Coffee with Milk (How to prepare)

In this article, we will discuss the subject “Coffee with milk” and discuss the effects of mixing milk with coffee, the benefits and drawbacks of adding milk to coffee, and how to prepare coffee with milk.

Coffee with milk

Coffee with milk is one of the beverages that has the highest concentrations of antioxidants, according to studies (1). Both coffee and milk contain antioxidants by themselves, due to their composition (2). 

The nutritional and antioxidant properties of this combination depend on many factors, such as the type of milk and the amount of fat it contains, the type of coffee brew and the proportion between coffee and milk.

The addition of milk to coffee improves the acceptance of the coffee, as it can reduce the adstringent characteristic of the coffee when drunk pure. 

What are the benefits of adding milk to coffee?

The benefit of adding milk to coffee is the improvement of the antioxidant properties of the coffee. Right after mixing milk with coffee, the amount of available antioxidants is reduced in the beverage. However, after pancreatic digestion, this availability is increased.

This is due to the interactions that occur between the chlorogenic acid and other phenolics in the coffee and the milk proteins and milk fats. These molecules can interact in many ways, and the binding of milk fats and milk proteins to coffee phenolics prevents their action (2, 3).

However, due to these interactions, especially between chlorogenic acid and milk fat molecules, there is a higher concentration of antioxidants after pancreatic digestion, as they could enhance the stability of the antioxidants against oxidative degradation.

As a consequence, the mixture of coffee and milk has a great antioxidant capacity and is one of the beverages with the highest antioxidant capacity commonly consumed, among the analysed in a study, where more than 50 types of beverages were tested (1). 

Another benefit of mixing coffee and milk is the improved flavour of the beverage, which increases the acceptance of the consumer. Milk, especially whole milk, improves the body and aroma of the drink, in addition, to masking the adstringent flavour and the acidic/ bitter taste of coffee.

In addition, the ingestion of coffee is known to reduce the absorption of iron from the food, due to the caffeine content. A similar effect is caused by tea. According to studies, the addition of milk to coffee can slightly reduce the inhibitory effect of coffee on iron absorption (4).

Finally, milk is a source of important nutrients, such as proteins, bioactive peptides, functional lipids and minerals, including calcium and magnesium. Milk contains vitamins A, B12 and E and may enhance the nutritional properties of coffee, which is very poor in nutrients.

What are the drawbacks of adding milk to coffee?

The drawback of adding milk to coffee is the possibility of milk allergy. Many individuals are allergic to milk proteins and the addition of milk to coffee may prevent them from drinking coffee.

Milk allergy is an immunoglobulin-mediated reaction (Ig-E) to milk proteins and is very common, especially in small children. It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach pain, as well as skin reactions, such as urticaria and rashes (5). It can also lead to anaphylaxis. 

Another possible drawback of adding milk to coffee is the masking effect of milk on the intense coffee flavour, which is appreciated by many consumers. Coffee is adstringent, bitter and acidic, depending on the type, the brew and the preparation method.

Adding milk to coffee interferes with the organoleptic characteristics of the coffee (2).

How to Prepare Coffee with Milk?

There are different ways to make a coffee with milk. You can add milk to brewed coffee or expresso coffee, or prepare a coffee out of powdered coffee and add milk.

Milk can also be chosen from multiple choices, including powdered milk, concentrated milk, whole milk, low-fat and skim milk. You can add 10 % milk to coffee, or a greater amount.

The effects of the multiple possibilities of combining milk and coffee will result in different properties regarding the nutritional characteristics, the antioxidant properties and the flavour of the beverage (1, 2, 3).

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Selling Coffee at Farmers Market

Coffee Mold Spores

Nel Coffee


In this article, we discussed the subject “Coffee with milk” and the effects of mixing milk with coffee, the benefits and drawbacks of adding milk to coffee, and how to prepare coffee with milk.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Carlsen MH, Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Bøhn SK, Dragland S, Sampson L, Willey C, Senoo H, Umezono Y, Sanada C, Barikmo I. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition journal. 2010 Dec;9(1):1-1.


Rashidinejad A, Tarhan O, Rezaei A, Capanoglu E, Boostani S, Khoshnoudi-Nia S, Samborska K, Garavand F, Shaddel R, Akbari-Alavijeh S, Jafari SM. Addition of milk to coffee beverages; the effect on functional, nutritional, and sensorial properties. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2022 Jul 23;62(22):6132-52.


Tagliazucchi D, Helal A, Verzelloni E, Conte A. The type and concentration of milk increase the in vitro bioaccessibility of coffee chlorogenic acids. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2012 Nov 7;60(44):11056-64.


Hurrell RF, Reddy M, Cook JD. Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. British Journal of Nutrition. 1999 Apr;81(4):289-95.


Monaci L, Tregoat V, van Hengel AJ, Anklam E. Milk allergens, their characteristics and their detection in food: A review. European Food Research and Technology. 2006 Jun;223:149-79.