National Café au Lait Day
annually on February 17th
Food & Drink
"Café au lait" is French for "coffee with milk," and the drink is simply coffee with hot milk added. It is similar to café con leche in Spain, and similar drinks in other European countries. In Europe it is either espresso or dark coffee based, and steamed milk is used. In France it is traditionally served in a white porcelain cup or bowl.
In America it is served in coffee houses from strong drip brewed coffee or French pressed coffee. Steamed milk is added. It is popular in New Orleans, where it is made with milk and coffee mixed with chicory. Chicory began being used in Louisiana during the Civil War, when it was mixed with coffee to stretch the supply. In contrast to the European style, in New Orleans it is made with scalded milk instead of steamed milk. It is popular at places like Café du Monde and Morning Call, and is traditionally enjoyed with beignets sprinkled with powdered sugar.