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Coffee Basics: How to Make Cafe Au Lait

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You might know that brewing your own cup of coffee at home is better for your wallet and the environment, but it could be difficult for you to give up some of the more fancy coffees you like to splurge on once in awhile. Many people think coffee brewing basics end with knowing how to brew a perfect cup of black coffee, but that's not the case. You haven't mastered the basics completely until you know how to put together some of your favorite caffeinated drinks, like cafe au lait, one of the most simple coffee drinks to put together. 

First, brew a strong cup of coffee using either a drip coffee maker or a French press. Instant coffee or cartridge-based coffee usually has a poor taste quality, and it will ruin the effect. 

Next, warm 1 cup of whole milk in a small saucepan on low heat. Be careful not the burn it. Milk should be hot to the touch, but barely bubbling. Whisk the milk for 10-15 seconds before taking it off the heat. While cafe au lait is not traditionally foamy, a little bit of foam is good in every coffee drink because the air bubbles in the foam improve flavor. 

Now pour the coffee and milk into your cup simultaneously. You want to have equal parts coffee and milk. For a weaker cup, add a little more milk. 

Pouring both the milk and the coffee at the same time can be difficult for some people. If you want, you can pour the milk in first and then the coffee. If you put the milk in first, the coffee will automatically mix it up and stir it so it'll be uniform all the way through, and you don't have to compromise the flavor with a wooden stir stick, or produce excess foam with a spoon. Drink immediately and enjoy! 

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