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Is it normal to put cream in an Americano?


Is it normal to put cream in an Americano? In short, while traditional Americanos consist of espresso and water, there is no hard and fast rule against adding cream. The practice of adding cream or milk may be less common in some coffee circles, particularly those adhering to Italian coffee traditions, but it’s generally accepted in the UK and other parts of the world. If you’re one for experimentation or enjoy the creaminess in your coffee, feel free to add cream to your Americano.


Understanding the Americano

The Americano is a classic coffee drink made by diluting espresso with hot water. This practice originated during World War II when American soldiers stationed in Italy found the local espresso too strong for their tastes. Adding hot water made the drink more palatable and similar to the filter coffee they were accustomed to back home.

“The Americano serves as a less intense but equally flavorful alternative to straight espresso.”

Traditional Composition

  • 1 or 2 shots of espresso
  • Hot water

Non-Traditional Additions

  • Sugar
  • Milk or Cream
  • Flavored Syrups

The UK Coffee Culture

In the United Kingdom, the coffee culture has evolved significantly over the past few decades. From high-street chains like Costa and Starbucks to independent cafes, the UK offers a diverse range of options for coffee enthusiasts. Within this varied landscape, the customisation of classic coffee drinks like the Americano is quite common.

“In the UK, the culture of ‘having it your way’ extends to coffee as well.”

Can you make an Americano into a Latte?

Turning an Americano into a latte is certainly feasible, although the result is not a ‘true’ latte in the traditional sense. An Americano consists of espresso and water, whereas a latte comprises espresso, steamed milk, and a small amount of milk froth. If you’re in a pinch or looking for a new way to enjoy your Americano, adding steamed milk will get you close to a latte experience.

Steps to Transform an Americano into a Latte

  1. Prepare an Americano as usual.
  2. Steam milk separately.
  3. Add the steamed milk to the Americano.
  4. Top with a small amount of milk froth if desired.

Is it Normal?

The notion of what is considered “normal” in coffee culture varies from person to person and from one locale to another. Some coffee purists may argue that adding cream to an Americano takes away from the original essence of the drink. However, coffee is a personal experience, and what is normal for one individual may not be for another.

Reasons to Add Cream to an Americano

Flavour EnhancementThe creaminess can balance the espresso’s bitterness.
TextureCream adds a velvety layer that enriches the coffee’s mouthfeel.
Personal PreferenceAt the end of the day, your coffee should be how you like it.


While the Americano’s traditional composition is simple, consisting of just espresso and water, it’s perfectly acceptable to add cream if you prefer. The most important factor is your personal enjoyment. Whether you’re in a cafe in London or making coffee at home, don’t hesitate to customise your Americano to match your palate.