Do You Know What A Macchiato Is?

8 min read JAN 12, 2023

Step into your favorite coffee shop, and an extensive array of delicious, irresistible coffees will immediately entice you. Are you familiar with these options, or have some slipped under your radar?

With so many morning blend options, discovering the perfect one for you can be daunting. But what happens when your eyes catch a glimpse of some unknown names on the menu? Are you a fan of the tried and true, or do you take risks to experience something new?

As an alternative to a potentially disastrous morning, it's wise to become educated on different types of coffee and the associated brewing methods- this way, you can select which type best suits your taste, ensuring that every morning is delicious. Macchiato is one such type of coffee, and it's becoming increasingly popular due to its creamy texture and rich flavor.

With the classic Italian coffee tradition and American "inventiveness" merging, making sense of the vast selection of espresso-based drinks can be challenging. It's challenging to determine if the coffee you're drinking is authentic or simply a sugary, watered-down version. A perfect example of this is the Macchiato - the espresso-based beverage that many coffee lovers adore.

Although most people would easily distinguish between a shot of espresso or cappuccino, they are not as familiar with recognizing a macchiato. Is that sugary, caramel-flavored beverage your companionship ordered truly a classic Italian espresso? Absolutely not.

You never know when you'll want to dabble in the science of a good macchiato.
If you're unfamiliar with the magnificent Macchiato, worry not. You've come to the perfect place. This comprehensive guide will give you all the insights about Macchiato you could ever require or desire. 

Journey of Origin

The Macchiato emerged as a sly way of sneaking espresso into the afternoon. Particularly in its classic espresso form, it has become an iconic beverage for those seeking energy and delight. Cappuccino is the ideal early-morning pick-me-up, but it's not limited to just that - you can enjoy this espresso-based beverage any time of day.

The Macchiato offers coffee enthusiasts an idyllic balance between an espresso's strength and a cappuccino's creaminess. Achieving the perfect balance between a shot of espresso and a cappuccino, this beverage offers both strength and complexity in one.

What's in a Word?

The Italian word for Macchiato means "stained" or "marked," which is a helpful hint to understanding the delicious drink. From its birthplace in Italy, espresso drinks have propagated unique terminology that has made its way into the coffee lexicon.

The two main types of macchiato, espresso and latte varieties are both created by delicately "staining" one component of the milk and the espresso blend with the other.

Remember, "Stained" does not mean wholly bleached out, dyed, or watered down - there should still be a hint of color. You should obtain one element accompanied by a mere pinch of the other and nothing else.

Espresso Macchiato

The original macchiato beverage is the espresso macchiato, also known as a caffé macchiato in Italy. This drink gets its name from "macchia," which means to stain - specifically, with milk that stains an underlying shot of espresso.

This beverage allows espresso to be enjoyed in a mellow, tempered way with just an added touch of milk. If you're looking for a drink with the most robust espresso flavor out of any other espresso-based beverage, look no further than the Macchiato. This classic concoction tips the scales well towards espresso—definitely giving it that extra oomph.

Begin by pulling a shot of espresso as usual. Subsequently, add one-two teaspoon of steamed milk and finish with a dollop of foam to create an exquisite drink that will tantalize your taste buds.
Enjoy the smooth and creamy taste of an espresso Macchiato in either a ceramic demitasse cup or glass.

Latte Macchiato

The latte macchiato is more intricate than the traditional latte. Rather than adding espresso to milk, this concoction is formed by layering steamed milk atop a shot of dark espresso, thus lending it its distinctive 'stained' look.

The latte macchiato utilizes more milk and less espresso than a latte. It's unique in that its ingredients are expertly layered for maximum flavor. Unlike the espresso macchiato, this drink gives precedence to milk over its strong-brewed counterpart.

The barista should always start with a 12 oz glass, which must be transparent so the customers can observe the lavish layering. All cups should be preheated and filled with a generous portion of creamy, steamy milk to anywhere between one-third and half full.
The secret to producing an ideal beverage is pouring the espresso quickly. Carefully pouring one shot (or even less) of espresso over steamed milk produces a delightful beverage. To create a beautiful "stain" in the milk, baristas will often pour directly into the center of the cup. Though some may choose to additionally diffuse and slow down pouring with a spoon, it is optional to perfect this skill.
With this unique technique, it's easy to craft the iconic latte macchiato with its recognizable multi-layered appearance. When executed perfectly, your cup of espresso should contain a noticeable difference between the steamed milk, thicker texture at the bottom, and gradually transitioning to espresso before being topped with foam.

Deciding on the Perfect Java Blend

When Should You Get an Espresso Macchiato?

Seeking a robust, intense espresso flavor? An Espresso Macchiato is your Ideal choice if you find cappuccinos too creamy this beverage is perfect for those who need a heavy espresso jolt but don't wish to drink an entire shot. Its robust flavor will still give you the same great taste without being overpowering.

However, espresso Macchiato are usually relatively small unless you opt for the larger size. So if you're craving something more extensive than an espresso but are willing to sacrifice the coffee punch, we suggest going for a cappuccino.

Optimal Time to Order a Delectable Latte Macchiato?

If you're looking for something more dairy-based than coffee or have a kiddo that may not be ready for an espresso drink, try a latte macchiato. The velvety steamed milk instantly mellows out the subtle essence of espresso that lingers on your tongue. For those who taste something special, these drinks can be enhanced further by adding syrups and other flavorings – sometimes without prompting.

If a latte macchiato is too intense for your taste buds, we suggest you try our warm milkshake. If it's too mild or the flavor gradient isn't to your liking, opt for an enjoyable latte instead. 

Follow These Steps to Order a Delicious Cup

Depending on your location, the process of ordering one of these drinks may vary significantly. If you find yourself at a coffee shop specializing in intricate espresso beverages, simply ordering an "espresso macchiato" will guarantee a delicious and delightful treat. But when it comes to chain coffee shops, you won't get the real deal - a latte macchiato.

Instead, what will likely be served is an imitation of a latte with some caramel syrup added as its only distinctive feature.

You often won't even see a macchiato listed on the menu at your local cafe. Renowned coffee establishments should always comprehend what your order is without question. But if you're looking to invigorate and energize your day with a drink that has more impact than the average cup, then request an espresso macchiato from any coffee chain - it will undoubtedly do the job.

Espresso fans, trust us — this coffee is sure to please. 

Indulge in the delightful flavors of a classic macchiato with this easy-to-follow recipe: 

To make things easier, we've included a recipe below that you can save or print out in the comfort of your home. Enjoy the timeless taste of a classic Macchiato with our easy-to-follow recipe.

Follow these steps for an authentic espresso experience that will entice your palette and leave you wanting more.

  • Total time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Prep time: 2 minutes

The espresso macchiato, known colloquially in Italy as the caffé macchiato, is the original form of this beverage. In particular, milk gently stains and flavors the espresso when concocting it.

This beverage is designed to provide a harmonious blend of espresso and milk, allowing the flavor of both ingredients to shine through. The Macchiato has a higher ratio of espresso than milk than other coffee drinks that utilize espresso.

Start by brewing a delicious shot of espresso, then artfully layer it with just a tiny measure of steamed milk and top it off with an exquisite dollop of foam for the perfect finish. 

Ingredients you'll need:
  • 1 oz Steamed Milk
  • 2 oz espresso  


1. Brew a perfect espresso - we measured 16.5 grams of top-grade ground beans to craft a refreshing, 2-ounce shot.

2. For the perfect cup of steamed milk, carefully heat it until its temperature is comfortable without burning your hands.

3. To tantalize your espresso with a hint of milk, add only a splash (a mere half ounce) of steamed dairy to the shot- this will contribute subtle nuances that are sure to please your palette. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

1. What is the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino?

A macchiato typically has less steamed milk than a cappuccino and a layer of foam. It is meant to be enjoyed as an espresso-based drink with just a hint of milk. 

2. How much espresso is in a macchiato?

A traditional macchiato usually contains 2 ounces of espresso and 1 ounce of steamed milk- this is the same amount of espresso as a single shot. 

3. What is a latte macchiato?

A latte macchiato sometimes referred to as a “latte,” contains more steamed milk than an espresso macchiato and is topped with foam. This drink still has the espresso and milk flavor combination, but it is milder than the traditional macchiato. 

4. Can I order a macchiato at Starbucks?

Yes, you can order a macchiato at Starbucks- however; they will likely give you a latte macchiato instead of an espresso macchiato. If you would like the traditional espresso macchiato, specify that when ordering. 

5. Can I add syrup or flavorings to my macchiato?

Yes, you can add syrups or flavorings to your macchiato- this will give it a sweeter and more enjoyable flavor. However, remember that traditional Macchiatos do not contain any added syrups or flavorings. 

6. Can I make a macchiato with cold milk?

Yes, you can make a macchiato with cold milk- this is sometimes referred to as an “iced macchiato.” All you need to do is pull a shot of espresso, add cold milk and ice cubes, and then top it off with foam. 

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium roast


Drop a Comment

All comments are moderated before being published