Cafe au Lait is French for Milk Coffee.  The French introduced milk to coffee.

Milk is first heated, either in a steamer or boiled until steamed and frothy, then added to black coffee.  Cafe Au Lait is synonymous with all other milk coffee’s from other countries except Cafe Latte which is steamed milk added to espresso instead of black coffee.

Cafe Au Lait is a very popular coffee drink, and can be found in most coffee shops by various names.

The beverage became popularized in America from New Orleans cafe, Cafe du Monde.  The milk there is boiled and frothed instead of being heated in a steamer, and chicory is added for more flavor.