Flat white vs Misto

Cafe Misto and the flat white have a lot in common. They both seem to have coffee and hot milk, and they appear identical on the outside– so what distinguishes them?

Flat white vs Misto? 2 Key differences

in short, Misto is prepared with brewed coffee while flat whites are made using espresso. Also, traditional cafe Misto is half coffee half steamed milk, with no froth on top. In contrast, flat whites are like smaller-sized lattes with a stronger punch, containing a concentrated espresso shot ( or a double ristretto), steamed milk, and a final layer of foam on top.

Starbucks’ Cafe Misto

Starbucks Misto is a warm, milky coffee drink. And while it may not be familiar since its coffee type is exclusive to Starbucks, the drink is also created with half brewed coffee and half steamed milk.

Flat white vs Misto caffeine content

It depends on the serving size, bean types, and several other parameters. But overall, according to the Caffeine informer’s guide, a 12-ounce flat white contains 130 mg of caffeine, while a 12-ounce Cafe Misto includes 115 mg of caffeine, which is a slight difference. However, a 16 oz flat white comprises 195mg of caffeine, and a 16 oz Cafe Misto contains an amount of caffeine of 150 mg, which is a significant difference.

A Cafe Misto’s caffeine content is determined by the coffee beans used to prepare the beverage. While a darker roast may taste slightly more bitter, it also has a lower caffeination range. Caffeine levels might vary depending on the method of brewing. The caffeine content will also be higher in a drip-brewed coffee compared to French press or pour-over.

The caffeine content in a flat white depends on how many espresso shots are in it.

Flat white vs Misto calories

Cafe Mistos and flat white have very different calorie counts, according to Starbucks’ calorie chart for the 16oz grande cup.

 Flat whiteCafe Misto
Flat white vs Misto Calories

The extra milk used for the Cafe Misto can explain the higher calories.

How Sweet Is A Cafe Misto?

Putting sweet syrups like hazelnut, caramel, or chocolate into your Starbucks Cafe Misto is an excellent way to personalize this drink. Sugar is optional in the original recipe, which does not contain any sweet syrup.

You may also add flavored syrups, such as vanilla, pumpkin spice, or any other flavor you choose. The addition of flavoring syrups will transform your cup of coffee into your very own Dream Coffee!

Flat white vs Misto origins

There is substantial controversy about whether the flat white originated in Australia or New Zealand. In any case, it’s been around since the 1980s. It has now appeared on menus in the United States and the United Kingdom and has become a specialty café regular.

Flat whites are often prepared with two espressos, making them a little more potent than a latte or cappuccino in terms of coffee flavor. The foam should be as flat as possible, meaning it should be as thin as 1cm. Flat whites are ideal for latte art because they have less foam and more espresso, and the contrast between the espresso and the softly boiled milk is striking.

Cafe Misto origin

Misto Coffee is the American equivalent of Café au Lait, a popular beverage in France. Cafe au lait comes from France, but it is called different things in different parts of the world. For example, in Germany, it is called Milchkaffee, and in Poland, it is called Biala kawa. Depending on the coffee shop or region, the way cafe au lait is made may be different.

Is the Cafe Misto sweet?

Using latte as an example, you can describe what a Misto coffee tastes like to someone who has never tasted it before.

A Cafe Misto’s taste isn’t as strong as a latte’s since it isn’t brewed with espresso. However, the steamed milk’s taste will dominate and counteract some of the coffee’s bitterness.

It’s similar to hot chocolate if that makes sense. In a hot chocolate, you’re getting more than simply a hot cup of chocolate melting in your mouth. The milk in hot chocolate decreases the intensity of the milk and contributes significantly to the taste.

A similar statement may be made for Cafe Misto. In a Cafe Misto, the milk helps to neutralize some of the coffee characteristics and creates a well-balanced, smooth, and pleasurable coffee drink.

The Cafe Misto is an excellent drink for those who don’t enjoy espresso’s strong flavor since it uses drip coffee instead.

While this is the typical flavor profile of a Cafe Misto, you have the option to customize it to your preference.

Making the flat white Vs Misto?

To prepare a flat white, you will need:

  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Sugar to taste
  • Coffee machine with a steam wand
  • Coffee cup
  • Milk jug


  1. Make a double espresso (doppio) while keeping an even tamp in mind for smooth, pure coffee extraction.
  2. Before making your espresso, froth your milk, and aim for a pleasant silky microfoam rather than a rigid dry foam.
  3. Begin brewing your espresso during the last stages of your milk foaming.
  4. After foaming your milk, lightly tap the jug or knock it on a table to dislodge any giant air bubbles that have formed.
  5. Finally, add 100ml of frothed milk to the espresso, which should result in a thick floating crema on top of the milk.
  6. Have fun with your Flat White!

To prepare the Cafe Misto:

  • Drip coffee
  • Milk
  • Sugar to taste
  • Coffee machine
  • Milk heater


  1. Brew a cup of coffee using your preferred technique.
  2. Using a Microwave or burner, heat milk in a cup until it reaches your desired temperature.
  3. Using fresh-brewed coffee, fill half the glass.
  4. Refill with hot milk to the brim.
  5. Now you may enjoy your Cafe Misto.

Bonus Tips

You can produce frothed milk at home if you have a French press. Fill your French press halfway with heated milk. Once you’ve worked in some air, gently pulse the plunger a few times. You’re done when you see a few bubbles forming at the top. If you want to manufacture frothed milk at home, you’re not limited to the above method.


Café au lait vs Cafe Misto

In short, they’re both a combination of drip coffee and milk; however, their milk proportions vary greatly. Cafe au lait is a homemade coffee drink but is also served at most coffee shops in France, especially with breakfast, and the Cafe Misto is usually served in Starbucks.
Regarding espresso drinks, most people believe that the only distinction is the quantity of hot milk utilized. This is not the case, though. Milk is the crucial distinction between these two beverages.
In a café au lait, the coffee is topped with hot, whole milk. Cafe Mistos, however, are made with frothed milk; therefore, this drink is less creamy. In the case of a Cafe Misto, however, frothed milk is added to the coffee. This adds creaminess to the drink and makes it somewhat sweeter than a café au lait.

Flat White vs Latte

When making a flat white or a latte, the quantity of milk needed and the method of preparation change. More milk is in a latte, making it easier to prepare at home. Flat whites offer a stronger coffee taste with a unique pouring method and less milk.

Which is right for you? Cafe Misto or Flat white

The coffee in a latte and the Cafe Misto has neither fat nor sugar. Besides the caffeine, the coffee in both beverages is safe to consume.

Both beverages include milk, suitable for individuals who can handle lactose.

It isn’t easy to choose between these two coffees. However, now that you’re aware of the variations in caffeine, calories, and the types of coffee utilized, you may already have a preference.

  • The Flat white is ideal for those who want a coffee with a little more kick and caffeine to start their day.
  • A Cafe Misto is appropriate if you want a more laid-back coffee drink with a lot of milk and less caffeine.

Like I said in one of my earlier articles, “There’s no right or wrong when it comes to coffee:

Coffee is art…but it is also science, and part of that science is the effects of caffeine in giving us that kick of vitality, alertness, and focus that can help us be just that little bit “more.”


There you go, now you can tell the difference between a flat white and a Cafe Misto, also known as the cafe au lait. It’s the type of coffee used and the milk ratio!

Try both the next time you’re in a coffee shop to discover which one you prefer.

Most People’s daily routines start and end with a cup of coffee. Having something to look forward to gets them out of bed every morning and keeps them going all day long. And there are many coffee options.

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