What Is an Espresso Macchiato

4 min read JUN 14, 2022

Coffee is a staple part of our adult lives, getting us through those especially difficult Monday mornings before heading to work. The smell of the lightly caramelized brewed coffee beans alone is enough to give us that euphoric high and enhance our productivity. 

Caffeinated drinks have taken on many forms since their first discovery, with many flavors being combinations of two different drinks. Coffee has gone from having a strictly strong taste to more subtle and sweeter flavors like the apple crisp coffee and the doppio espresso macchiato.

It can be a bit arduous to navigate all these new coffee flavors, especially if you’re new to the coffee game. Let us start with a common coffee that is enjoyed by millions all over the world, the espresso macchiato.

The following article details exactly what an espresso macchiato is and where it originated.

What This Article Covers:

Macchiato Origins

The origin story of the espresso macchiato is a little fuzzy, but it was most likely created in Italy around the 1800s since the word macchiato is Italian.

The name ‘macchiato’ translated from Italian to English means ‘mark’ or ‘stain.’ The stain or mark refers to the splash of milk that is added to the top of the espresso.

what is espresso macchiato

It is believed that this brewed caffeinated drink was made by baristas to distinguish between a standard espresso and an espresso with milk. This allowed waiters to be able to tell the difference between the two coffees.

Essentially, the espresso macchiato was invented as a way to sneak a strong cup of espresso into your afternoon routine by adding a tiny bit of milk to soften its blow.

It gives coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs an intermediate taste between an espresso and a cappuccino. It isn’t as strong as a traditional espresso, but it still packs that good punch to get you through the day.

There is a similar drink to an espresso macchiato that is consumed in Portugal. The Portuguese version of this drink is called a café pingado. Translated to English this means a coffee with a drop of milk, similar to the English version of an espresso macchiato.

In Mexico, it is called a cortado, which created a lot of confusion in the coffee world, since a cortado generally has a larger amount of milk than traditional espresso macchiatos.

Espresso Macchiato

Now that we know a little bit about its origin, we can dive into what exactly an espresso macchiato is and the flavor profile it holds.

What Is It

The espresso macchiato also called a caffé macchiato in Italy, is an espresso coffee drink with a dollop of foamed milk, served in a small espresso cup or a ceramic demitasse cup. It is similar to a short macchiato.

The entire premise of this drink is to have an espresso with a more moderate caffeine taste by adding a dash of milk.  

what's an espresso macchiato

A macchiato espresso is made by pulling a shot of espresso from your coffee machine. This is a more old-school way of making an espresso macchiato because it requires you to manually pull down on a handle that forces hot water over the ground-up coffee beans.

Modern machines, like the Espressione Concierge coffee machine, usually have built-in grinders, and coffee is made by a simple push of a button rather than a lever.

To ensure that you are getting the best quality espresso, it is important to purchase the strongest coffee beans. You can get a wide range of espresso coffee beans, along with a range of flavored coffee beans from Lifeboost coffee.

Flavor Profile

A straight shot of espresso has a powerful coffee taste, with hints of bitterness. The last few sips will give off a tarty citrussy taste, similar to a lemon.

As we know, the espresso macchiato uses less milk than other macchiato types. Therefore, instead of tasting a pure shot of espresso, a macchiato espresso will give off more subtle flavors since it has been chased with a tiny bit of milk and froth.

If your espresso is made with just a dollop of scooped foam, you will taste the purer favors of the base espresso coming through.

Both poured and scooped foam will have a delicious taste, especially for those serious caffeine lovers. However, if you’re into your coffee art then the poured foam is the way to go, as you’re able to create some epic coffee art with it.


What an Espresso Macchiato Is


In addition to its rich and aromatic flavor, the espresso macchiato contains close to zero calories, making it the perfect caffeine substitute for those on a strict diet plan.


Coffee is a staple part of our daily lives that many of us can’t go without. Honestly, we would all be miserable without our favorite cup of joe.

Thankfully there are so many tasty options of coffee drinks for us to choose from, and this includes the bold and flavorful espresso macchiato.

The espresso macchiato recipe only consists of two ingredients and it is incredibly easy to make. It is one of the go-to coffees if you're in a rush and in desperate need of that caffeinated high to get you through the day. 

Now that you know about what an espresso macchiato is, why not try one for yourself. I can guarantee your body will be thanking you for the extra energy.

Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:

  1. Creme Brulee Macchiato
  2. Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato
  3. Cinnamon Cloud Macchiato
  4. Cocoa Cloud Macchiato Recipe
  5. Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino Recipe
  6. Hazelnut Macchiato Recipe
  7. Iced Espresso Macchiato
  8. Macchiato vs Espresso
  9. Americano vs Espresso
  10. Espresso Lungo vs Americano
  11. What Is a Macchiato
  12. How to Make a Macchiato
  13. Iced Caramel Macchiato
  14. Caramel Macchiato Recipe
  15. Macchiato vs Mocha

Drop a Comment