Category • Blog articles

The Perfect Milky Coffee

Alex | August 25, 2022

Are you a fan of a milky coffee? There are so many barista-style coffees to choose from, it can be tricky to know your macchiato from your mocha. Here at FreshGround each and every one of our team is Speciality Coffee Association trained so we certainly know our beans. In this blog, we take a look at the most popular milky coffee types. Perhaps you’ve fallen onto this page but you’re not a milky coffee fan. If you’re a coffee lover that prefers it black, check out our black coffee blog as well.


The classic cappuccino was born in Italy back in the early 1900s and has stood the test of time. Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. It’s usually served with a sprinkling of powdered chocolate or cinnamon on top. The cappuccino is a café staple and one of the first speciality coffees to take off here in the UK. Recognised by its frothy layer of foam, cappuccinos are most often prepared using an espresso machine although they can also be made by hand.

White Coffee (aka, café au lait, coffee with milk)

What we call white coffee in the UK is usually simply black long coffee (coffee and hot water: an Americano) served with cold milk – either on the side or premixed.


The perfect latte has a deliciously creamy, velvety taste and is made using one shot of espresso and three parts steamed milk. As it contains more milk than a cappuccino, it’s a longer drink. And many people order it with a shot of flavourings like caramel, vanilla or hazelnut. Note that if you’re ordering it in Italy, ‘latte’ literally translates to ‘milk’ so be sure to ask for a café latte to avoid confusion!

Flat white

Silky and smooth, the flat white is a famous short coffee thought to have been created in Australia. It’s made with espresso blended with steamed milk and gently infused with air to create microfoam. Less milky than a latte, the silky microfoam is a great canvas to create stunning coffee art.


Originating in Spain, this small coffee shares characteristics with the flat white and macchiato. The name derives from the verb ‘cortar’ which means ‘to cut’. This is in reference to how the milk ‘cuts’ through the espresso. With a 1:1 ratio of coffee and steamed milk, it’s perfect for those looking for something shorter than a flat white. Unlike the flat white, the milk in a cortado isn’t as frothy but is silkier in texture.

Café Latte

A café latte (which is, a little confusingly, Italian for coffee and milk whereas café au lait, French for coffee with milk, usually refers to a white coffee in the UK) is an espresso shot (or two) with steamed milk. A skinny latte is a café latte made with a low fat, skimmed, milk. Lattes often have flavouring added to them such as caramel or vanilla.


The macchiato is a short drink made by combining a shot of espresso with a small splash of foamed or steamed milk. It has a stronger flavour than other milky coffee varieties. The macchiato is thought to have been created by baristas in Italy back in the eighties. It translates to ‘spotted which is because the top of the drink has a spotted appearance. The caramel macchiato made famous by Starbucks in 1996 is an iconic coffee drink. Made with espresso, vanilla, and steamed milk, and drizzled with caramel, it’s perfect for those with a sweet tooth.


Sometimes known as café mocha. This is most commonly made by blending a shot of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup or chocolate powder. It’s often topped with delicious whipped cream. The drink was created in the USA and takes inspiration from a Turin coffee called the Bicern. If you can’t make your mind up between a frothy cappuccino and a creamy hot chocolate, the mocha is for you.

We’re here to help

Whatever your favourite coffee drink is, we’ve got it. Check out our range of office coffee machines that make your perfect cup of happy to enjoy at work. And if you have any queries, give us a call and we’d be delighted to help you.