what is a macchiato

What Is A Macchiato? | 2 Types You Should Know

Last Updated on 24/10/2021 by Miki

What is a macchiato? In short, a macchiato is a coffee drink that is made up of a shot of espresso and a small amount of foamed milk. When I feel like a macchiato, I usually order a long macchiato, which is a double espresso with a drop of foamed milk. Of course, you can order a short macchiato if you want just one shot of espresso in yours.

what is a macchiato
Photo by Takeaway

Well, I thought this was the way a macchiato should have been until one day I got a latte-like macchiato from a cafe when I ordered a long macchiato. Way too much milk for a macchiato. I totally got shocked! Didn’t the barista know what a macchiato was? To my surprise, I found out that there were two types of macchiato – an espresso macchiato and a latte macchiato. Let me explain more in detail 🙂

What Is A Macchiato? – Origin of Macchiato

The origin of the word macchiato is believed to be derived from the Italian word “macchiare” meaning “to stain” or “to spot.”  The name is thought to have come about when the espresso in the cup was stained with milk. The macchiato is usually served in a smaller diameter cup; this is because the milk foam rises to the top of the cup when served. 

A macchiato is one of the most popular coffee types in Italy. This coffee is typically made with espresso and a splash of steamed or frothed milk. The addition of the milk gives it its unique taste, which is said to be sweet and delicate. A macchiato is often ordered as an after-dinner coffee, but it can also be ordered during the day after lunch. On the other hand, a cappuccino is preferred for morning coffee.

Macchiato vs Latte

Is your morning coffee time dominated by lattes? Or do you prefer macchiatos?

Oftentimes, people will mistake a macchiato for a latte because the two drinks taste quite similar when they come from a coffee shop. However, when looking at the ingredients in each drink, it is easy to see that these two drinks are actually different. 

A macchiato is made up of espresso with a little steamed or frothed milk on top whereas a latte is made up of espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. The latte is closer to milk than espresso while the macchiato is more like espresso, When you make a latte, the milk is steamed up and then poured over the espresso whereas, in a macchiato, there is only a drop of frothed milk.

What Is An Espresso Macchiato?

You’ve got the answer to the question “What is a macchiato?”, but did you know there were two types of macchiatos? An espresso macchiato is a traditional coffee drink in the Italian style. It is a combination of espresso and a touch of milk foam with a frothy layer on top. The espresso macchiato is derived from the Italian word “macchiare”, meaning “marked”, which refers to the espresso then being rubbed against the cup with the palm of the barista’s hand to create a design on the foam.

For me, the espresso macchiato is the one I expect to be served when I order a macchiato at a cafe.

What Is A Latte Macchiato?

latte macchiato

A latte macchiato is made up of espresso with steamed milk and foamed milk on top. It is typically served in a 6oz glass and has espresso on top of the steamed milk. This is one of the most popular drinks in the US and it is often served with caramel syrup or whipped cream (I know you are thinking about Starbucks!).

The latte macchiato can also be served in larger glasses, with more milk than coffee. Or, it can be served in smaller glasses with a focus on the coffee aspect. There are many variations, but typically it’s about one-third to a half glass of steamed milk and a shot of espresso slowly poured over the milk. Then lastly, a layer of foamed milk is added on top.

How To Make A Macchiato

A macchiato is a type of Italian coffee often ordered with a shot of espresso and a small amount of foamed milk. It is a strong coffee drink that is also known as a “stained” or “marked” coffee. The foamed milk is poured into the espresso and then topped with extra foam for style. The amount of milk and espresso can be adjusted to suit your taste. The macchiato comes in a smaller glass than a latte and it is a really simple drink to make. One of the most common ways to make a macchiato is as follows:

  1. Start with an espresso shot made with your coffee machine.
  2. Steam desired amount of milk without making it too hot.
  3. Pour a small amount of steamed milk and add a drop of foamed milk on top.
  4. Enjoy your coffee :)​​

How To Make A Caramel Macchiato

caramel macchiato

Are you craving the sweetness of coffee mixed with the perfect blend of foam, milk and caramel? As the cooler weather starts to set in, it is time for some warm, delightful coffee drinks to help you get through. One of the most popular drinks for this time is the iconic caramel macchiato. There’s something so satisfying about this drink that will have you counting down the days until you can have one again.

Making a caramel macchiato at home is not as hard as you may think. It requires only a few simple ingredients to make a delicious tasting coffee.

  1. First, you need to brew your espresso. For this recipe, I recommend double shots of espresso, but you can adjust this amount to your preference.
  2. While brewing your espresso, froth 8oz milk of your choice. Make sure to heat milk to the desired temperature (most people like their milk warmed to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit/65 degrees Celsius).
  3. Then pour the frothed milk into your cup (you can add a tablespoon of vanilla syrup if you like the Starbucks style) and add the foam on top.
  4. The last step is to drizzle in your caramel syrup.​

Final Thoughts

Coffee is a staple in most people’s diets. Some people don’t drink it at all, some drink it black, and others drink it with milk and sugar. A macchiato is an espresso coffee with a bit of milk foam on top. It is a light-bodied coffee with a trace of slight bitterness but is not as harsh as a straight espresso. The coffee’s characteristic the macchiato has is the result of the subtle balance achieved in the drink when the caffeine in the espresso mix with the sugars present in the milk. If you’re looking for a good drink that won’t give you that morning crash, then a macchiato may be for you. I hope you find this article useful to explain “What is a macchiato?” in a simple way.

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