The Difference Between Cafe au Lait and Cafe Latte

by Melanie

I have always thought that a good first date is meeting for a cup of coffee. It is less stressful than a full dinner, if the two of you don’t click the date is short enough to not be a long unbearable meeting. Even with only a few things in common you can probably find enough to talk about while you drink a cup of coffee. I received an email the other day from Paul that makes me rethink the whole idea of meeting for coffee on a first date.

Paul wrote, “What is the difference between cafe latte and cafe au lait? I went out the other night and my date asked me to get her a cafe latte. I was so nervous I ordered her a cafe au lait. She was annoyed that she got the wrong drink but when I asked her what the difference was she couldn’t tell me. She just said they are very different. In case I call her for another date I want to know for next time. I am not a fancy coffee drinker, I just like a little milk and sugar in regular coffee.”

Cafe au Lait and Cafe Latte are indeed different. Cafe au lait is actually equal parts of regular coffee and hot milk. A cafe latte is made with 1/3 espresso and 2/3’s hot steamed milk. A cafe latte generally does not have a milk froth top. Sugar is generally not added to a caffe latte but those who prefer sweetened coffee will often add it to cafe au lait.

Many people cannot tell cafe au lait and cafe latte apart so I also told Paul he shouldn’t feel bad. I am just surprised his date knew there was a difference but didn’t know what the difference was. He has since followed up with me and said it is is fine to include the rest of his story.

He called his date back and asked her out again, this time for dinner. After dinner was over the waiter asked if they wanted coffee. Paul impressed his date and ordered a cafe latte for his date and a cafe au lait for himself. They sampled each other’s drink and Paul decided he really enjoyed a cafe au lait while the cafe latte was a little too strong. They spoke about the difference between the two drinks. She was impressed that he took the time to find out the difference between the two drinks. They also agreed that despite their different coffee preferences they want to continue dating.

Never under-estimate the power of coffee.

If you enjoy Cafe Latte or Cafe au Lait be sure to read about a great easy way to make these espresso based drinks at home with a coffeemaker that makes Cafe Latte, Cafe au Lait, cappuccino and other great coffee.

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