What Exactly Is A Caffè Misto At Starbucks?

To say that the offerings at Starbucks are diverse would be an understatement. From its secret menu items to everyday staples, the brand serves plenty of fancy Frappuccinos and hot drinks that satisfy sweet tooths around the world. You actually have over 87,000 possible combinations to choose from when ordering a beverage from the chain, per Capital Counselor. How's that for variety?

But there are times when a connoisseur of the brew might crave something simple. That's when something in Starbucks' selection of hot coffees may do the trick. Here, you'll find a range of more straightforward options, such as light, medium, and dark roast blends and a special item called the Caffè Misto – one of the absolute best low-calorie Starbucks drinks.

A caffè misto bears some minor similarities to other milky coffee beverages like cappuccinos and lattes, but it is an entirely different item. So let's dig into what a caffè misto is and why it's so special.

Two ingredients: milk and coffee

At 110 calories for a grande size, the Caffè Misto at Starbucks contains just two ingredients: brewed coffee and steamed milk. Because of its simplicity, dark roast coffee is usually utilized to create a more pleasant, robust flavor since a lighter one might taste more bland and watered-down (via Bon Vivant Caffè).

The coffee-to-milk ratio for the beverage is usually 1:1. Starbucks' Caffè Misto consists of brewed coffee in the bottom of the cup and steamed milk on top, per the company. Frothing up the milk is not a necessary step (via Fluent in Coffee). In fact, the beverage can be made without a trace of foam or with very little of it. Some customers may also prefer more milk than coffee, breaking the 1:1 ratio. This leads to an important note: The rules can be bent with this drink, which can't be said about all coffee beverages.

What makes a caffè misto different from other milky coffees? Well, lattes and cappuccinos contain espresso. For lattes specifically, the espresso and milk usually come in a 1:3 ratio and some foam is always included. Café au laits are often interchangeable with caffè mistos, but one difference lies in the milk. A café au lait has warm milk while a caffè misto may have foamed milk. So next time you're at Starbucks, try ordering its Caffè Misto to see if you taste the difference!