Coffee drinkers have been adding a splash of milk to their coffee for centuries. So, why not do the same with an old-fashioned Americano? Milk enhances the texture and sweetness of coffee while masking acidity and bitterness. What milk goes best with Americano?
Whole milk goes best with Americano. Its high-fat content results in a sweet coffee with a rich, creamy texture. Oat milk is the best non-dairy option. It has a silky and creamy texture. Other alternatives include 2% fat or skim milk and almond, soya, coconut, or rice milk.
Americano – the Americanized espresso – was birthed during World War II. The American soldiers stationed in Italy found the Italian espresso too strong and opted for a watered-down version. Adding milk to an Americano can make your drink taste even better. Enjoy our guide on the best milk for Americano.
What Milk Goes Best With Americano?
Whole milk is the best milk for an Americano. And oat milk is an equally delicious non-dairy alternative to milk. Other options include 2% fat milk, skim milk, almond milk, soya milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.
You can also make an Americano using different milk techniques. For example:
- Cold milk: Simply add a splash of cold milk for an espresso-heavy drink with a hint of sweetness and creaminess.
- Steamed milk: Create a sweet textured Americano by adding steamed milk.
- Foamed milk: Add foamed milk to your Americano for a lightly textured beverage. It will resemble a macchiato (with added hot water).
- Steamed and foamed milk: Add steamed and foamed milk for a balanced, sweeter flavor and fuller mouthfeel. You’ll wind up with a delicious Americano Misto.
Types Of Milk For Americano
Feel free to pour your second cup of coffee as we discuss the characteristics of the different types of milk for Americano.
Whole milk is almost always a barista’s default choice. It is your best bet to achieve the perfect balance of taste and texture.
Whole milk’s high-fat percentage (3 to 4%) results in a sweet, creamy coffee with a rich texture and fuller mouthfeel.
2% Fat Milk
Reduced-fat milk, like 2%, isn’t a bad choice if you want to cut down on some of those calories. However, it, unfortunately, loses some of the sweetness and body compared to whole milk.
Non-fat milk or skim milk contains little to no fat. While still adding some sweetness, it won’t change the texture of your Americano.
Steaming skim milk creates a denser foam head, allowing the Americano’s flavor to cut through clearly.
Oat milk is our number one dairy substitute. It has a smooth, silky texture and makes a rich foam when heated. The creaminess of oat milk is similar to dairy milk, making it perfect for adding to Americanos.
Oat milk has a slightly neutral flavor and won’t overpower the taste of the coffee, unlike many other milk alternatives. Another benefit is that oat milk does not have to be warmed before adding to a hot Americano, and it is less likely to curdle than other milk alternatives.
Almond milk is a healthy non-dairy option. It contains few calories and is high in protein and vitamins D and E. Almond milk has a light body that may be too watery for some coffee lovers.
While some enjoy the nutty flavor of almond milk in an Americano, others find its nutty flavors too pronounced.
Ensure you heat almond milk before adding it to your Americano to prevent it from curdling.
Soya milk has a non-distinctive taste, making it an excellent non-dairy option for your Americano. It boasts a smooth, creamy texture and high-fat content.
Ensure you heat soya milk before adding it to your Americano to prevent it from curdling. However, avoid overheating it, as this will also cause curdling.
Adding coconut milk to an Americano will give it an exotic flavor. It is a pretty sweet option, making it the perfect fit for someone trying to cut sugar. However, the distinctive coconut flavor might be too overpowering for some palates.
Coconut milk resembles the texture of 2% low-fat milk. Like most other dairy alternatives, coconut milk should be warmed before adding it to your Americano to prevent it from curdling.
Rice milk is our least favorite option, but it is effective if you’re sensitive to dairy and nuts. It offers a neutral taste and a thin, watery texture comparable to skim milk.
Why Do People Add Milk To Americano?
Some baristas and coffee enthusiasts believe adding milk to an Americano is downright sacrilege and insist on sipping it black. However, there isn’t a right and wrong; you can freely add milk to an Americano to enhance the texture and sweetness.
An Americano is a strong, simplistic coffee made with one part of a single or double shot of espresso coffee and two parts hot water. Adding a splash of milk to an Americano gives it a milder and more balanced flavor.
Milk ups the fat content, giving the coffee a thick, velvety texture and fuller mouthfeel. It also hides the robust, bitter notes of black Americano by adding a hint of sweetness. The protein in milk binds to coffee’s polyphenolic compounds like tannins that produce a bitter flavor. In turn, the milk reduces the bitterness.
Milk enhances coffee’s delicious chocolate and nutty notes while masking the bitter and acidic flavors. And speaking of acidic flavors, milk has a more neutral pH than coffee. Adding a dash of milk will lessen the acidity, making it easier on your stomach.
Is An Americano With Milk Still An Americano?
A traditional Americano is espresso poured over or diluted with hot water. It does not contain milk. However, adding milk does not make it a different beverage. It remains an Americano but with added milk.
No, adding milk to an Americano does not turn it into a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. These caffeinated beverages contain different ratios of espresso shots and milk, while an Americano is diluted with water. So an Americano with milk is a delicious in-between drink for those who enjoy a touch of milk to reduce the strength and bitterness.
Instead, an Americano with milk can resemble one of the following coffee drinks:
- Breve: A combination of an espresso shot with half-and-half of heavy cream and whole milk. Espresso macchiato: A single or double espresso shot flavored with thick, steamed milk.
- Flat white: An espresso flavored with cold or hot milk.
- Café noisette: A single or double espresso shot flavored with a tiny amount of milk. The milk isn’t steamed but added directly, providing a different flavor to a cappuccino.
Other Popular Americano Twists
For a sweet or creamier twist, you can add several other popular ingredients to an Americano. A few variations include:
- Sugar or sweetener: Sugar is a perfect addition to an Americano if you’re looking for a way to mask the bitterness.
- Steamed half-and-half: You can add steamed half-and-half (cream and whole milk) for a thick, creamy texture and additional sweetness.
- Creamer: Creamer is a store-bought liquid or powder you can add to your Americano in place of milk. It will help add a thick, creamy texture and additional sweetness.
Feel free to add a dash of milk to your Americano to reduce the bitterness. Our favorite milk option is, and will always be, whole milk. The sweetness and creamy texture are irresistible.