What Is A Macchiato Coffee - Unveiling The Mystery!

What Is A Macchiato Coffee? – Unveiling The Mystery!

Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 12:46

If you want to know what is a macchiato coffee this article is definitely what you are looking for as I dig down and get very detailed as I talk about all the different macchiato coffee drinks with the objective of helping to clear any confusion and help you to order the drink that you want with clarity of knowing exactly what you will be served!

Keep reading for the details.

What Is A Macchiato Coffee?

The definition of a macchiato and what it is can be a little confusing to many people as it is actually a small category of espresso-based coffee drinks.

When you request a macchiato at an American coffee shop and a coffee shop in Europe you will get two different coffee drinks.

Ordering a “macchiato” in Europe you’ll be served an espresso macchiato (hang on, I’ll detail that in a minute!). In America, ordering a “macchiato” and you’ll end up with a latte macchiato.

While at Starbucks, the barista might ask you if you want an espresso macchiato, a latte macchiato or a caramel macchiato and during the summer they may even ask if you want an iced macchiato.


Let’s clear all that up!

What Is A Macchiato Coffee
A Macchiato Coffee

Read: Are macchiatos hot or cold?

What Is An Espresso Macchiato?

An espresso macchiato, which has its origins in Italy as a cheeky afternoon or late evening coffee drink with milk. Italians, rather curiously, and for good reason, don’t drink milk or milky coffee beverages like a cappuccino or latte after midday. as it is heavy on the stomach.

An espresso macchiato, with the dash of dairy, is a cheeky and sneaky way to comply with that unwritten, and often unspoken cultural norm and still get that enjoyable or much-needed caffeine kick and energy boost.

An espresso macchiato, also known as an Italian macchiato and a traditional macchiato is a coffee beverage that is the easiest to make. It’s a shot of espresso with a tiny teaspoon dash of steamed milk added. Often, coffee shops, including Starbucks, will include a bit of foam, usually a teaspoon, in their espresso macchiatos.

What Is A Latte Macchiato?

A latte macchiato is very different from a traditional espresso macchiato as it is made with considerably more milk and milk foam layer and is infrequently referred to as an American macchiato.

A latte macchiato is made with two shots of espresso, steamed milk and steamed milk foam using a ratio of 1:2:2.

Notably, a latte macchiato is very different in appearance and elaboration to a caffe latte due to the large layer of foam. A latte is made with a single espresso shot and steamed milk using a ratio of 1:2 and only a very fine layer of foam.

It is also very different to a cappuccino as a cappuccino is an espresso coffee drink made with steamed milk, milk foam and espresso in equal amounts using a ratio of 1:1:1.

What Is An Espresso Macchiato
An Espresso Macchiato

Read: What is in a macchiato?

What Is An Iced Macchiato?

The biggest mistake, or false assumption, is that a coffee fans make is assuming that an iced macchiato is the same as a latte macchiato or an espresso macchiato with ice added.

Note: An espresso macchiato with ice is called an iced espresso macchiato.

An iced macchiato is made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk using a ratio of 1:2. Due to the ice and the inability to add the required amount of foam, whipped cream is added.

The use of whipped cream that differentiates an iced latte and an iced macchiato.

What Is A Caramel Macchiato?

A caramel macchiato is an original coffee beverage by Starbucks. Its creation was revealed to mark their 25th anniversary and was supposed to be a temporary drink for only the 25th anniversary year of 1996. Due to its popularity, it became a permanent feature.

At the core of this drink, it’s a flavored latte macchiato made with a pump of vanilla syrup at the bottom of the single espresso shot with the steamed milk added and the milk foam. The drink is recognizable with the caramel sauce crosshatch design on top.

What Is A Caramel Macchiato
A Caramel Macchiato

Read: What is a macchiato?

What Is A Macchiato Coffee Starbucks?

A macchiato at Starbuck can be anyone of the drinks that I have spoken about above, an espresso macchiato, a latte macchiato, an iced latte macchiato or a caramel macchiato.

Since it is Starbucks, where any coffee drink can be customized, you can order any flavor of latte macchiato that you so desire. Some popular customizations are vanilla latte macchiato, mocha latte macchiato and the tasty peppermint latte macchiato.

For clarity, here is what the macchiato coffee drinks at Starbucks are:

  • Espresso Macchiato: A shot of espresso with a teaspoon splash of milk and a dollop of foam.
  • Latte Macchiato: A double shot of espresso with steamed milk and milk foam using a ratio of 1:2:2.
  • Caramel Macchiato: A single shot of espresso with steamed milk and foamed milk using a ratio of 1:2:2. The espresso shot is poured over a pump of vanilla syrup, while the milk foam is decorated with a crosshatch design using caramel sauce.
  • Flavored Macchiato (of your choice): A latte macchiato with the requested flavored syrup added to the drink.
  • Iced Macchiato: A latte macchiato with ice. Instead of milk foam being added whipped cream is used.

The number of shots used in a latte macchiato, iced macchiato and a caramel macchiato depends on the drink size ordered.

Drink Espresso Macchiato Latte Macchiato Caramel Macchiato Flavored Macchiato Iced Macchiato Iced Caramel Macchiato
Short 8 Oz (240 ml) Solo (1 shot) 2 Shots 1 Shot 2 Shots N/A N/A
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) Doppio (two shots). 2 Shots 1 Shot 2 Shots 1 shot 1 shot
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) N/A 3 Shots 2 Shots 3 Shots 2 shots 2 shots
Venti 20 Oz (600 ml) N/A 3 shots 2 Shots 3 Shots 3 shots 3 shots

Using this table you can calculate the amount of caffeine that is in your macchiato beverage as 1 shot of espresso from Starbucks has 75 mg of caffeine. Knowing this will ensure you can stay within the FDA’s suggested daily maximum caffeine intake of 400 mg for healthy adults and 200 mg for pregnant and lactating women.

If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid the drinks that have 3 shots of espresso as this has a total of 225 mg and over your daily limit.

Frequently Asked Questions What Is A Macchiato Coffee

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Macchiato?

The main difference between a latte and a macchiato when comparing a macchiato vs. latte is the espresso to milk ratio. A macchiato has only a splash of steamed milk, typically only a teaspoon of milk while a latte has twice as much milk as there is espresso due to the espresso to milk ratio of 1:2.

Are Macchiatos Stronger Than Coffee?

Due to only having a tiny splash of milk, typically only a teaspoon, a macchiato has a stronger, bolder and more intense flavor. Due to this, they have a much stronger flavor than most coffee drinks.

Is A Macchiato Stronger Than A Cappuccino?

Yes, a macchiato is notably stronger than a cappuccino as a cappuccino is a shot of espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk and milk foam in ratios of 1:1:1, while a traditional macchiato, also known as an espresso macchiato, is a shot of espresso with only a splash of steamed milk, just a tiny bit of milk which means the coffee flavor is bolder, stronger and more intense.

What Is The Point Of A Macchiato?

The point of an espresso macchiato is to enjoy a strong and bold coffee beverage with the edges taken off and the rather strong intense flavors subdued by the dash of milk. When you don’t quite want a straight shot of espresso but want a slightly lighter flavor.

Are Macchiatos Stronger Than Latte?

An espresso macchiato is much stronger than a latte as an espresso macchiato, also known as a traditional macchiato, is a single shot of rich espresso and splash of milk, typically only 5 ml or teaspoon.

The much-loved milky latte is exactly that, milky as it is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk using a ratio of espresso to milk of 1:2.

A caramel latte macchiato is weaker than a latte. This is due to a caramel latte macchiato being an American latte, and a latte macchiato being made with espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk using a ratio of 1:2:2 and crosshatch drizzle of caramel.

Which Is Sweeter Cappuccino Or Latte Or Macchiato?

Without the addition of any sweetener, a latte is generally sweeter than a cappuccino and a traditional macchiato due to the greater milk content and thus the greater amount of lactose.

Is An Americano Or Macchiato Better?

Opinions vary depending on personal taste and coffee preference. If you enjoy a bold and intense coffee with the edges taken off and only a dash of milk in your coffee, a macchiato will be the better choice for you.

What Are The Two Types Of Macchiato?

There are two types of macchiato coffee: the traditional macchiato, also known as an espresso macchiato and an Italian macchiato. The other is a latte macchiato, also known as an American macchiato.

A traditional macchiato is a shot of espresso and dash of milk. A latte macchiato is a shot of espresso poured through steamed milk and milk foam using a ratio of 1:2:2.

Final Thoughts – What Is A Macchiato Coffee?

If you have read this far, you know exactly what is a macchiato coffee and how the various drinks that are classified as a macchiato are made, how they are different from each other and other similar drinks like a latte and a cappuccino.

Join our cool coffee community and tell us about the macchiato coffee you ordered and enjoyed, the new specialty coffee beans that you are trying out and the coffee you are making with them, or anything coffee related. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

Blogarama - Blog Directory