Jun 26, 2014
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Have you ever visited New Orleans, returned home, and remembered those delicious beignets dipped in coffee? Today I’m not talking beignets, unfortunately; but I am going to tell you how you can make your own cafe au lait at home.
For those of you who have followed me a while, you may know a thing or two about my love affair with coffee. As a CEO and mom to three kids, I honestly wouldn’t survive without it! Really, I can’t.
When I moved to Louisiana in 2000, the love affair began. Unlike the coffee I had previously enjoyed in California, the one served in New Orleans has a rich, bold flavor, which is from the added chicory. Tourists come from all over the world just to have a café au lait and hot beignets at Café du Monde. And let me tell you, it is totally worth it!
But unfortunately, I can’t go to Café du Monde every day (although I wish I could), so I began making my own café au lait’s at home! They are a lot easier to make than you would expect. If you think a cafe au lait is a fancy drink enjoyed on occasion; you are quite mistaken. Most of us drink a cafe au lait nearly every day at home.
Also after further looking into chicory, I found out it has a lot of health benefits. It actually prevents against liver damage and is said to prevent colon cancer as well. It has an anti-inflammatory component. So my morning coffee… has health benefits people. I’ll drink a second mug just for that!
Speaking of mugs… See the one I’m holding in the photo? It’s one of those Starbucks mugs from their “I was Here” collection. They sell them in each city. It’s the only thing I collect. So… if you are reading this, and you live somewhere other than where I live, email me! I’d love to have a mug of where you are!
To top my need for good coffee, I also work from home. Working from home does have its perks…even if it took some getting used to. Some of you may think working from home means working in your PJ’s, which I occasionally do if they are cute and comfy. Some weekends, when I am working on a deadline I might not get out of my pjs all day. If you were wearing cute pjs like the ones I’m wearing from P.J.Salvage, you would stay in them all day long too!
Okay back to the coffee now. Making your own café au lait’s is really easy, but first you have to start with the right blend. As a teenager, I worked at a coffee roasting company in California. In March every year, we would sell a “Mardi Gras Blend”. We would mix a French Roast with ground chicory for the clients. The ratio however was the most important part. If you start with a great blend, you can make awesome café au laits!
Coffee and Chicory Blend and Cafe au Lait Recipe
- ¾ cup ground French Roast coffee beans
- ¼ cup ground chicory
- In a medium sized bowl mix the ground coffee and ground chicory.
- Store in a sealed container.
- Measure 1 tablespoon chicory coffee blend to 1 cup water (a little less next time if it’s too strong).
Cafe Au Lait:
- Heat ½ cup whole milk.
- Pour heated milk into a mug and pour equal amounts of brewed coffee and chicory.
Alternatively, you can use a New Orleans Coffee Blend that already has chicory in it.
I grew up in New Orleans and this Cafe Au Lait recipe brought a little bit of home to my kitchen. Thank you!!
Hit the spot!
Tasted just like the real thing!
My husband and I are so excited to have found this recipe!
We loved this cafe du monde recipe
this was so good!
I see many people are asking about the brew method. For even stronger brew try a drip pot. That’s how we have always brewed it. Native New Orleans
I live about half way between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Whenever the opportunity arises, my wonderful wife of 48 years (we were both only 19 when we married) and I, enjoy cruising down to the Big Easy to the Cafe du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets early on a Sunday morning. We like to get there just as the sun begins to rise and sit out on the terrace. As the fog rolls in from the Mighty Mississippi, we enjoy the rich flavorful coffee and fresh hot beignets while the city comes alive with the sights and sounds, not to mention the smell of coffee brewing and bread frying. That, my friend, is just plain good for the soul!
I encourage everyone to make the trek to New Orleans, and be sure to visit the French Quarter. It is bucket list worthy.
I found original Cafe du Monde in the Chinese Market, 2 for $10 bucks :D))
Hi Laura! Stumbled across this recipe trying to duplicate that New Orleans taste. Went once and feel absolutely in love. Thanks so much for posting! Do you have a NC mug? I’m in Asheville and I don’t think they have specific Asheville ones but can certainly pick you up a NC one.
Hi Jes! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I do have a NC one, thank YOU! I cannot wait to go back and visit.
Just got back from New Orleans (live in Sulphur LA) and did have to make a stop at Cafe Du Mond. It makes my husband’s morning! We bought the Cafe Du Mond coffee pods and can’t wait to make our own coffee on our Keurig! I just need the right amount of milk to add. Would it still be 1/2 cup of hot milk to each coffee pod? Might just try it this afternoon (this was typed at 12:41 PM.) Thanks again for sharing.
The k-pods are not as strong. Half the amount of milk. Enjoy!
I’m now waiting for UPS with my order from Cafe Du Monde- Thank You for posting this recipe. If you need a Birmingham, Alabama mug I got you 😉
I have an Alabama mug. Thank you! Wait. Do they make Birmingham? don’t have that one.. 😉 you are going to love to your Au Lait Terri. Enjoy!
I just got back from New Orleans a few days ago and fell in love with Cafe du Monde. Thanks for posting the Cafe Au Lait recipe. I currently live in MA if you need a Boston or Cambridge Starbucks mug.
Thanks so much Nicole! I have both from my recent trip to Boston. I can’t wait to go back!
I too am addicted to coffee and can’t wait to try your recipe, thank you. If you need a mug from Indiana or Michigan let me know I’m right on the border.
I need both!! Do you collect them? I’m in New Orleans. Happy to send one your way or Paypal you. That would be amazing.
Just stumble upon your site as I’m currently in New Orleans and just bought some coffee chicory blend .
I also collect coffee mugs from Starbucks whenever I get a chance to travel to a new city/country. I’m from Vancouver so if you don’t have a mug from “Raincouver” yet feel free to give me a shout.
Hi Marcus! I would love Vancouver! Sending you a private email on this. Thank you!
Hello, what measure is your stated cup of water? 4 oz, 6 oz or 8 oz?
A “cup” of water is 8 liquid ounces.
My recipe for NOLA cafe au lait:
1/3 strong expresso roast coffee
1/3 Raw Organic Cocao
Brew per your drip coffee maker
You can modify ratio’s per taste preference.
Serve in a coffee cup with a large serving of whipped cream inside.
This sounds amazing!
I’m super excited to try this! I just found chicory coffee sold here at home so this is a bonus recipie, Thank you!! I live in Colorado so if you don’t have a mug from here I can send one to you!
I’m so glad the recipe will help! yes, I have a Colorado mug but thank YOU! 🙂
how you doing? 🙂 i’m stumped on something. you know the cafe du monde brand. i been noticing quality difference in psychoactive effect(buzz) as of late. i tried a couple can and they just didn’t work like earlier cans.
i tried other chicory coffee brands and non chicory ground brands. even beans. i even tried mixing dark roast grounds from french roast cafe du monde can that was lying around with some chicory i got and it just doesn’t work. 🙁
you have any idea what cafe du monde’s formula was? i just been noticing it just different from other brands in coffee buzz? is there some profound secret to how they make their chicory coffee that give it that mental buzz?
Sorry Allen. I am not sure either why the quality is different. I now purchase another type of coffee; although from time to time I enjoy a cafe au lait.
Nice recipe. Also using sweetened condesned milk heated via stove top then poured in is another method used. Have familu down in Abita and spend lots of time down there. But I am gonna try your blend and recipe out. Cheers!
PS: If you are still looking for mugs and don’t have any from Bentonville,AR hit me up and I can hook ya up with one.
I would LOVE a mug from AR! Need a New Orleans one? I’ll send you an email. Thank you!
Did you ever get a new Orleans mug
I do have a New Orleans mug 😉
Ok so you have mastered the Cafe du Monde but can you do the King Cake flavor?
That’s a tough one! why not just dip a piece of king cake IN the coffee? kidding. cinnamon, vanilla…. yum.
When I visited New Orleans it was hot, so I fell in love with the FROZEN Cafe Au Lait from Cafe Du Monde. How can I make this recipe frozen for the summer time without diluting the taste?
the coffee and chicory is so strong I don’t think you’ll dilute the taste. brew coffee, let it cool in fridge. instead of doing half milk and half coffee, blend coffee with ice and cream. that should do it.
lol! I read to blend the coffee with ice cream… which sounds AMAZING!!!! but anyway…
Make the ice cubes out of cafe au lait! Or just simply milk.
Thank you so much, Laura! I will try both methods.
How do you brew the coffee? Do you use a French press?
I currently use a french press. I love it. However, the coffee and chicory is stronger and when brewed in your coffee pot is also stronger.
French Market Blend also comes in K-cups for those who use that kind of coffee maker. When I was younger we would visit family members in NO and go to the French market for the coffee and donuts. Then they had the heated kettles of coffee and heated kettles of milk which they poured together simultaneously. The coffee then was to kill for. now they have the pressurized dispensors for both the coffee and the milk and the coffee is not worth drinking, at least in my opinion. I suspect it is the milk from the dispensiors that I object to. The secret to the good coffee is the heated milk from the kettles or if at home from a pot on the stove. Please do use whole milk or better half-half. I don’t know why but the dispensors have ruined the coffee at café du mounde.
It definitely tastes different now but I agree that whole milk, heated, is the secret to a good au lait.
Kelly Lester (@EasyLunchboxes)
When my husband and I visited New Orleans for the first time we fell in LOVE with Cafe Du Monde’s chicory coffee! We had never taste anything like it. Ever since, I have been buying icans of it by the case pack from them, and they ship it to me in CA. It’s THAT GOOD.
I had no idea I could make it myself! So this I gotta try. Just tell me though … if I make my own, will I look as good as you when I work in my pajamas? I hope so!
The pajamas definitely make it taste better Kelly…. 😉