Perfect Cafe au Lait Recipe for a Cozy Morning

cafe au lait recipe

Start your day off on the right foot with our homemade cafe au lait recipe. This comforting beverage is the perfect addition to any cozy morning and is surprisingly easy to make from the comfort of your own kitchen.

With just a few simple ingredients and our step-by-step guide, you’ll be sipping on a delicious cafe au lait in no time. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just looking to try something new, our recipe is the perfect place to start.

Key Takeaways:

  • Our homemade cafe au lait recipe is easy to follow and perfect for a cozy morning.
  • You can enjoy the warmth and comfort of a cafe au lait from the comfort of your own kitchen.
  • This traditional French coffee drink can be customized to your preferences with milk alternatives and added flavors.
  • By incorporating espresso, you can take your cafe au lait to the next level.
  • Follow our step-by-step guide to brewing the perfect cafe au lait and start your day off on the right foot.

The Origins of Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait is a classic French coffee drink that has stood the test of time. Traditional cafe au lait dates back to at least the 17th century when coffee first came to France. This delightful beverage has become a staple in cafes and households worldwide due to its simplicity and rich flavor profile.

The term “cafe au lait” translates to “coffee with milk.” Its simple name belies the complex history of the coffee drink. In the past, traditional cafe au lait was made using a blend of strong, bold coffee and warmed milk. The drink was typically served in large bowls and accompanied by a croissant or brioche.

To make the drink more palatable, some households began to serve it with sugar. The addition of sugar conferred the now-famous sweetness of café au lait. As a result of its delicious taste, the drink’s popularity surged exponentially, and café au lait became a mainstay of French cuisine.

Ingredients Used in Traditional Cafe au Lait

To make traditional cafe au lait, two simple ingredients are required – strong coffee and milk. Authentic French cafes prefer using robust dark roasts with a high proportion of Arabica beans for brewing. A light touch of chicory root is also used to enhance the rich flavor and produce a creamier texture.

The milk to be used for baking should be fresh, creamy, and whole milk. Some prefer a 1:1 ratio of coffee to milk, while others prefer the latter to be a quarter of the total volume.

“The strong, bold coffee combined with fresh, creamy milk imbues traditional cafe au lait with its unique flavor profile. Its simplicity belies the complex history behind it, making it a beloved classic throughout the world.”

Brewing the Perfect Cafe au Lait

Creating the perfect cafe au lait requires attention to detail and quality ingredients. Follow these steps to ensure that your brew is delicious and satisfying every time:

  1. Choose high-quality coffee beans that will produce a rich and flavorful cup. For a classic cafe au lait, a medium to dark roast is preferred. Keep in mind that the coffee will be mixed with milk, so choose a bean that will complement the dairy.
  2. Grind the coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency. This will allow for optimal brewing and extraction of flavors.
  3. Warm your milk to the desired temperature. Traditionally, cafes will use steamed milk, but you can also warm the milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. The milk should be heated to around 140°F, but be careful not to scorch it or overheat it.
  4. Brew the coffee using your favorite method. For a classic cafe au lait, a French press or drip coffee maker will work well.
  5. Mix equal parts of brewed coffee and warm milk into a large mug. The ratio of milk to coffee can be adjusted to taste. For a stronger coffee flavor, use less milk and more coffee, and vice versa.

Experiment with different coffee bean varietals, milk types, and brewing methods to personalize your cafe au lait to fit your taste. And there you have it, a steaming cup of perfect cafe au lait in just a few easy steps!

cafe au lait brewing method

Enhancing Your Cafe au Lait with Espresso

Take your cafe au lait to the next level by incorporating a shot of espresso. The subtle bitterness of the espresso adds a new depth of flavor to your traditional cafe au lait. It also enhances the richness of the milk and coffee blend, making it an even more satisfying treat.

If you’re a fan of lattes or cappuccinos, you’ll love the addition of espresso to your cafe au lait. It’s the perfect way to add a little extra kick to your morning ritual or to treat yourself to a special afternoon pick-me-up.

To create this delicious variation of the classic drink, simply brew a strong cup of coffee and heat up some milk. Froth the milk until it’s nice and creamy, and then pour in a shot of espresso. Add the frothed milk to the coffee and enjoy!

If you’re feeling extra indulgent, try adding a dash of vanilla or hazelnut syrup to your cafe au lait with espresso for a truly decadent beverage.

Tips and Variations for Your Cafe au Lait

Elevate your homemade cafe au lait with these tips and variations. Experiment with different milk options and add a touch of flavor to make your cafe au lait uniquely yours.

Alternative Milk Options

Not a fan of regular milk? No problem! Try your cafe au lait with one of these alternative milk options:

  • Almond milk: For a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness, substitute almond milk for regular milk in your cafe au lait.
  • Soy milk: With a creamy texture and mild taste, soy milk is a popular alternative for cafe au lait.
  • Oat milk: Recently gaining popularity, oat milk has a slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture that is perfect for a cozy cafe au lait.

Tip: Make sure to choose an unsweetened milk to prevent your cafe au lait from being too sweet.

Flavor Additions

Add a touch of flavor to your cafe au lait with these creative ideas:

Ingredient Flavor Profile
Cinnamon Warm and spicy
Vanilla extract Sweet and fragrant
Caramel syrup Rich and sweet

Experiment with different flavor combinations to find your perfect cafe au lait.

Easy Cafe au Lait Recipe

If you prefer a quick and easy cafe au lait recipe, try this simple version:

  1. Brew a strong cup of coffee.
  2. Froth the milk using a frother or by heating and whisking until foamy.
  3. Pour the coffee into a large mug, leaving room for milk.
  4. Pour the frothed milk into the coffee, using a spoon to hold back the foam.
  5. Spoon the foam on top of the cup.

Tip: Use a 1:1 ratio of coffee to milk for the perfect balance of flavors.


There’s nothing quite like the comforting aroma of a homemade cafe au lait in the morning. With our easy-to-follow recipe, you can enjoy this classic French coffee beverage from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you prefer the traditional version or want to experiment with adding espresso or other variations, the possibilities for customization are endless.

Start your day off on the right foot and savor the simplicity and bliss that a homemade cafe au lait can bring. Cheers to a cozy morning and a delicious cup of coffee!

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How do I make a cafe au lait?

To make a cafe au lait, start by brewing a strong cup of coffee using your preferred brewing method. Next, heat an equal amount of milk in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot coffee into a mug, then slowly pour in the hot milk, aiming to create equal parts coffee and milk. Stir gently, and your delicious cafe au lait is ready to enjoy!

What are the traditional ingredients used in cafe au lait?

The traditional ingredients for cafe au lait include strong coffee and steamed milk. Some recipes may also call for a touch of sugar or a sprinkle of cocoa powder for added flavor.

Can I make a cafe au lait with espresso instead of regular coffee?

Yes, you can certainly make a cafe au lait with espresso. Simply brew a shot of espresso using an espresso machine or stovetop espresso maker, then combine it with an equal amount of steamed milk to create the classic cafe au lait taste.

What are some variations I can try with my cafe au lait?

There are endless variations you can experiment with to customize your cafe au lait. You can try using different types of milk, such as almond milk or oat milk, for a dairy-free option. Additionally, you can add a splash of vanilla extract, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or a drizzle of flavored syrup to enhance the taste of your cafe au lait.

What is the best cafe au lait recipe for beginners?

If you’re new to making cafe au lait, a simple and easy recipe to follow is to brew a strong cup of coffee, heat an equal amount of milk until hot but not boiling, and then combine the two in a mug. You can adjust the coffee-to-milk ratio to suit your taste preferences. As you become more comfortable, you can explore variations and techniques to make your cafe au lait even more special.

Hey there, fellow explorers and enthusiasts! I'm Karina, and I'm absolutely delighted to welcome you to my blog, where we'll journey together through the enchanting world of life's wonders. This online space is a reflection of my passion for discovery, learning, and sharing the delightful experiences I encounter along the way. As an avid adventurer and learner, I'm constantly seeking out new experiences that expand my understanding of the world around me. From uncovering the hidden treasures of my hometown to exploring the intricacies of the latest technological advancements, I find immense joy in delving deep into life's many mysteries.