What Is A Macchiato? Everything You Need To Know About.

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Coffee is the second most consumed beverage drinking in the world after drinking water. That is why Starbucks are doing business all the year.

To attract more customers with a variety of coffee, many coffee companies created Italian-sounding names that were never Italian to begin with (Frappuccino) but it’s also caused some confusion with authentic terms, namely the macchiato.

If you are 62% of americans who daily consume coffee in the morning, then you may easily recognize a good short of an espresso or a cappuccino, but would you know a real macchiato? 

Did you just said “no”? I header it.

But don’t worry, I have written this article to answer what exactly a macchiato is, what flavor of macchiato is, what its variations are, and what you should be looking for if you order one.

How Macchiato discovered-Story

Most Italian like to drink cappuccino in the morning before starting their day. But in the evening they want a different coffee flavour than that of morning coffee flavour. And, a macchiato gives the afternoon drinker the option of having a little milk in their espresso for some extra flavor. 

Macchiato is..

an Italian word that express something like “stained” or “spotted”. But when you hear macchiato that is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk usually foamed.It is also known as the Caffe Macchiato or Espresso Macchiato.


In macchiato, two-thirds of the beverage is steamed milk, poured over a shot of espresso and topped with a layer of milk foam. (1/3 espresso + 2/3 hot milk+ thin layer of foam). 

And, here a layer of steamed milk is topped with two shots of espresso, and finished with a thin layer of milk foam.

Sometimes, macchiato creates confusion with cappuccino because it has same glossy finish as the cappuccino.   

Is macchiato taste different from regular coffee

Yes! Absolutely.

The drinks macchiato not only has a bolder flavor than from regular coffee but also has stronger than regular cappuccino.

A coffee concession person will find a nice middle ground between an espresso and cappuccino. So, you can consider it as a cross between an espresso and cappuccino. 

It’s also a good option for those who can’t tolerate a strong espresso but find a cappuccino too weak and milky.

Types of macchiato

There are two different and opposing types of Macchiato and they are

  • Espresso Macchiato
  • Latte Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato (pronounced ess-press-oh mock-e-ah-toe) is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk on the top surface usually foamed and it is the highest ratio of espresso to milk. It is also known as caffe macchiato in Italy.

The main purpose of adding a layer of milk on top of espresso is to moderate the taste of the coffee while adding a touch of sweetness. 

If you watch any barista preparing Espresso macchiato, you would see her pulling a single shot of espresso as normal. Then, she will add about 1-2 teaspoons (approximately 5-10 g) of steamed milk and a bit of foam are poured on top.

Espresso macchiatos usually serves in a small cup (glass or ceramic demitasse cups) so that drinkers can enjoy with the thinnest layer of foam possible. 

Latte Macchiato

Beside espresso macchiato, there is another type of macchiato called “latte macchiato,” which is a cup of hot milk with a shot of espresso, just opposite of Espresso Macchiato. 

Sometimes, chain coffee shop serve you latte macchiato without adding caramel-flavored syrup and they would have you believe is a true macchiato. 

Espresso Macchiato Vs Latte Macchiato

Though, the main ingredients of both coffees are the same but they have difference in taste for the ratio of ingredients. 

In espresso macchiato, 

The latte macchiato differs from a latte in that is has more milk, less espresso, and is a layered drink. It differs from the espresso macchiato in that it puts an emphasis on the milk, rather than the espresso.

a Latte Macchiato is for those who prefer a very milky coffee with just a small caffeine boost, and 

the Caffé Macchiato for those who crave their caffeine kick but also want a creamy taste. The term Macchiato literally translates as “stained” or “marked”.

How To Exactly Order Macchiato 

If you order macchiato in a reputable coffee shop and in a chain shop, you will not get the same coffee from both of them because it heavily depends on where exactly you’re ordering it.

An authentic macchiato is one of those coffee drinks that’s served at any reputable coffee bar or restaurant. Simply, you can order “macchiato” and will probably get you an espresso macchiato. It does not matter whether or not macchiato is written on the cafe’s menu. 

But, this is not the case if you order one in a chain coffee shop.

So, keep in mind that it is better to specify an “espresso macchiato” while giving orders in a chain shop. Otherwise, you will end up with a latte macchiato (more likely just a latte-like concoction with caramel).

If you are visiting an Italian coffee restaurant, all you have to ask for is a “Caffe macchiato” and everyone will understand what you exactly want — but don’t ask for a frappuccino unless you want to be embarrassed.