Have you met the Starbucks misto? Until a few years ago, I hadn’t. But now, it’s my best friend in the coffee world. I’m in love. It’s pretty much the greatest drink to grace a compostable paper cup. I'm sure many people would beg to differ. Both with the Starbucks part as well as with the misto part. But there are lots of latte lovers out there. And they're my target audience. So let me fill you in the history of my relationship with the misto.


I’ve been a coffee lover since an inappropriately young age, which all started in Bellingham, Washington where my (usually logical) mother started treating me to iced lattes at Starbucks. We were in Bellingham for a limited period of time due to my Dad’s work.  We were new to the world of gourmet coffee. Prior to that I believe my parents were all about the ground Folger’s.  In Bellingham, in 1991, Starbucks was still a west coast phenomenon. And boy did we take advantage of it. Or so I remember. I have fond memories of those iced lattes. Maybe they were decaf? Maybe they were only on special occasions? It doesn’t really matter though, because the point is, I loved them.

Fast forward 17 years, and I found myself back in the Pacific Northwest, again faced with the wonderful omnipresence of Starbucks. The mystic had faded slightly, since Starbucks were obviously everywhere when I lived on the east coast (not to mention also in China), but one thing was still the same: my love of a Starbucks latte. I was mostly over the iced thing though, since I’d matured and all. The problem was, though, I was in grad school. Grad school = tight budget. And as any quick Google search on personal finance will tell you, you can save a bundle of money by not buying “that daily Starbucks.” But there were some complicating factors. I was working as well, and Starbucks outings are an integral part of office social life. And then there was the issue of a Starbucks on literally every corner calling my name. And then there was the weather. There’s a reason the PNW is known for coffee. It's a necessity.

I decided to nix the daily latte, but a daily drip was okay, right? So I’d order a drip with “a couple of inches of steamed soy.” One day, a kind barista pointed out that maybe I should order a misto.What’s a misto? I asked. It’s a café au lait, we just call it a misto. SOLD. One sip, and I never looked back.

My go-to drink is a grande soy misto bold.  Prefer a vanilla latte? Add some vanilla syrup. Feel like a mocha? Add a shot of chocolate syrup.  If you’re a latte drinker, I highly recommend you make the switch. Your bank account will thank you.  And to save even more, load some money on a Starbucks card and register it online so you get free soy and free syrups. Take the high-techness to the max and pay with your iPhone.

My relationship with the Starbucks misto has become pretty serious. Good thing I’m not in grad school any more.