What is Macchiato? – Differences, Strengths and Flavors

Choosing the perfect coffee style for you, from options such as flat white, cappuccino, latte, and macchiato, can feel like a daunting task. While the flat white, latte, and cappuccino are often familiar to most coffee enthusiasts, the macchiato may not enjoy the same level of recognition.

If you are also among those who do not know much about macchiato, do not worry because we will guide you about it in this article.

Macchiato is also a type of coffee with high caffeine content and bold flavor. It is stronger than a latte. Macchiato is an Italian word meaning “spotted.” This indicates the typical spot present on the drink top. This spot is because of the barista pouring espresso straight into steamed milk.

Related read: Best Milk Frothers 2021 – Top Reviews

It is produced with the help of an espresso machine and has a delicious taste. But from where did the macchiato originate? Is it better than other types of coffee served in Italy? The answer to these and many other questions about macchiato is given below.

The History of the Macchiato

A macchiato is believed to have been created to demonstrate the distinction between classic espresso and coffee with milk. To indicate which particular coffee was which, Baristas used a spot of milk to differentiate espresso from milk coffee.

On adding milk to espresso, you will notice a slight change in coffee. Several coffee shops and chains have evolved the conventional macchiato over time since they have tried to diversify their product menus and showcase their culinary talents. Traditional macchiatos are made with espresso and milk.

Is Macchiato a Coffee?

Most people who do not know a lot about macchiato drink usually wonder whether it is a coffee or some other drink. Well, let me tell you that macchiato is a coffee that is an espresso-based beverage. It is a type of coffee drink which is also known as espresso macchiato.

To prepare macchiato, you can use any coffee beans. However, you only need to ensure that the coffee beans are finely ground so that you get the best result. With finely grounded beans, you will get a more concentrated flavor.

Ingredients Used in Macchiato

Unlike other coffee drinks, you do not have to arrange a lot of ingredients to prepare macchiato.

How to Make Macchiato

If you are a coffee lover who wants to prepare coffee by yourself, you should focus on the details to make the coffee of your choice. To achieve a perfect macchiato, you should try to add the right quantity of ingredients.

In macchiato, you will only require adding a splash of milk to the pure espresso. Do not add too much milk into espresso because in doing so, it might result in something similar to cappuccino or latte.

Most people only add a single shot of espresso with a splash of hot milk to the espresso cup. In addition, some coffee shops also include a fine layer of milk foam on top of a macchiato.

Who is a Macchiato Best for?

Because of the diverse options available, you might get confused about which coffee to try while looking at the coffee menu. If you are not familiar with which coffee type you like the most, you should try something new to broaden your horizons.

The macchiato is made of espresso with a milk spot. The addition of milk adds a unique flavor to espresso. However, the amount of milk is quite less, due to which it tastes differently from cappuccino.

The macchiato is quite popular in Italy and a few other parts of the world as well. If you want to try a coffee that has a bold flavor, then choose the macchiato drink. You will surely enjoy the unique flavor of macchiato coffee.

Espresso Macchiato vs. Latte Macchiato – What’s the Difference?

Latte macchiato and Espresso macchiato might sound similar, but they are quite different from each other. Whether you talk about the taste or aroma, both the espresso and latte macchiato are pretty different from one another.

Espresso macchiato usually has steamed milk which is in a smaller quantity. Many coffee shoes also add foam for those who want a bold taste. Moreover, the latte macchiato contains a high quantity of steamed milk. It is marked with espresso, which makes it a creamier drink.

Besides, while choosing between macchiato and latte, some people usually get confused. You do not need to get into the macchiato vs. latte debate or discuss which one is better. Both these drinks have a pretty different taste, so it is totally up to you what you like.

Before preferring any of the drinks, you should first figure out what you want. Also, you should keep in mind where you are located because the taste of both these drinks can be a bit different in a different location.

For example, if you live in America, you will not find much difference between latte and macchiato. The American macchiato has less flavoring, while the quality of milk is just like a latte. Because of the amount of milk, people usually consider it a latte macchiato instead of a traditional macchiato.

On the other hand, latte and macchiato can have a different taste in Europe. For example, if you want a latte in Italy, the chances are that you will get a glass of milk with no espresso or coffee. At some places, they do not even add steamed with a latte.

Latte vs. Macchiato

The prime difference that you will notice in macchiato and latte is the amount of milk used. The milk utilized in the drink and its size are what make both macchiato and latte different from each other.

With the macchiato, you will only get less milk on the top, while latte contains a high amount of milk. 1:2 or 1:3 is the ratio of espresso to milk in a latte.

You will enjoy a subtle and slightly sweet taste with a latte, while the macchiato provides a strong espresso taste. Like a latte, macchiato also has a touch of sweetness in it. If you look at the normal size of a latte, it is around 8 ounces or larger, while the macchiato is around 1 to 2 ounces.

Macchiato vs Cappuccino

The difference between macchiato and cappuccino is just the same as macchiato and latte. The size and the quantity of milk used are the top factors that set macchiato and cappuccino apart from each other.

You have to mix steamed milk with espresso in a cappuccino, while a traditional Italian cappuccino contains a single shot of espresso with steamed milk. It is topped with steamed milk and milk froth.

Some traditional Italian cappuccino also has a double espresso shot. If you have ever tried cappuccino, you might be familiar with that well-made cappuccino comes in three layers. These three layers include milk froth, espresso, and steamed milk.

The incredible texture and flavor of cappuccino is the reason that coffee lovers like this beverage. The bold coffee and sweetness make it a delicious drink. The use of lactose sugar in milk adds more sweetness to it. Further, cappuccinos vary in size from one location to another. An Italian cappuccino comes in 5 to 6 ounces cups.

Selecting a Macchiato

Now you might wonder that the espresso macchiato and latte macchiato seem quite alike, so which one should you order? Well, here we will help you know which one you should order as per your preference.

When To Choose an Espresso Macchiato?

The espresso macchiato is for all those people who want a strong and rich espresso flavor. You can also order an espresso if you think that cappuccino is milkier for you. It will give you an espresso flavor without giving the full strength of the espresso shot.

Further, remember that the espresso macchiato comes in a small cup. If you want a big cup of espresso macchiato, then you should order double. Or you can also go for a cappuccino if you want a bigger cup.

When To Order a Latte Macchiato?

Now, as you are familiar with when to order an espresso macchiato, you might think about the right time to try a latte macchiato. Well, if you are getting a drink for a kid who does not like a full-blown espresso drink, you should opt for a latte macchiato.

It contains steamed milk and a bit of an espresso flavor. However, if you think that the latte macchiato can be strong for you, then you can try a warm milkshake. Or, if it is too weak for you, then you can go for a latte.  


Macchiato comes from an Italian word that means “spotted.” It is a type of coffee with a bold flavor, which makes it a strong drink. It also has a high content of caffeine. So, if you want more caffeine content, then you should try macchiato. Further, you will get to know everything about macchiato via this article.

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