Coffee and milk, please! [beverage guide]


Coffee with milk is popular worldwide. The two just go well together. Strong espresso becomes milder in milk. Even the onset of caffeine is slowed down by the milk. Thecaffeinecontent is therefore the same as in espresso, because it is theespresso that forms the basis of coffee with milk, but thanks to the milk it is released into the body gradually.

The milk makes the coffee a drink with a delicious sweet taste. For this taste, very often coffee with milk is combined with other sweetness from coffee shops, i.e. desserts. The most common order in a coffee shop is... guess? Yes, a cappuccino and a piece of cake.


In order to allow each guest to choose their favourite ratio of milk to coffee in their cup, the café staff offer adrinks menu. All the drinks that the café prepares are listed there . It is at this point, after opening the drink menu, that the guest, who is not a typical café loafer, starts to get confused.

He wanted coffee with milk. But the drinks menu is a whole page full of milk coffees! He's offered a macchiato, a latte, a cappuccino, a cortado, a flat white... what now? He tries to ask the waitress to bring him a coffee with milk. "Yes, sure, but which coffee exactly would you like?" And repeats to the guest the memorized list of items, as it is written in the drink menu under the category: coffee with milk. If you were to ask her, "So what's that Flat White?" "Hold on, I'm going to ask the barista."


I'm certainly not saying this is always the case. I personally know plenty of cafes, baristas and the ladies serving who know their job - and coffee. Such professionals will give you a comprehensive explanation and guide you through the whole range of coffee and non-coffeedrinks and even those not included in their menu.

Cafés have experienced a great "boom" in recent years. They have grown like mushrooms after the rain. It's hardfor their owners to find quality staff. That is why, of course, from a financial point of view, there are also temporary workers on the "set" in cafés who work without any deeper knowledge of coffee, without the motivation to learn the trade or simply on their first day there.

Whatever the reason, there are still cases where a guest leaves a café dismayed by an incomprehensible offer. Have you experienced such a situation yourself? Or are these the moments you dread, and that's the reason you're reluctant to enter modern-looking cafes? Don't hang your head! I have just the guide for you that will save you from misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations.


In the paragraphs below you will find the most common coffee drinks with milk that you can come across in cafés. Read their descriptions to get an idea of what to expect after ordering them. This "cheat sheet" will help you to quickly navigate the coffee on the drinks menu and you will know exactly what you are ordering.

You'll find traditional drinks, as well as less common ones and new beverages that are making their way into the limelight. With this tool, you can safely step into the unfamiliar waters of modern coffee shops and fully enjoy the atmosphere and unique energy of these places that smell of coffee. It's worth it!

I can't imagine a world without cafés, and yet many years ago, on my first visits to a café, I experienced similar embarrassment at the drinks menu as you did. Then I became so enchanted with coffee that it became my profession. Now I can help you, to be enchanted by coffee and choose the one you fancy.


Before I start listing the milk coffee drinks, I must not leave out the basic espresso with milk in this list. That is, a cup of black coffee of about 30 ml (about 60 ml when ordering a double espresso or doppio) to which milk is served separately. Alternatively, and upon customer's request, the barista will add a little milk to the finished espresso. Usually when ordering coffee to go.

Similarly lungo with milk or americano with milk. Again it is espresso, this time extended with hot water in a certain ratio. Usually, lungo means espresso topped up with hot water 1:1 (1:2) and for americano coffee up to 1:5. Milk is served separately with this coffee on request, as is hot water to extend the coffee. On request, again most often with takeaway coffee, the barista extends the coffee with hot water and adds a drop of milk.


If you want more than just coffee and some milk, butare in the mood for a milky coffee drink, you'll probably choose from these options at a coffee shop:

1. Espresso macchiato

The smallest milky coffee drink and the most common ordering mistake. Macchiato is the most popular coffee drink in the world. One is the Espresso Macchiato and the other is the Latte Macchiato. They sound very similar and yet they are the complete opposite, in terms of the ratio of coffee to milk. A little Italian will help to clarify, because both names come from that language.

Confusingly, "macchiato" translates to "macchiato". Well, the word before that means what liquid the stain will be put in. So if we order an Espresso Macchiato, we expect an espresso (a typical drink of about 30 ml) and a milk stain is created into it. In the original "old school Italian cafe" version, it is indeed a stain, often created by sitting a spoonful of frothed milk on the surface of the espresso.

2. Cortado

Now I'll introduce you to drinks that you may encounter on the Czech café scene, but are not the most typical representatives of this segment of drinks. The coffee drink called Cortado comes from Spain. "Cortar" in Spanish means cut or cut. Thus, we can also deduce that Cortado is actually "cut coffee". That is, coffee, topped with milk. Again, we have a problem of precise definition.

Some people prepare cortado exactly like an espresso macchiato, that is, in a small (the smallest) cup that holds one espresso. Others advocate a more traditional version that is too similar in volume and milk-to-coffee ratio to the Flat White. It differs only in the texture of the milk, which is not as creamy but rather thinner.

And then there is a third style of Cortado preparation. This is the drink in a glass of about 1 dl. The base is double espresso and whipped milk poured into the coffee using the latte art technique. Here you have to askthe barista: "how does it actually cut the coffee?".

3. Cappuccino

Worldwide, it is one of the most popular coffee drinks. Its preparation is part of barista championships. Typically, competitions judge the performance of the barista in preparing a basic espresso and then a cappuccino. In creating this drink, the barista's ability to work with milk is tested . This means whisking it correctly and pouring it nicely into the cup so that the milk forms a picture on the surface of the coffee.

The cappuccino is served in a 150-180 ml cup. It consists of warm whipped milk and one espresso in the base. Its volume can resemble that of a Flat White. It is often prepared in the same type of cup. The only visual difference when you put the two drinks side by side is the brown shade of coffee in the cup. In a cappuccino, it's a lighter coffee brown because it contains one base espresso as opposed to a Flat White, which is made up of two "espresso shots". The milk-to-coffee ratio is thus weaker in the cappuccino (compared to the Flat White).

4. Flat White

A drink with an unclear history and, unfortunately, a non-standardised volume. Therefore, when ordering a Flat White,we recommend asking for the volume of the cup or glass in which it will be brought to you. What doesn't change in any version of Flat White is the double base. That is, double espresso at the bottom of the cup (i.e. about 60 ml of coffee) topped up with milk to the final volume.

It is the final total volume that each coffee shop determines themselves, but it ranges from 140 ml to 180 ml. In the world it is possible to meet exceptionally Flat White with a volume of even 2 dl. In summary , theFlat White is a milk drink with a volume of around 150 ml, of which 60 ml is coffee, more precisely double espresso.

5. Caffé latte

As the name suggests, it will be coffee and milk. Lots of milk. Caffé latte is the modern version of the Latte Macchiato. It differs both in serving and in preparation. It is not served in a glass, but in a cup of at least 250 ml. The preparation procedure is the same as for a cappuccino. The cup is used to prepare thebase, i.e. one espresso. Themilk is whisked in a teapot and poured into the prepared base so that alatte art - image is drawn on the surface by the poured milk.

Why, you ask, are coffee shops switching from offering Latte Macchiato to Caffé Latte? The reason is the improvement in technology that is being developed for coffee preparation. Today's coffee machines can whip up a fine microfoam. It doesn't separate the frothy and liquid layers of milk. This microfoam is made up of small - micro - bubbles which, in turn, combine with the more liquid milk to form a fine, smooth, glossy, homogeneous and even creamy liquid.

The result is the ability of such milk to fuse with the coffee base - espresso - into a sweet and almost creamy drink that gives the two ingredients room to express themselves in the cup and brings them together. So the question is more for you, coffee shop guests and coffee and milk lovers. Why not treat yourself to a Caffé Latte? Why deny yourself, probably out of habit, this goodness?

6. Latte Macchiato

A classic of Italian cafés. I was first to describe the espresso macchiato in this list of milky coffee drinks. Based on the observation that "macchiato" is a stain, thestain in this drink is embedded in the "latte" or milk. The stain would be the coffee, the espresso.

Since it is a classic drink, it is also a classic served. The milk is thickly foamed according to the original techniques. Then it's poured into a tall glass. Then the espresso is made and poured into the milk. This espresso settles below the milk foam but above the warm milk. It is in the glass that you can see this layering. At the top of the milk foam, we can see the stain left by the espresso in the white milk. Thetotal volume of the drink is 250 ml (sometimes a little more).

7. Caffe au Lait

A sunny morning, the bells of Notre-Dame Cathedral announce the ninth hour. You are sitting on the terrace of the romantic-looking Pâtisserie Odette. You have breakfast. In front of you is a basket of fragrant croissants and... Caffe au Lait. That's it! Breakfast coffeefrom France ,full of milk. A large cup with a capacity of more than 2 dl is filled with warm milk and coffee.

According to the original recipe with filtered coffee (for example, drip coffee) or, for even greater authenticity, prepared using a French Press. The ratio of coffee and milk is according to the customer's or barista's preference. Sometimes you may find that this morning coffee is snowed on with sugar on the surface. Finely ground cinnamon sugar. Don't forget that with this recipe adaptation, it is almost a requirement to have the famous French Apple Tarte Tatin for breakfast with this coffee.

8. Ice Coffee

A coffee that beckons on hot summer days. Thesimplicity of the name Ice Coffee gives room for creativity. That is why the name Ice Coffee (whether it is written in English or Czech in the drinks menu) can be used to describeany cold coffee. An iced coffee can be called a drink in a glass made up of ice cubes, milk and topped with espresso. This variant has many other versions. Depending on the volume of the glass, the amount of milk or coffee.

Often these drinks are also called Ice Cappuccino or Ice Latte just by how much milk is used. Actually, these are cold versions of drinks with classic milk coffee offerings. Ice Coffee, too, can be created from a different coffee base than espresso.

You may also encounter cold filtered (drip) coffee, which is poured in a glass, over ice cubes and topped with cold milk or cream. Of course , thevolumes and ratios of coffee to milk are as individual as all the drinks called Ice Coffee.

9. Dalgona (whipped) coffee

Cold milk poured into a glass of ice extends to about two-thirds of its volume. The last third is made up of coffee - more like coffee cream. Espresso, which is whipped with sugar into a thick froth. Thesweet, stiff espresso cream combined with iced milk has become the most sought-after iced coffee drink of the year in no time, and it's not even summer yet!

Dalgona coffee is spreading around the world at lightning speed. The internet offers millions of recipes and instructions on how to make this drink. It's a bit like coffee ice cream. Don't forget to try Dalgona coffee this summer. Refresh your day! Sweeten the moment!

10. Frappé

The last representative of the most commonly found milky coffees on the drinks list is the world-famous Frappé. I'd like to write down the exact definition of what you get when you order it. But even in its native Greece ,there is no single recipe. It's all about mixing coffee, water or milk, sugar and ice. Depending on the café's or individual barista's recipe, you might findespresso as well as instant coffee in your glass, along with ice, milk .

The original version of the frappé is based on instant coffee. Sugar, which is usually added to the drink, can be replaced with syrupfor better solubility or omitted altogether at the guest's request. The method of mixing is also different. One café has an electric frapper, a kind of whisk that mixes and froths everything. Another café uses a shaker to prepare the frappé .

Even the use of milk is individual and can be omitted on request. In the end, the coffee will be made of coffee, ice and sugar (or the coffee will be diluted a little with plain water instead of ice).


As you've noticed, even in a café: as many baristas as recipes. Therefore, don't be afraid to ask the barista directlyfor the exact composition or the final volume of the drink if the staff doesn't give you all the necessary information. The barista standing behind the bar is ready to create any orders you receive, but heis equally there for you. He makes all the drinks, so he knows them too. He will advise you and many times, depending on what he learns from you ( and about you), he is able tocreate a drink exactly to your liking. So that you don't leave with a bad one, but instead with a positive experience and memories of your afternoon at the cafe.

If you still have fears that discourage you from visiting a modern coffee shop, I believe that if you do venture into a coffee shop, you will be extremely surprised at how nice and helpful the people working in these places are. I can confirm that all true baristas (and those who work with coffee in other roles) do their jobs because they love coffee and want you to love coffee too. To find your cup of coffee in their cafe.

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