto and a Cappucino, you will see that the ingredients are pretty similar. Both are made using milk and have a coffee base. However, the most significant difference is that Cappucino is an espresso-based drink like a caffe latte.


We know you prepare a Caffe Misto using brewed coffee, typically from a drip coffee maker or a French press. However, a Cappucino is made with a shot of espresso instead of brewed coffee. This change makes the two ingredients vastly different. 

Additionally, when making a Cappucino, you must consider how the milk combines with the espresso. After frothing your milk of choice, you will want to hold the foam back while you pour the hot milk on top of the espresso. Following that, you will add the remaining milk foam to the top of the drink.

In some countries, you will see a Cappucino made with cream instead of milk. You may also observe some coffee shops sprinkling cinnamon on the foam. Some may even use cold milk for frothing or drink an iced cappuccino. These characteristics vary among different areas of the world.


The Caffe Misto, known by different names worldwide, is one of the most popular menu items in coffee shops. While the Caffe Misto name is specific to Starbucks and comes with frothed milk instead of steamed, you can easily find similarities between it and a Cafe au Lait or Cafe con Leche.

With just two ingredients, the beverage is delightful and provides the experience of a specialty drink with a more traditional approach.

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