Café Noisette - What Is A Café Noisette

Café Noisette – What Is A Café Noisette?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 22:30

If you have ever been to France or a French coffee shop you have perhaps seen the words café noisette everywhere.

But what is it, and where does it get its name from?

Kee reading to find out!

The plural of café noisette is café noisette. It’s a shot of espresso served with a dollop of steamed milk and is hazelnut in color – hence the name, noisette, which is French for hazelnut. The small dash of milk is either added by the barista or served to you in small milk jug for you to pour.

An espresso with a dollop or dash or milk, surely this reminds you of another type of coffee, a macchiato, which is exactly what a café noisette is, the French word or term for a café macchiato, well, sort of there is a slight difference.

In Paris you will find the variation café crème noisette, which is a cafe noisette made with a dash of cream and not milk.

Note: There are no hazelnuts used in the drink. The use of the world is indicative of the color of the French coffee beverage.

Café Noisette
Café Noisette

Read: French coffee drinks

Café Noisette Vs Macchiato

Both of these coffee drinks are literally identical, well almost. There is a slight difference to this after dinner coffee when made in France or Italy.

As the description of a shot of espresso with a dash or dollop of milk perfectly describes both of these beverages. In Italy, the Macchiato, an espresso with a dash of milk and some milk foam is used.

In France, the café noisette no milk foam is used with only a small amount of steamed milk added to the espresso shot. 

Both make for a great coffee and these are the very slight coffee variations that occur in the world of coffee. The both look different and slightly taste different.

It is not just a matter of coffee drink names and being picky!

Café Noisette Vs Cortado

A café noisette and a cortado are almost identical, almost. The stand-out difference between a cortado and a café noisette is that a cortado has a simple splash of milk which is not frothed or steamed.

The temperature of the milk for a cortado is often at the discretion of the client, as is the quantity.

A café noisette has a dash of hot frothed milk, which must be emulsified.

Café Noisette Vs Cortado
Café Noisette Vs Cortado

Read: Cafe Viennois

Café Noisette Vs Café Manchado

There is no confusing these two beverages as they are at the opposite ends of the scale and literally the polar opposite of each other.

A café noisette is a shot of espresso with a little stain or dash of milk while a café Manchado is a glass of milk with a tiny stain of coffee, literally only a dash.

Café Noisette Pronunciation

The best way to pronounce café noisette is to copy the video below and practice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Café Noisette

The word “noisette” is the French word for hazelnut, I’m sure you have seen it on chocolate bars by many manufacturers like Milka. The name Café Noisette is due to the hazelnut color of the espresso shot and cream or milk makes.

What’s In Café Noisette Café Crème Or Café Au Lait?

A café noisette is the French way of ordering a drink that is very similar to a Macchiato. It’s a shot of espresso with a dollop of milk or cream.

When you see café noisette with the options displayed like that, it is usually asking if you want your French macchiato with a dollop of cream or steamed milk.

When you see them listed separately, a café crème is closer to what we would call a latte, a good old-fashioned coffee and cream with one part coffee and two parts cream.

A café au lait is a black coffee, with two parts milk and never made with a shot of espresso. usually a strong black drip coffee, French press or moka pot.

What Is The Most Popular Coffee In France?

The most popular cup of coffee in France, based on sales, is a shot of espresso. It’s served in the way that every other coffee shop does, in a small short espresso cup, the demitasse cup.

Read: French coffee

Is A Latte The Same As A Café Au Lait?

No. A latte is always made with a well-brewed shot of espresso, whereas a café au lait is made with a strong black coffee but not an espresso shot. A café au lait is usually enjoyed at home. 

The closest that you will find to a café au lait at Starbucks is not a latte, it’s a Caffè Misto. A Caffè Misto is brewed coffee with steamed milk in equal amounts.

At home, the French normally make their café au lait with 2 parts milk and one part brewed coffee.

Yes, at a French café or coffee shop you can sit at the bar, terrace or inside. You don’t need to wait to be seated. You simply just take a seat and wait to be served by the waiter.

Final Thoughts – Café Noisette

A café noisette is best described as being very similar to an Italian Macchiato for a matter of simplicity, even though both are slightly different. The comparison is to avoid confusion and let you, the reader, know what kind of coffee drink you will be getting should you order it.

Join our fun, fantastic and informative coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your café noisette creations!

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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