Monday, May 3, 2021

All About Macchiato and How to Make It At Home

I used to be a regular coffee drinker before my psychiatrist told me that I needed to stop, that it was making my anxiety worse. But when I made it, it was always simple- just instant coffee, hot water, and milk. My son Lee now is a big coffee drinker. He also makes it simply. This article that a reader sent me gave me some good ideas on how I can make my son extra special coffee, machiatos. If you're a coffee fan, hopefully you'll enjoy this post as much as I did.

Thanks to the creative, inventive mind of the average American, a coffee drinker has a long list of coffee drinks to choose from. Let's be honest, how is frappuccino a type of coffee? Not only that, there are all these other Italian names like “macchiato” that a newbie will need to know as well. Who knows what's coming next?

Anyway, just in case you need to do some catching up on the types of coffee you can get, the macchiato is a good place to start. In this article, we explain what a café macchiato is as well as its different variants. We will also let you in on what variant you should consider and when you should take it.

Let's get in.

What is Macchiato?

It is that coffee drink that gives you the best of two worlds. For coffee lovers, it serves as a middle ground between espresso and cappuccino. It is that coffee drink that you can conveniently take in the afternoon because it is not as strong as a regular espresso but it is stronger than a cappuccino.

Curious to know where the name came from?

Well, like cappuccino, the name "macchiato" is of Italian origin. It means "stained" or "marked". In context, it simply means that one of the ingredients in the combo in the drink is stained with the other.

This doesn't mean that one completely dilutes the other. It just means that there's a primary ingredient that has a dash of the other.

Types of Macchiato

The two major variants are espresso macchiato and latté macchiato. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the various characteristics of each and what gives them their uniqueness…

Espresso Macchiato

This is the variant that is predominantly espresso with a dash of milk. So, in this variant, the milk will stain the predominant flavor.

The idea here is to temper the strong flavor with some milk. However, this variant tends more in the direction of the other direction than the milk.

To make this particular variant, pour your usual shot of espresso in a warm glass, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of hot milk and then add some foam to top it up. Visit to read more about different types of coffee drinks/brews.


Latte Macchiato

The latte variant is different from the other variant. In this case, the espresso stains the hot milk. So, the mixture will tend more to the milk side than the other flavor’s side. This drink is also layered and is made in a glass cup to emphasize the layering.

To make this variant, fill the glass cup with some hot water to warm the cup. Pour out the water and pour the steamed milk into the glass until it is about one-third or half of the cup. Next, slowly pour your brew on the back of a spoon into the glass of steamed milk. Alternatively, you can pour it in the center to create a unique stain mark.

The layering of the latté will be obvious if you pour it well. If you do, you will have a layer of espresso at the bottom of the glass, followed by a layer of the steamed milk, and then a layer of foam.

Note that even though they have the same ingredients, latté macchiato is different from café latté.

The macchiato tends more to the espresso side than the latté which has a more balanced flavor.

When Should You Take an Espresso Macchiato?

Go for this particular variant if you think cappuccino is too milky and you would like to enjoy the rich flavor of espresso without its full strength.

However, note that this coffee drink is usually served in small glasses. So, you may need to order a double glass if you want to enjoy more of the strong flavor.

When Should You Take a Latté Macchiato?

The latté variants are the go-tos if you are more on the dairy side of all things coffee. You get more milk and a dash of the other flavor; which only lingers on your taste buds for a short while. Click here to learn more about this variant.

What Kind of Milk Should You Use for It?

The best kind to use for best results is hot steamed milk. That’s what every self-respecting expert will tell you. But that said; please, note that you can either have Macchiato Freddo which refers to cold macchiato, or Macchiato Caldo which is the hot version.

Nonetheless, whenever you opt for the Caldo, ensure that you use hot steamed milk.

By way of conclusion, let’s take a look at what we covered in this article…

Macchiatos are coffee drinks that provide a middle ground for the rich flavor of espresso and milk.

Macchiato means "marked" or "stained" and it implies that either the milk or the espresso is stained by the other. This name highlights the difference between the major variants of the drink.

On one hand, the latté variant of this drink is predominantly milk. So, the espresso stains the milk. On the other hand, the espresso variant is predominantly espresso. So, the milk stains the espresso.

Go for the espresso variant if you like your coffee strong but not as strong as pure espresso. But if you are more on the dairy side, then the latte is the best for you; especially if you think cappuccinos are too creamy.

Please, do note that some coffee shops may also add some flavorings to their latte macchiatos for that extra sweet taste.

However, if you still think that latté is too strong for you, then a milkshake may be a better alternative.

What is your favorite type of coffee to drink? Do you keep it simple or do you like a more fancy coffee?

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