Americano Coffee With Milk

6 min read MAR 28, 2022

Americano coffees are traditionally served black, or without milk. 

But, even for the most discerning coffee connoisseur, the bitterness of espresso can be much more enjoyable when it’s cut with milk or a dairy alternative. 

No matter how you prefer your coffee, it’s important to know how to make your cup of joe exactly how you like it. Our quick guide on how to make an americano with milk helps you to have the best coffee experience you could ask for. 

Adding Milk to Americano Coffee

What is an Americano?

Americano coffee has a long history and originated in Italy during World War II, where it was considered the drink of choice for American soldiers. Americano coffee is made by combining one to two shots of espresso with hot water to cut down the rich taste of the coffee. 

The espresso that’s added to the water is made from dark roasted coffee to give it a deep, rich, and bitter flavor. 

For some coffee lovers, it’s common to want to cut through this bitter flavor by adding milk or sugar to their drink. Although this happens pretty frequently, the use of milk in your americano coffee changes the type of coffee you want to order from your local coffee shop or make in the comfort of your home. 

Alternatives to Americano with Milk

If you enjoy a dash of milk in your americano, you may want to try out a different type of coffee that is closer to the flavor you desire. 

Like an americano, all of the coffees that are similar use a base of espresso shots. 

Café noisette

add milk to americano coffee

A café noisette is made by adding a small amount of hot milk to your espresso. This is used in place of the hot water that usually makes up your americano. With a noisette, your coffee is diluted with milk instead of hot water and retains its strong coffee flavor. 

The difference between a cappuccino and this variation of an americano made with milk is that there’s less milk added to the espresso and the milk is warm but not steamed or frothed. 


Milk to Americano Coffee

Similar to the idea of the noisette, a breve uses half-and-half instead of hot water to cut the deep flavors of the espresso and water it down. Half-and-half is a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream, which also enhances the creamy flavor and texture of your coffee.

So, the next time you want a version of your americano coffee with a creamier body, you may want to ask your barista for a café breve. 

Café Latte

adding milk to americano coffee

The difference between an americano and a latte is the strength of the espresso. While you still use a double or single shot of strong espresso, it’s added to steamed milk instead of hot water.

Because of the amount of milk in your coffee, there is a more subtle espresso flavor to your cup of joe compared to the strong yet slightly watered-down taste of an americano. 

How to Make an Americano Coffee with Milk

Of course, you may not want to change your drink order entirely. 

While some alternatives to an americano with milk may have a great, smooth, and simple taste, they aren’t exactly the same as adding a dash of milk to your traditional café americano. 

People usually add milk to their americano coffee since they tend to be stronger and more bitter than drip brew coffee, which is the most common type of coffee consumed in the United States. 

An americano with milk is much bolder than a latte that’s cut with milk instead of hot water. 

Americanos are super easy to make at home, and an americano coffee with milk is as simple as adding a dollop of steamed milk to the top of your coffee. 

Before you can make your americano coffee, you'll need to carefully select your coffee beans. The right beans can make a huge difference in the quality of your drink, so you'll need to use the best possible beans you can find. 

Because you want a strong, rich taste in your americano, you want to use dark roast coffee beans. 

Depending on your preferred bean strength, you can use medium-dark roast beans as well. If your roast is any lighter, you may lose the strong coffee taste that americano coffees offer. 

No matter which beans you choose to use, there are no better quality beans than Lifeboost’s hand-roasted coffee. Lifeboost offers the best coffee for your espresso, as well as any other coffee you want to make at home. 

Lifeboost coffee is third-party tested for any impurities. Although some darker beans may irritate your stomach, Lifeboost beans have low acidity levels, making them easier on your stomach.  

Making an americano is quick and straightforward, making this elegant drink one of the easiest coffees to make at home. 

Grind your Beans

milk in americano coffee

Once you have your Lifeboost beans, you’re ready to make an americano with milk that’s out of this world. 

To prep your beans, you need to grind them as finely as possible. 

Because espressos use very little water, the grounds are only be exposed to hot water for a short time. This is why you need to make sure that your beans are as fine and compact as possible.

Make your Espresso

You can make your americano coffee with milk using a single or double shot of espresso. The number of espresso shots you use depends on the size of your cup and your preferred coffee strength. 

Using your portafilter or espresso maker, you can make your desired number of espresso shots. Make sure to keep them to one side to add to your hot water later. 

Heat your Water

In your coffee mug, you need to add boiling water as the base of your americano coffee. 

By boiling your water on the stove, in a kettle, or using the hot water option on your coffee machine, you need to get your water as hot as possible. 

The amount of water you use is typically double the volume of your espresso. So, if you’re using one shot of espresso, you need two shots worth of hot water. 

You can tinker with the amount of water you use and change it to suit your coffee preferences. The more water you use, the more diluted your espresso will taste.

Once your hot water is ready, you can slowly add your espresso to the water. 

By adding your espresso to the water, you’ll lessen the chances of the water burning your coffee. It also retains the creamy layer on top of the espresso - also known as crema - which is the mark of a great americano. 

Steam your Milk

Milk for Americano Coffee

In a separate cup, you can add as much milk as you like. The mug or cup should be taller than the amount of milk you have to avoid making a mess when steaming your milk. 

Before you steam your milk, you need to heat it up. You can do this in the microwave or by bringing it to a simmer on your stovetop. Your milk should be around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once your milk is hot enough, you can submerge the steaming arm of your coffee machine into the milk. It should reach the bottom of the mug. By slowly moving the arm up and down inside the milk, it will begin to froth. 

When your milk has started to bubble and froth, it’s ready to be added to your americano.

Be sure to add the milk as slowly as possible, to keep the flavors of the coffee and the milk from blending too early. You can also add any sugar or sweetener that you enjoy to your americano. 

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