The typical morning beverage in France, café au lait is made from equal amounts of coffee and milk poured into a cup or bowl. A French press is recommended to prepare café au lait, but any coffee maker can be used.
Instructions For Making Café Au Lait Using A French Press
Pour 3/4 cup boiling water onto 2 tablespoons dark roast coffee and let brew 3-5 minutes, and then press down on the filter plunger. While the coffee is brewing, heat, but do not boil, 3/4 cup low-fat milk (whole milk hides the coffee aroma). Pour coffee and milk into the cup or bowl simultaneously.* For even more aroma, add a little chicory or wheat coffee to the ground coffee.
*Practice (using cold water, instead of milk and coffee!) may help ensure that the pouring action goes smoothly. If you are uncoordinated, I would pour the coffee first and then add the milk as quickly as possible, being careful not to burn yourself.
Note: If possible, brew your coffee with filtered water containing as little lime as possible or even uncarbonated mineral water.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons, first photo (Jazzobobrown), second photo (Leland).
Note: The above instructions are based on those given in Coffee and Espresso by Tanja Dusy, a wonderful little book that takes the reader on a grand tour of the world of coffee. It gives detailed directions for making coffee drinks as well as recipes for delicious desserts and sandwiches.