White Coffee Vs. Black Coffee (A Quick Guide)

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by John Moretti

If you are an enthusiast that loves a good cup of coffee or just a regular coffee drinker, the question about whether to take your coffee white, with milk, or black without any milk always arises. 

These are two varied groups of people who prefer to drink and enjoy their coffee in two very different ways, white or black. For some people, it simply is a matter of taste; however, for others, it could be a conscious decision for them to drink their coffee without any milk

Let us look into this topic a little further to see how and why people choose to drink white coffee over black coffee. 

White Coffee Vs. Black Coffee

What Are Some Coffee Drinks With Milk?

When you choose to have your coffee with milk, you are always spoilt for choice as there are several different styles of coffees that you can choose from. 

Around the mid-1900s, baristas started to provide a wider variety of coffee drinks ranging from cappuccinos to macchiatos and even the famous caffe latte. These drinks were all made by adding espresso with varied frothed or warm milk quantities.

The Steamy Hot Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

The traditional Macchiato drink, which has been gleaned from Italian, means; “stained,” is made by “smearing” the Milk with a single shot of dark Espresso. 

The Macchiato is then made by pouring the steamed, frothed milk into a macchiato glass, and the shots of prepared espresso are added to the steamed milk. The coffee to milk ratio in a Macchiato is about one part of espresso to two parts milk.

Cafe Latte / Latte


Latte means milk in Italian, and it means the same in Spanish. A latte is generally made with more milk than a macchiato, but the difference is by no means dramatic. The latte is made in a larger cup and has a higher proportion of espresso. 

A Cafe Latte or Latte as it is commonly known is most likely one of the most widely drank coffee beverages in America. In a typical cafe latte, the coffee to milk ratio is approximately one part coffee to fourteen parts milk.



A Cappuccino is a single espresso with foamed milk, and the coffee to milk ratio is around 1:6 or 1:7. A cappuccino is also one of the most popular coffee drinks widely known and enjoyed among many American coffee drinkers. 

It is considered taboo for Italians to drink a cappuccino after 11 am in Italy. You would also never see an Italian drinking a cappuccino after dinner, either. Since a cappuccino is made with one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam, its coffee to milk ratio is higher than any coffee drink which Italians are customarily used to. 

For this reason, Italians avoid drinking cappuccinos either after breakfast or after dinner.

Flat White

Flat White

Flat White is a double shot of espresso topped with foamed milk. The coffee to milk ratio in a flat white is about one part Espresso to 4 parts of Milk. 

What Are Some Coffee Drinks Without Milk?

Black Coffee

For the coffee lovers who are bold enough to drink their coffee without milk, there are a few coffee drinks that you could order from your local coffee shop.

If you wish to explore other tastes and styles of black coffee apart from your regular Nescafe instant coffee or your traditional filter coffee, there are a few alternative styles and flavors for you to try.

A Single Espresso

Single Espresso

An espresso is a single intense shot of coffee, served in a very small cup. The Espresso is usually twenty to twenty-five grams of espresso per shot. 

Italian espresso shots are far more intense and bitter when compared to an espresso at Starbucks. In an Italian espresso, you get a single shot of espresso, which is usually around 29 millimeters, including the “crema” or cream. At a Starbucks, every espresso is a double shot by default.

The Italian espresso is served neither too hot nor too cold in an espresso cup and saucer without milk and provided with a complimentary glass of water to go with it.

The Double Espresso

Double Espresso

A double espresso is essentially two espresso shots that are served in a bigger cup. Some coffee shops would only serve a double espresso. 

The Americano

The Americano has a fascinating story that dates back to the Second World War. The story goes that American soldiers stationed in Italy used to pour hot water to dilute the Italian Espresso; hence the name “Americano” or “Espresso Americano” originated. 

The Americano is made with shots of espresso coffee (usually between 1 to 2 shots), with boiling water added. 

Americano coffee

The coffee bean used for an Americano is roasted for longer than a standard coffee bean, and it is ground finer than coffee beans used for filter coffee. Americano coffee has become so popular that you will always find it on any coffee menu in any coffee shop or restaurant. 

The Lungo


A Lungo is a longer but less intense espresso that is most likely served with a glass of hot water on the side so that you can dilute your coffee depending on your preferred taste. 

The Traditional Filter Coffee

Filter Coffee

Lastly, we come to traditional filter coffee, which can be enjoyed with milk and without milk. The choice of either depends on your preference. However, most Americans like to drink black filter coffee. 

For filter coffee, the coffee bean is ground into a medium powder, and it is poured into a filter coffee machine. Hot water is drip-filtered through the coffee grounds until only the flavorful dark brown liquid remains. 

The coffee bean to water ratio is usually around 0.25 ounces of coffee per 5.07 ounces of boiling water. The water should be at a temperature of about 199.4 degrees Fahrenheit to about 203 degrees Fahrenheit.

Non-Dairy Alternatives For Coffee

Non Dairy

If you still like to enjoy your favorite cuppa Java with milk, but you prefer a non-dairy alternative to milk, there are several options for you to choose from. 

Many of these non-dairy alternatives are plant-based alternatives, and a few of them are nut-based milk, so you can comfortably enjoy your cup of ‘Java’ without feeling guilty that you are harming your body. Here are a few of the non-dairy plant-based alternatives to dairy milk.

  • Soya milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cashew nut milk

It might be essential to note that if you have any nut-based allergies, you might want to stay away from nut-based milk alternatives. 

In addition, if you request any of these non-dairy alternatives at your local coffee shop, you should expect to be charged a little extra for your coffee, as these plant-based and nut-based milk alternatives come at an additional cost.

How Much Milk Goes Into A Latte?

Making Latte

If you are wondering how much milk goes into a latte, there are some basic guidelines that your local barista might follow when they are preparing a latte. 

  • In a twelve-ounce latte, use roughly two to three ounces of milk per serving.
  • In a sixteen-ounce latte, use roughly three to four ounces of milk per serving.
  • In a twenty-ounce latte, use roughly four to five ounces of milk per serving.
  • In a twenty-four-ounce latte, use roughly five to six ounces of milk per serving.

What Are Other Ways To Drink Coffee?


If you are feeling somewhat adventurous and would like to try out other ways to enjoy your coffee, besides white or black, you can also order your espresso with a shot of liquor, which would then be called a “Caffe Corretto.” 

You can choose to have any liquor poured into your coffee, but it is typical for a grappa, cognac, or a shot of sambuca also to be added.

If you are looking for a coffee beverage with a flavor of chocolate, then you can opt for a Marocchino. The Marocchino is a single shot of espresso, with a layer of foam and some sprinkling of cacao powder in your mug, which is then dusted with some cocoa powder.


Whichever way you may choose to drink your coffee, white with milk or black, should depend on your taste and style of coffee.

With so many options, styles, and flavors to choose from for your style of coffee, it might be worth it to try either black coffee or a plant-based milk alternative instead.