Make a cafe au lait in the office

I’ve just gone to the nearby coffee bar for a lunchtime latte, and I was bitterly disappointed. Filth! So I won’t be buying latte there any more.

Instead, I’ll be making cafe au lait in the office. Cafe au lait isn’t just white coffee; it’s a 50-50 mix of hot milk and double-strength coffee, and bears a remarkable resemblance to a caffe latte, just without the foam cap. It’s much richer and more luxurious than a white coffee.

If if you have fresh coffee and fresh milk, you can make a very passable cafe au lait in minutes. Here’s the skinny.


– a cafetiere.
– a microwave.
– a large mug or microwave-safe jug, to heat the milk.
– a smaller mug, to serve.


– milk.
– coffee ground for cafetiere.


The steps are; start the coffee brewing, heat the milk, plunge the coffee, then mix.

_Start the coffee brewing:_ To make the coffee, boil a kettle of water and either let it cool for a minute, or put some cold water. Boiling water can scald the coffee. I know this sounds precious, but it makes a difference; you won’t taste as much bitterness in the coffee, and you should notice more of the flavours.

Now you’re going to make double-strength coffee. I use two heaped desert spoons in a cafetiere that will make three cups (two mugs) of coffee, but then I half-fill the cafetiere. Give it about three minutes to brew. During those three minutes, we’ll heat the milk.

_Heat the milk:_ Take your large mug and half-fill it with milk. Nuke it for about a minute and a half.

_Plunge and mix:_ When that’s done, your coffee should be about ready. Plunge the cafetiere, then mix the milk and coffee about 50-50. You will end up with something that looks like white coffee, with some wisps of white almost-foam floating on the surface. You’re done!

Drink in small amounts; it’s a rich drink and you don’t need huge quantities. Save yourself from bad industrial estate caffe latte!


2 responses to “Make a cafe au lait in the office”

  1. Much more economical, plus you can use whatever type of coffee suits your moods.

    I was fixing my coffee like this at my previous job. Besides the fact that it tastes nice, it is a good excuse to mosey away from your desk and have a little break.

  2. I’ve found myself now stocking the kitchen cupboards with syrups, too. It’s becoming a little mini cafe all of its own. All I need is a big squirty whipped cream thingy and some chocolate sprinkles, and I can open a Starbucks…

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