An Americano With Milk: A Detailed Guide

Can you have an Americano with milk or not is a much debated question? Read this article to find the answer and other variations of espresso-based drinks.

An Americano With Milk
Americano with milk can cut down the coffee’s bitterness

I am sure every coffee lover has been in a situation when he walks into a coffee shop in the morning hoping to get a wake-me-up drink and he’s presented with a menu with weird names. On top of that, certain styles of coffee have a specific way of drinking them. For example, an Americano is usually a shot of espresso with hot water but some people prefer to add milk to it.

So, can you have an Americano with milk? Yes, many people like to add milk and sugar in order to cut down the bitterness. While the coffee traditionalists may say adding milk spoils the authentic taste of an Americano, but people do it all the time and it’s acceptable.

Even if the server gives you a blank stare or acts snobbish, don’t mind asking for milk to enhance the taste of your Americano.

The only thing is that when you add milk to an Americano (which is a shot or two of espresso), it technically becomes a different style of coffee. For example, a latte is also made of espresso shots and steamed milk; and a cappuccino is a single espresso shot with equal parts of steamed and frothed milk.

However, there are slight differences that make an Americano with milk taste different from a latte or cappuccino.

What Is An Americano With Milk Called

Some people think an Americano with milk is called a latte but this is not true. A latte doesn’t have any hot water diluting the espresso and there’s lots of milk and foam that may not suit every taste. When you order an Americano with milk, you get the watered espresso with a rich and intense flavor, to which you can add as much milk as you like.

Thus, an Americano with milk still tastes very much like an Americano with toned-down bitterness. If you would like to enjoy a milk-based coffee, here are the other variations of espresso with milk. Although a shot or two of espresso is common in these beverages, the flavor varies depending on the quantity of milk and other ingredients.

Breve: Pronounced as BREV-ay, this is an espresso-based drink that contains a shot of espresso mixed with half-and-half instead of milk, hence it has a richer and creamier taste. So, Breve is now used to denote any drink that contains espresso with half-and-half, regardless of the measurements and whether or not it has foam.

Café noisette: Pronounced as NWAH-zett, this is a drink made from a shot of espresso added with a small quantity of milk. The name comes from the color of the resulting beverage that resembles a noisette, the French term for hazelnut. As the milk added is not frothed or steamed, the taste differs from a cappuccino.

Espresso macchiato: Pronounced as MOCK-e-AH-toe, macchiato comprises single or double shots of espresso topped with heated and texturized milk. Macchiato means ‘stain’ or ‘mark’ in English and it refers to the small quantity of milk added on top of the espresso.

Espresso con Panna: Pronounced as kon PAAN-nah, this style of coffee comprises of a shot or double shots of espresso added with whipped cream. So, the use of whipped cream in the place of milk or half-and-half creates a unique flavor.

Flat White vs Latte what is the difference?
Flat white

Flat white: Those who want their coffee to taste more like creamy milk with a slight coffee flavor can opt for the Flat white. Just as the name suggests, this means a shot of espresso mixed with a double shot of hot milk. Unlike other steamed milk-based coffee, this beverage has no foam and feels velvety and smooth.

Latte macchiato: Often referred to as long macchiato, this drink is made by adding espresso with steamed milk. It refers to milk marked with a half-shot of espresso. The other American variations of the drink include caramel macchiatos that contain caramel as the ‘mark’.

Now that you know the answer to can you have an Americano with milk, let’s take a look at the difference between a latte and Americano With Milk, and the difference between flat white and Americano With Milk.

Difference Between Latte And Americano With Milk

While there are many espresso and milk-based drinks (as mentioned above), Americano with milk is usually confused with a latte for their stark similarity. Both drinks taste great, but sometimes you may be in the mood for an Americano with milk, not a latte. Those who have closely tasted them both can tell the subtle difference in flavors that make these two drinks so unique.

Can You Add Milk To An Americano?

Americano typically comprises a single or double shot of espresso watered down with hot water on top. While it sounds pretty basic, the effect takes place on a much sensual level. The flavor is much richer, intense, and smoother than a regular cup of black coffee. It does not taste burned, bitter, or sour.

On the ground level, an Americano is pretty similar to drip coffee. It tastes great, comes at an affordable price, and reflects what a cup of Joe is meant to be. At the coffee bars, Americanos are actually prepared from the finest quality of coffee beans sourced from around the world.

Another interesting fact about Americano is that many baristas and brewers have their own unique formula for many Americano. The variable factors include the number of espresso shots used, the quantity of hot water, milk, or sugar added.

So, if you want a bold Americano, you may opt for a strong cup of espresso with less water for a bitter and intense taste to overpower your senses. It all depends on how much you want to dilute the Americano to get your desired flavors.

A cup of Latte coffee on a table.

Latte, on the other hand, is the creamiest and smoothest of all espresso options as it is made of a shot of espresso mixed with 2/3 cup of steamed milk. This is then topped with a rich layer of foamed milk for a richer flavor.

If you enjoy the refreshing taste of freshly brewed espresso and the creamy taste of hot milk, you will fall in love with every sip of latte. Besides the great taste, many people prefer latte as their morning cuppa more than any other style of coffee because of their numerous health benefits. A cup of latte delivers the nutrition in milk including calcium and protein.

You might also be interested in our round-up of the best alternatives to half-and-half in your coffee.

Difference Between Flat White And Americano With Milk

When you ask for Americano with milk, many people will wonder whether flat white is what you want to order. Both are espresso-based drinks but they vary widely in terms of flavor and taste. There are several factors that can impact their real taste. Let’s find out more.

Americano tastes similar to black coffee but it is slightly sweeter. This is due to the way in which it is prepared. The espresso is extracted by sending hot pressurized water through finely-ground coffee.

This gives you a strong and rich-tasting beverage.

Espresso typically has a rich crema on the top but it has a bitter taste. While some people like drinking it, others may remove it with a spoon. By adding hot water over espresso, the crema gets dissolved and this helps in reducing the bitterness to some extent.

Flat White vs Latte what is the difference?
Flat white

Flat white, on the other hand, is a double espresso mixed with steamed milk. The beverage has a rich creamy and milky taste that dominates the flavor of the coffee.

To make flat whites, you may use any type of milk however whole milk is recommended to achieve a creamier taste. Semi-skimmed milk will lend a less creamy taste and a more prominent coffee flavor.

There are several things that may influence the taste of flat whites and the biggest difference comes from the amount of milk added. If you add a lot of milk, it will have a creamier taste and if you increase the espresso shot and use less milk, it will have a stronger coffee flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different shots of espresso called?

One serving is called a shot, two shots of espresso are known as a Doppio, a long pull is called Lungo, filtered coffee with one shot of espresso is called a Red-eye, and a smaller concentrated form of the espresso is named a Ristretto.

Does a cup of Americano have crema in it?

The coffee beans that are processed with care contain a lot of aromatic oils, and when you brew espresso, hot water forces the oils from the grounds. A light brown-colored creamy substance often comes out of an espresso machine first before dark coffee and it rises on the top to create a crema effect. It is considered a sign of perfect brew and many people prefer to add espresso over hot water to retain this crema.

How much water goes into Americano and is it the same for milk too?

The espresso to hot water ratio is usually 1:2 in an Americano, so this is roughly 30 to 50 ml of espresso for every 60 to 100 mil of hot water. However, there are no such rules and you may change the ratio to suit your tastes as you like. There are no set standards for adding milk and you may mix as much or as little depending on your preference.

How much caffeine does an Americano contain?

 Contrary to popular beliefs, Americano contains less caffeine than regular drip coffee. So, 12 oz of Americano will comprise one to two shots of espresso, which is equal to 40 to 80 mg of caffeine. Drip coffee contains only about 115-175 mg of caffeine.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.