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Cafe au Lait Recipes: Creamy, Sweet, or Savory, Pick your treat!

Dave Carter

January 11, 2021

Coffee culture hit the globe like a hurricane after WWII, and most self-respecting coffee lovers fell in danger of getting sucked into its vortex. As with all things in the world today, there is not only one style of coffee but an entire spectrum. The world's coffee-drinking population spans the gamut from those just experimenting with their first creamy foam to seasoned pros who have traveled across the globe to find the best cup of coffee possible. There are various types of coffee to suit every taste, however, the type of coffee a person likes has always been a matter of personal taste since the beginning of coffee itself.

Lately, the concept of specialty coffee has been increasing in popularity among coffee drinkers. This refers to a specific type of coffee that has undergone special preparation. Whether you prefer a Latte, Cappuccino, Americano, or Cafe au Lait, nothing beats the feeling of drinking your favorite coffee beverage from your kitchen! Today we shall take a look at one of these specialty coffees, commonly known as "Cafe au Lait." We know it's hard to decide between spending time looking for the perfect Cafe au Lait when there are millions of different brands, blends, and roasts. However, if you have the right recipes, you won't have to struggle to brew that special cup in the morning. Read on to learn some of our best Cafe au Lait recipes that will pack a punch in your drinking experience!

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Cafe au Lait Recipes and their Origin

Know more about what is Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait is a French coffee drink that means "coffee with milk." It is made with equal parts of coffee and hot milk. Cafe au Lait is traditionally made with dark coffee in France and Spain, brewed in a tall pot called a cafetière. The coffee can be either freshly brewed or from leftovers, or reheated on the stove. It is typically served in a large bowl with the milk added to the coffee, rather than vice versa. It is common to add one or two teaspoons of sugar per person. Cafe au lait recipes vary from one culture to another. In the United States, cafe au lait is traditionally made with equal parts hot milk and drip-filtered or percolated coffee, although instant coffee may be substituted. Some people blend their hot milk and drip-filtered coffee, while others add the milk after pouring the coffee into their cups. Instead of drip-filtered or percolated coffee, it may also be prepared using espresso as a base. However, if milk is added according to taste, it should be equal in volume to the prepared coffee.

The two main types of coffee used to make Cafe au Lait are New Orleans-style and Cuban-style. As the name suggests, New Orleans-style is common in Louisiana, while Cuban-style is popular in southern Florida. The New Orleans-style Cafe au Lait uses dark roasted coffee, usually Community Coffee or Cafe Du Monde, and chicory root. The chicory adds a rich flavor and aroma to the finished drink. The Cuban-style cafe au lait uses lightly roasted coffee and no chicory. It's very popular in Miami and Tampa, with a strong Latin American culture. The most popular brands are Bustelo and Pilon. Below, we shall provide the two recipes you can try at home.

What Cafe au Lait (New Orleans Style Recipe)

When making this drink, make sure to use dark-roast coffee. The notes of bitter chocolate and toasted nuts will be more pronounced, which is key to creating the traditional New Orleans Cafe au Lait flavor. The chicory root adds a bittersweet quality to the brew, making it more complex and adding a little caffeine boost.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground dark-roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup roasted chicory root
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. Combine the coffee and chicory in a small saucepan, then add 2 cups of water and stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove it from the heat, cover it and allow it to steep for four minutes.
  3. Strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve (or make a French press pot of it), then add the remaining four cups of water to the brew.
  4. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just under boiling (bubbles will start to form around the outside edge of the pan).
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Fill two large mugs halfway with equal parts of hot coffee and hot milk.
  7. Add sugar if you wish, and serve immediately with beignets or other pastries of your choice, if desired.

Café au Lait (Cuban Style Recipe)

The traditional way to make Cuban coffee also known as Café con leche is on a stovetop using an espresso maker called a cafetera or with an ordinary drip coffee pot using fine-ground coffee. The result is a very strong brew. You can also use this recipe with an espresso machine if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot of espresso or 2 tablespoons of very strong black coffee 
  • 1 cup of whole or condensed milk
  • Sugar to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the water to boiling.
  2. Place the ground coffee in the percolator basket and place the basket in the percolator. 
  3. Pour hot water into the percolator up to the desired level and turn on the power switch to continue heating the water. 
  4. When the water begins to boil, and the coffee begins to perk, lower the heat slightly for three to four minutes.
  5. If using whole bean coffee, add 1/4 cup of cold water after brewing for about five minutes. This will help settle the grounds.
  6. While it's brewing, heat the milk in a small pan over medium heat until it steams.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with sweetened condensed milk.

What is Cafe au Lait Greatest Benefit to Coffee Lovers?

Cafe au Lait is one of those things that is only appreciated by those who have actually tried it. Those who have had it love it, and those who haven't will have no idea why people are raving about a brown-colored coffee drink. If you are one of those who have been asking, "What is Cafe au Lait greatest benefit to coffee lovers?" Then here are some benefits you might not know about. 

  • Caffeine
    Cafe au Lait has the same amount of caffeine as drip coffee, about 100 mg per cup. This means that it will deliver the hit of caffeine you need to get your day started without giving you too much or too little. If you want it to kick in faster, consider using espresso.
  • Healthy
    The main benefits of Cafe au Lait are that it provides mental stimulation and increased energy. The Cafe au Lait is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cancer. You can also use this drink as a therapeutic aid.
  • Low calories
    A cup of Cafe au Lait has about 100 calories.
  • Flavors
    Cafe au Lait can come in various flavors to suit any taste. Some people like their coffee sweet, while others prefer it bitter. You will find endless combinations that you can create with this beverage, and all you need to do is use your imagination!
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Conclusion

Most Notable Differences Between Cafe Misto vs. Latte

Cafe au Lait is more than a delicious beverage and more than just a treat for the taste buds. It is also a healthy treat for those who love this drink. The best part? You can always make it at home using either of the two Cafe au Lait recipes we have provided (and utilize one of the best coffee makers). This will save you from the several trips to the coffee shops down the street. Enjoy!

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