cafe au lait versus caffe latte

beanbuzz

New member
Jan 2, 2010
5
0
Hi, I'm new to coffee, particualry making coffee drinks at home. I like coffee and milk together. I guess there are some things that distinguish cafe au lait from caffe latte. According to wikipedia, it's not really considered 2 different drinks in Europe, but in the US it is. I am just trying to decide on what machine or contraption I should buy to start making coffee drinks at home (coffee or espresso w/ milk for myself and Americano or just good cup of joe (black) for my husband). Is there a big difference between espresso and milk and "coffee" and milk that I need to be concerned about buying a machine that makes "true" espresso over something that just makes good coffee? Thanks for your help!
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
Well I don't live in Europe and could care less what they believe in..... a "caffe latte" is espresso with steamed/frothed milk. Actually it is an American concoction because most Americans are too pussified to drink something stout like cappuccinos, macchiatos, etc. so I "think" it was Charbux that came up with the latte as it dilutes the terribly burnt shots they have to actually be drinkable.

A cafe au lait is typically half brewed/ drip coffee and half steamed milk. Generally much weaker in taste, but lots of people like that.

Here's what you should do.... buy a decent espresso machine and proper grinder. A budget of around $500 should get you started nicely.... sounds like alot, but you do get what you pay for. This will allow you to do Americanos for your husband, caffe lattes for yourself and if you want a cafe au lait you can do a short Americano and add steamed milk to have that type of drink. Later!
 

Bill Laine

New member
Jan 5, 2008
43
0
New Orleans
A latte and a cafe au lait look about the same. They are about the same size and the same proportion of coffee and milk. The latte uses espresso, the au lait uses drip coffee. They both are mostly steamed milk.

For me an au lait is just as good as a latte when you are in a coffee shop. First you are mostly drinking coffee flavored steamed milk. Steaming the milk,when done right, gives it a texture and sweetness that is hard to duplicate any other way. The coffee content is secondary. Second, an au lait is usually cheaper.

if you have a good espresso machine then steaming milk is part of the package. If you don't have an espresso machine then it gets a little more challenging. There are some stand-alone milk steamers but I'm not sure how well they work. A little time searching these forums will probably help with that.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
beanbuzz said:
I am just trying to decide on what machine or contraption I should buy to start making coffee drinks at home (coffee or espresso w/ milk for myself and Americano or just good cup of joe (black) for my husband). Is there a big difference between espresso and milk and "coffee" and milk that I need to be concerned about buying a machine that makes "true" espresso over something that just makes good coffee? Thanks for your help!
You will need an espresso machine for your drinks and a brewer for his cup of joe. For his, I would suggest a Abid Clever brewer, http://theotherblackstuff.ie/machines/a ... e-dripper/ ; for yours, a espresso machine, a tamper and a decent burr grinder (grinder can be for drip as well as espresso) at the very least. His will set you back about $15. Yours will be more, if you want really good quality espresso drinks $500 is being conservative, I'd say more like $1,000.
 
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