What is coffee with milk called? Is drinking coffee with milk bad? Can you drink coffee without milk?

coffee with milk

Trying to traverse the world of coffee, particularly a menu in your typical coffee shop can be overwhelming.

There is all manner of different names for the countless variations of coffee, but how can you differentiate between each one without feeling as though you are asking silly questions while standing at the counter with a queue of people behind you? Surely you can just ask for a coffee with milk? But what is a coffee with milk called? Is there more than one name for it? And is drinking coffee with milk bad for you? In this article, we will cover everything you need to know! 

drinking coffee

What is coffee with milk called?

Coffee with milk is called: coffee with milk. If you are a normal person that is. However, in a coffee shop, coffee with milk has a number of different names. For example:

  • Café Latte: latte is the Italian word for “milk.” So a café latte is quite simply a coffee with steamed milk. 
  • Macchiato: Macchiato is Italian for “marked” or “stained”. This is basically an espresso (a shot of coffee) with a dollop of steamed or frothed milk on top. 
  • Café Au Lait: Café Au Lait is French and is a common name for a coffee with steamed milk in your typical coffee shop. 
  • Café con Leche: Café con Leche on the other hand, is Spanish. This is an espresso with steamed or slightly frothed milk on top. 
  • Flat White: A flat white is similar to a latte in that it is typically served in a glass cup with milk. However, a flat white tends to be served with regular milk as opposed to steamed or frothed milk. 
  • Americano: An Americano by itself is simply a black coffee. However, you can ask for an Americano with milk on the side and have yourself a coffee with milk. 

As you can see, there is a multitude of ways for ordering a coffee with milk. It can be confusing, but to be honest, most servers in a coffee shop will understand exactly what you mean when you ask for a coffee with milk, even if their menu says otherwise. 

Is drinking coffee with milk bad?

Yes, and no. Put it this way: drinking coffee with milk certainly isn’t going to kill you. However, as with anything, you should limit the amount of milk that you have in your coffee, just as much as you should limit the amount of coffee that you have, full stop. 

If you want to lose weight, adding milk to your coffee is not the best idea. Black coffee significantly lowers the number of calories that you will be consuming. In fact, with only 4.7 calories per cup (as opposed to 56.6 with milk and sugar), black coffee is without question, the better option. 

That being said, if you plan to drink a cup of coffee in the evening, then adding some milk is not the worst thing. In fact, though coffee energises you, adding the extra calories in the evening can actually help you sleep easier, rather than feeling buzzing from a straight black coffee.

Having milk in your coffee is recommended if you suffer from acidity. If you feel yourself regularly suffering from heartburn, then black coffee will only make it worse. However, a bit of milk in your coffee can reduce the impact of the acidity found in black coffee. 

Ultimately there are pros and cons to both black coffee and coffee with milk. If you wish to be as healthy as possible, then swap out your full-fat milk for almond milk instead. 

Again, provided that you limit your intake of coffee to several cups a day, you have a healthy and balanced diet, and you get plenty of exercise, then you aren’t going to run into too many problems.

Can you drink coffee without milk?

Absolutely, and to be honest, black coffee is the best way to drink it. Again, adding some milk can help with acid reflux, but on the whole, a nice cup of steaming black coffee is a delicious and healthy way to consume the beverage. 

Just make sure that you wait until your coffee is at a reasonable temperature before consuming it. Generally, adding milk to a coffee cools it down, whereas drinking a black coffee fresh from the pot is a sure way of scaling your oesophagus! 

The fact remains, adding milk and/or sugar to your coffee adds more calories to the drink. It is also not a great thing to do if you want to be drinking multiple cups throughout the day. 

Ultimately, if you like the occasional cup of coffee, then you can go nuts and add as much milk and sugar as you desire. However, if you are a regular coffee drinker and are likely to have between 3 and 10 cups of coffee a day, then you should definitely skip the milk and the sugar. 

In any case, as we have mentioned several times, it is all about moderation. 


So, to conclude, coffee with milk can be called any of the following: 

  • Café Latte
  • Macchiato
  • Café Au Lait
  • Café con Leche
  • Flat White
  • Americano (with milk on the side)

You can drink your coffee with milk, but you should keep your consumption down to a minimum. And, when drinking a high-quality coffee, you really do not want to ruin the delicious flavours by adding to it. Instead, the flavours should be savoured and enjoyed as they were intended: black.

Albert Roberts

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