How To Make Café au Lait: 6 Easy Steps

Café au lait is an older cousin of café latte. Café au lait has been a predominant drink in the cafes of Europe. The French recipe for café au lait calls for equal parts steamed milk and strong hot coffee. In Spain, it’s called Café Con Leche (coffee with milk), and the Germans call it a Milchkaffee.

It’s a traditional French breakfast drink that goes very well with flaky croissants. You can also use it as an after-brunch coffee with dark chocolate. It especially goes well with Crème Brûlée.

The Recipe Specifications

  • Time required: 5 minutes
  • Serving size: 8 – 20 ounces (1 serving)
  • Ratio: 1:1 (steamed milk to coffee)


  • A milk jug for steaming (if steaming is a separate task for you)
  • A coffeemaker (i.e., French press or moka pot)
  • A coffee grinder
  • Mason jar


  • 18-21 grams of French Roasted coffee beans
  • Cold fresh milk

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1

Take 18–21 grams of French roasted beans and grind them for your coffee maker.

Step 2

Prepare your Moka pot and brew the coffee using freshly ground coffee.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, pour the cold fresh milk and start steaming (ideally use a steam wand or alternatively, on a stovetop).

Step 4

Once the milk is steamed, pour it into a mason jar, close the lid tightly, and shake it for 30–45 seconds. It’ll create the froth on top of the steamed milk.

Note: you can also use a handheld frother or a separate milk frother.

Step 5

When the coffee brewing is done, pour equal parts of this hot coffee and steamed milk into your cup.

Note: There are differences between café au lait and café latte. The former requires drip coffee, whereas the latter requires regular espresso to make. Moreover, the milk-to-espresso ratio is 1:2 for the café latte.

Step 6

Stir the coffee milk mixture and then pour the foam on top. Now, you’re ready to drink!

Note: latte art, or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, is also acceptable.

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