What is a Caffe Misto From Starbucks? (+ Easy DIY Recipe)

Last updated on October 5th, 2023 by Garret Jacob

what is a cafe misto starbucks

The Caffè Misto has become an increasingly popular coffee drink since it was introduced to the Starbucks menu in 2016. However, the origins of the drink can actually be traced back hundreds of years to the 1600s in France.

But what is a Caffè Misto? Originally, the Caffè Misto had the name, Café au lait. The Café au lait was typically only prepared at home and was served in a bowl rather than a cup. It was fairly common for French people to start their days with this drink along with some bread or a pastry of some sort.

Over time, the Café au lait spread from France to the colonies as well as other countries in Europe and around the world until eventually, it became a regular drink choice for coffee drinkers at shops throughout the US. 

But, what exactly is a Caffè Misto and how is it different from other common drinks like the flat white, cappuccino, and latte? Also, do Caffè Mistos have a lot of caffeine and can they be sweet?

Let us take a closer look at the various characteristics that define the Caffè Misto as well as discuss some ways you can enjoy this delicious drink at home

What is a Caffè Misto?

caffe misto
Have a good cup of coffee to start your day!
Photo by Yosuke Ota

There is nothing complicated about the Caffè Misto. A Caffè Misto is simply a  50-50 mix of brewed coffee and steamed milk. The great thing about the Caffè Misto is that you can use any type of coffee bean you like. Some people prefer a creamy and bold dark roasted coffee in their Caffè Misto, however, you can use any type of coffee you like.

For example, some people like to use a light roast coffee that maybe has some hints of French vanilla or hazelnut to add some special flavor. 

Whatever type of coffee you choose, the main idea is that it needs to be 50% brewed coffee and 50% steamed milk to officially be a Caffè Misto.

How much caffeine is in a Caffè Misto?

If you make a Caffè Misto at home, then the caffeine content can depend on the type of coffee you use. If you are looking for the least amount of caffeine, then you could go with a decaf. A little more caffeine and you could spring for a dark roast. For the most caffeine, light roasts are the best option. 

If you order a Grande (16 oz) Caffè Misto from Starbucks, then you will be consuming approximately 150 mg of caffeine. 

Is a Caffè Misto sweet?

At its most basic level, the Caffè Misto is not sweet. It is only brewed coffee and steamed milk, nothing else. However, many people like to add sugar, stevia, or artificial sweeteners to their Caffè Mistos to give them a little sweetness. 

Also, many people who order Caffè Mistos love to add flavor shots of sweet syrups like hazelnut, salted caramel, amaretto, or one of the dozens of other flavors. These flavored sweet syrups can add an incredible amount of sweetness depending on how much of it is added to the drink. 

How is Caffè Misto different from other similar drinks?

How is Caffè Misto different from other similar drinks
What is your favorite coffee type?
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

Some coffee drinkers may easily be confused when they hear about the Caffè Misto. How is it any different from a latte or a flat white? The main difference between the Caffè Misto and other popular coffee drinks that contain steamed milk is that the Caffè Misto is made with brewed coffee rather than espresso. 

Caffè Misto vs Flat White

A flat white is a popular drink that many coffee drinkers love. To make a flat white, you need espresso and steamed milk with a thin layer of micro-foam. The ratio is approximately ⅓ espresso to ⅔ steamed milk. 

A Caffè Misto is different because it does not use any espresso, instead, it is comprised of ½ brewed coffee and ½ steamed milk. 

Caffè Misto vs Cappuccino

Cappuccinos are one of the most common coffee drinks ordered by coffee drinkers all over the world. This famous Italian drink calls for equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and steamed milk foam. That would be approximately 1⁄3 of each. 

A cappuccino is different from a Caffè Misto because it uses espresso and contains different ratios of coffee to milk.

Caffè Misto vs Latte

Everybody loves a good latte now and again. A latte is similar to a flat white, however, lattes call for an extra thick layer of steam milk foam on the top. Also, lattes are often served in larger glasses than flat whites, therefore, they contain more steamed milk overall, although the espresso-to-milk ratios are similar.

A latte is different from a Caffè Misto because it uses espresso and contains different ratios of coffee to milk.

Caffè Misto nutritional information

Caffè Misto nutritional information
From coffee bean to your homemade cup of coffee.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

If you are wondering how many calories a Caffè Misto contains as well as other basic informational nutrition, here is a breakdown of the Starbucks version of the Caffè Misto. This is before any sugar, stevia, artificial sweeteners, or flavored syrup shots are added. 

One Grande (16 oz) Starbucks Caffè Misto

  • Calories: 110
  • Calories from Fat: 35
  • Total Fat: 4g — 5% DV
  • Saturated Fat: 2g — 10% DV
  • Trans Fat: 0mg
  • Cholesterol: 15mg — 5% DV
  • Sodium: 100mg — 4% DV
  • Total Carbohydrates: 10g — 4% DV
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Caffeine: 150mg

How can I make my own Caffè Misto at home?

caffe misto at home
How do you make your cup of coffee from home?
Photo by Nathan Dumlao

If you are loving your Starbucks Caffè Mistos but you are looking to save some money and make them at home, then you are in luck. Making a Caffè Misto at home is simple. 

First, you need to brew some of your favorite coffee. You can brew the coffee in a drip coffee maker or use a French Press. I recommend using the French Press for a bolder cup of coffee that better preserves the flavor of the coffee after the steamed milk and microfoam have been added. 

Next, you need to have a way to steam and heat your milk. If you do not have a high-pressured milk frother at home, you can simply heat your milk on the stove in a saucepan. Simply heat the milk on low-medium heat and continuously stir the milk with a wooden spoon. Using a thermometer, heat the milk while stirring until the milk reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last, fill your cup about halfway with the brewed coffee and then top it off with the heated milk. If you were able to create a thin layer of microfilm, try to pour in the regular milk first and then top off the drink with the microfoam. 

Once the drink has been made, you are free to decorate the top by sprinkling some cinnamon or dark cocoa powder onto the microfoam.

Remember, when you are making your own Caffè Mistos at home, you are free to experiment with different coffee blends, flavored syrup shots, and other forms of sweeteners. Also, if you are looking for the boldest Caffè Misto, then you can also experiment with the coffee-to-water ratio when you brew. 

More into customized drinks? We got you! Check out some of the best Starbucks drinks from Tiktok.


Coffee Has Never Read This Good!

Sign up for a FREE newsletter to the best home brewing tips and guides

Thank you for subscribing to The Cup Coffee House Crew! There's a surprise in your Inbox 🙂

Something went wrong.

Chief Editor

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *