Firstly, Macchiato is not an English word, it’s an Italian word. In English, Macchiato means marked and usually, it refers to coffee drinks. Coffee drinks based on espresso are called Macchiato. Macchiato is a very popular drink in the whole world and coffee lovers love Macchiato and it’s one of the most consuming coffee drinks in the world. Macchiato is an espresso-based coffee drink with the topping of steamed milk.

Also, if you are the one who doesn’t like a strong cup of espresso, then Macchiato is the perfect drink and you should have to add this to your favorite list. Steamed milk breaks the strong flavor of espresso and that’s why a cup of macchiato is much smooth and light even though it’s an espresso-based drink. You can say that the macchiato is a modified version of espresso and people love to drink macchiato including me.

Although many people would be able to tell the difference between a good shot of espresso and a cup of cappuccino, most people would have trouble identifying a macchiato. If you’re the one then don’t worry about it. In this article, we are going to break down the macchiato. We’ll discuss the macchiato types, who and where macchiato was invented, how to make a delicious macchiato and the difference between latte macchiato & espresso macchiato.


Macchiato, this an espresso-based coffee drink with well-foamed milk. The Macchiato is also known as Espresso Macchiato. The word macchiato means to stain or spot something in Italian and in the literal terms, caffé macchiato means stained or marked coffee.

The macchiato may have first been created in Italy in 1980, according to a number of coffee experts and enthusiasts. You can easily recognize macchiato because the barista pours steamed milk directly into espresso, and leaves a milk spot on the top of the macchiato.

Macchiato is similar to a Portuguese coffee drink called café pingado, also known as coffee with a drop of milk. So the recipe for a macchiato depends upon the quantity of espresso used and the quantity of milk used. Because of the other similar drinks with the same name as the macchiato, makes it difficult sometimes to distinguish between a macchiato and other similar drinks.

There are many coffeehouses in Australia that offer a long macchiato, which is two espresso shots and steamed milk. Also, Starbucks gives a caramel macchiato drink that consists of steamed milk topped with caramel syrup, and this caramel macchiato drink was introduced in 1990. Worldwide, there are many macchiato drinks with few changes, and they differ based on the amount of coffee and steamed milk used.


Misconception and Reality

You can find many people who like to drink macchiato with just foam on top of the espresso, some like to drink with just adding hot milk, and also there are some people who like to drink with only cold milk in a macchiato. Different countries and different people customize their drinks, so it also depends on people’s preference on what they like.

Macchiato gives you taste in between an espresso and a cappuccino, and macchiato strikes the right balance for coffee lovers. It is true that macchiato taste is not much stronger like espresso shots but a cup of macchiato is stronger than a regular cup of cappuccino.

Macchiato is a really good choice for those who don’t drink espresso because of the strong flavor. So they can enjoy Macchiato because it’s lighter and smooth than regular espresso. The macchiato is a very popular drink, and people enjoy it either with milk or with just milk foam. Macchiato gets popular so fast and the big reason is that it’s not strong like espresso and not as diluted as a latte.

While a creamy macchiato is a popular drink and contains milk foam, Latte Macchiato doesn’t require any foaming. In today’s modern era things have changed, with the invention of the steaming wand and fine milk or cream, a perfect foam is now produced by the master barista. Latte Macchiato that comes with foam has grown quite popular in recent years.

A macchiato is generally considered to be a drink made with espresso, cold milk, and hot milk layered together in a tall glass. It is usually made using milk foam rather than regular milk, some people say. As there is no exact specification for this type of drink, many coffee experts and enthusiasts describe it differently.

Types of Macchiato Coffee:

Now let’s talk about the types of famous macchiato coffee. Espresso macchiato and latte macchiato are the two types of macchiato coffee.

1) What is Espresso Macchiato?

Traditionally, Italians refer to this drink as café macchiato, but most know this drink as espresso macchiato. To describe this drink, a splash of milk moderates or subdues the bitterness of the espresso. Unlike the other espresso drinks, espresso macchiato is usually served in small cups of espresso. The espresso is the main component of this drink, and only a few sips of hot milk, cold milk, or foam are added.

After adding the milk foam or just milk in an espresso shot, the barista adds 1 to 2 teaspoons of steamed milk as a stain. Because this stain or you can say the mark, is the signature of the macchiato. Also, this milk stain on the top enhances the beauty of a cup of macchiato coffee. The majority of people like to drink macchiato because they like less intense espresso flavors.

2) What is a Latte Macchiato?

The Latte Macchiato is a layered drink and the barista serves Latte Macchiato in a tall glass, and because of glass, you can see the beautiful layers. The main difference between Espresso Macchiato and Latte Macchiato is the quantity of espresso and steamed milk. It is made with less espresso and more milk than espresso macchiato with layers.

Barista pours a shot of espresso or less than a full shot of espresso slowly on the steamed milk. Most of the baristas use the back of the spoon to slow down the speed of milk pouring. This is the method of pouring that lends the latte macchiato its signature layering look. In the end, you can easily see the beautiful layers, steamed milk at the bottom of the glass, then a layer of espresso in between, and then a layer of milk foam on top if poured correctly.


Which Milk is best for Macchiato and Latte Macchiato?

Honestly speaking, it depends on you. As we mentioned above, in different countries and different cultures people drink macchiato with some differences. Many people choose to use steamed and frothed hot milk for their Macchiato, while many others prefer to use cold milk for their Macchiato.

Nowadays, many American coffee shops usually combine an equal amount of espresso and milk to create the modern Latte Macchiato, which looks somewhat like a Caffé Latte. Although, traditionally, a Caffé Latte has a lot more steamed milk in it than a Latte Macchiato.

One thing we want to mention here is that whole milk is a good choice to use and it gives the best results. Vegan macchiato can also be made with Oat milk. Dairy-free milk mixes well with the milk frother. If you are using a French press then you have to pump the French press vigorously until frothy to get the best results.

Traditional Macchiato vs. Latte Macchiato vs. Latte

Traditional Macchiato: The direct espresso drink is served with a splash of steamed milk and the traditional Macchiato is also known as espresso macchiato or caffè macchiato. The espresso macchiato is a coffee that uses just a small amount of steamed milk and it has a signature stain on top of steamed milk.

Traditional Latte Macchiato: No doubt that we have to use the same ingredients as traditional macchiato to make Latte Macchiato but the preparation and presentation are different. To make Latte Macchiato, espresso is added to milk as well as a shot or two-shot of espresso, and the result is a significantly larger beverage than an espresso macchiato with a layered look.

Traditional Latte: Latte, also known as caffé latte, this coffee is much smooth and creamy than a latte macchiato or a traditional macchiato. It is an Italian drink consisting of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk topped with a layer of foam.

All of these three delicious drinks are made with the same ingredients and that’s why people get confused to tell the difference between them. But we hope that now you understand the difference because we tried to explain the difference in simple and short words. And next time you will not get confused when ordering an espresso macchiato, a latte macchiato, or a latte.


How to make Macchiato:

Now we are going to tell you the original traditional recipe of espresso macchiato. Usually, a shot of espresso is combined with frothy foam on top to make a macchiato coffee drink. Now let’s see the ingredients and the way to make a delicious cup of macchiato.

Ingredients to make Macchiato:

To make a delicious cup of macchiato, you only required two ingredients, 2 shots of Espresso (2 ounces) and 2 ounces (¼ cup) whole milk foam.

Follow these 4 Easy Steps:

1. Prepare Espresso: you can make espresso by simply using an espresso machine but if you don’t have one, then you can also use a manual espresso maker. You’ll get the same results.

2. Prepare Milk: Before frothing the milk, you have to heat up the milk either using the stovetop or espresso machine. Take ½ cup of milk but you don’t need to use all of it, you just have to use ¼ cup foam. The milk should be warmed to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot to the touch but not boiling.

3. Froth the Milk: You have to froth the milk till you see the hundreds of small bubbles come up. You can froth the milk by using an espresso machine, a milk frother, or a whisk. Froth the milk well to get much fluffy foam.

4. Lastly Signature Move: Take a spoon and scoop out the foam we prepared, then put this foam carefully on top of the espresso.

Can you make Macchiato without an Espresso Machine?

In order to make strong, espresso-like coffee, one can use a variety of tools, and the outcome is almost as good as espresso. It is not necessarily necessary to have an espresso maker in order to make a perfect macchiato. If you have an aero press, French press, or Moka pot available, you can also use this recipe to make some great coffee.

And also the same in the milk frothing for a macchiato, if you don’t have an espresso machine or milk frothing machine, then you can use many other alternative tools to froth milk. You can also use a French press, a handheld milk frother, or even a whisk. No doubt that machines perform their job very fast and perfectly, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare a Macchiato without machines.


We are hoping that you went through each and every paragraph and now your many doubts are clear and now not only you can differentiate between macchiato drinks, also you are able to make a delicious cup of macchiato. Before you perform the trick of making macchiato, make sure the milk is heated up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and also use fresh milk to get good results.

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