Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 14:11
If you are curious about what is the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino, this is the article for you.
The most obvious difference is the ratio of espresso to steamed milk and milk foam, which is 1:2:2 for a latte macchiato and 1:1:1 for a traditional cappuccino. A cappuccino has a bolder, stronger taste with a latte macchiato is creamier, milkier and with velvet-like texture.
That is, or rather was the quick and basic answer both a macchiato and a cappuccino have many variants.
Keep reading for the full details about both drinks and see how different these drinks and the variations really are.
What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
Table Of Contents
- 1 What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
- 2 What Is A Macchiato?
- 3 Starbucks Macchiato
- 4 What Is A Cappuccino?
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions About What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
- 5.1 Does A Cappuccino Or Macchiato Have More Milk?
- 5.2 Which Is Sweeter Macchiato Or Cappuccino?
- 5.3 Which Is Sweeter Cappuccino Or Latte Or Macchiato?
- 5.4 Which Is Healthier Cappuccino Or Macchiato?
- 5.5 Does A Cappuccino Have More Caffeine Than A Macchiato?
- 5.6 What Is The Difference Between A Frappé And A Macchiato?
- 5.7 Why Is Starbucks Macchiato Called A Macchiato?
- 5.8 Why Do They Serve Water With A Macchiato?
- 6 Final Thoughts – What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
Telling and describing the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino can lead to long and drawn-out conversation as a macchiato is a small sub-category of coffee drinks and there are many variations of a cappuccino.
I will give you the full details so that you have a complete understanding of these two drinks and know comprehensively what each are and how they are different, very different.
At the core of it, the difference is the ratio of espresso to steamed milk and the amount of milk foam used are what differentiate a macchiato and a cappuccino.
A traditional cappuccino you’re picturing in your mind is a shot of espresso with steamed milk and foam all in an equal ratio of 1:1:1, while a latte macchiato is a coffee beverage made with a double shot of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam using a ratio of 1:2:2.
But what about an espresso macchiato or dry cappuccino or a super wet cappuccino?
What Is A Macchiato?
A macchiato is a coffee beverage that grew out of Italy and the hardworking and culinary savvy Italians needing a quality stimulation after midday and their dislike of a bold, strong and intense tasting espresso and the need or desire to comply with the “no milk after midday” rule.
The original, traditional and Italian macchiato, also known as an espresso macchiato was born!
It’s a shot of espresso with a tiny teaspoon, 5 ml dash of milk and a little scoop of milk foam.
The macchiato then grew and became very popular internationally and spawned the latte macchiato, also known as an American macchiato, which is an espresso based drink with espresso, steamed milk and milk foam in a ratio of 1:2:2.
Later, in 1996, the world’s most famous coffee shop, Starbucks, invented and created the caramel macchiato, at the most basic of descriptions is a flavored latte macchiato.
A caramel macchiato made by adding vanilla syrup to the bottom of glass, pulling your espresso shot over the top of it and then adding the steamed milk and frothed milk and decorating the foamed milk with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
The ratio of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam of a caramel macchiato is 1:2:2.
What Is An Iced Macchiato?
An iced espresso macchiato follows the same “ratio rules” as making a hot macchiato and differs from a regular hot macchiato due to the use of ice.
An iced latte macchiato and an iced caramel macchiato differ in one more key area; whipped cream is used instead of foamed milk froth.
Macchiato Ratios: Espresso, Milk And Milk Foam
Let’s give a quick recap of a macchiato, which will give you a direct view of how each one is different.
- Espresso Macchiato: A shot of espresso with a teaspoon of steamed milk and a little dash of milk foam.
- An Iced Espresso Macchiato: An espresso shot with a teaspoon of milk and milk foam with ice added to chill the drink.
- Latte Macchiato: A double espresso with steamed milk and microfoam using a ratio of 1:2:2.
- An Iced Latte Macchiato: A double espresso with steamed milk (or cold milk) and whipped cream in a 1:2:2 ratio. Ice is added to cool the beverage.
- Caramel Macchiato: An espresso beverage made with espresso which is poured over vanilla syrup, steamed milk and microfoam with a drizzle of caramel sauce in an eye-catching cross-hatch design. A ratio of 1:2:2 is used for the espresso, steamed milk and microfoam.
- An Iced Caramel Macchiato: An espresso drink with a shot of espresso brewed over vanilla syrup with milk and whipped cream. A drizzle of caramel sauce over the whipped cream is added. Ice is used to chill the beverage.
Macchiato Flavor Profile
The flavor profile of a macchiato naturally varied depending on the macchiato beverage in question.
Espresso Macchiato Flavor
An espresso macchiato has the same strong, bold and intense taste of an espresso with the rough edges taken off and a little sweetness and creaminess from the milk.
Latte Macchiato Flavor
A latte macchiato has a flavor that is similar to a cup of brewed coffee with a lot of added milk. Because a latte macchiato is made with espresso shots and steamed milk, the texture is smoother and notably creamier.
Caramel Macchiato Flavor
A caramel macchiato has the flavor of a latte macchiato with notable and obvious smoky hints and flavors of caramel with hints of vanilla.
Coffee, any beverage, is much more than just how it tastes. The texture and mouthfeel play a large role too.
An espresso macchiato has a mouthfeel that is creamy and with the same heavy body that you’d expect from an espresso.
A latte macchiato and a caramel macchiato have a creamy, silky and velvety like mouthfeel that is similar to a latte and has the same airy and light bubbly experience of a cappuccino.
Read: What is a macchiato?
Macchiato Caffeine Content
The amount of caffeine in a macchiato depends on the number of shots used to make it. Each shot of espresso has 75 mg of caffeine.
Check the table for details.
|Iced Espresso Macchiato
|Iced latte Macchiato
|Iced Caramel Macchiato
|Short 8 Oz (240 ml)
|Solo (1 Shot) 75 mg
|Solo (1 Shot) 75 mg
|Tall 12 Oz (360 ml)
|Doppio (2 Shots) 150 mg
|Doppio (2 Shots) 150 mg
|Grande 16 Oz (480 ml)
|Venti 20 oz (600 ml)
Note: The iced Venti drink size is 24 Oz (720 ml) not 20 Oz (600 ml).
A Starbucks macchiato, more specifically their espresso macchiato is different from an espresso macchiato that you get at other coffee outlets because a Starbucks macchiato is technically speaking an upside down macchiato.
What does this mean?
It means that Starbucks put the dash of milk and milk froth in first and brew their espresso over the steamed milk.
What Is A Cappuccino?
- Super Wet Cappuccino: Also known as an extra wet cappuccino. A cappuccino beverage made with more steamed milk than espresso and an equal ratio of milk foam to espresso. It’s called extra wet due to the additional steamed milk.
- Dry Cappuccino: Very similar to a traditional cappuccino with less steamed milk and more fluffy microfoam. Has a more dominant espresso flavor
- Bone Dry Cappuccino: A shot of espresso, no steamed milk is used and fluffy microfoam is used in an espresso to foam ratio of 1:1. Also known as an extra dry cappuccino.
- Iced Cappuccino: A double espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk and topped with cold foam. Iced added to chill the beverage.
- Cappuccino Freddo: A regular traditional cappuccino that iced, made with crushed blended ice.
A traditional cappuccino has a strong, bold taste due to the equal ratio of espresso to milk. It’s a strong tasting coffee. The strength of the flavor varies depending on the type of cappuccino.
A dry cappuccino has a stronger and more prominent espresso flavor than a traditional espresso and a bone dry cappuccino is even stronger.
Conversely, an extra wet or super wet cappuccino has flavor that has less of a bold espresso flavor but more of a creamy milky taste from the additional steamed milk used.
A cappuccino is a coffee beverage with a smooth, silky and velvet like texture from the presence of the milk, and with a fun, lovely light airy feel due to the microfoam froth added.
The dry and extra dry variations have less of the creamy silky texture and more of the light airy mouthfeel. A super wet cappuccino has a creamier and richer mouthfeel.
Cappuccino Caffeine Content
The amount of caffeine in your cappuccino depends on the number of shots used to make it. Most are made with single shot, unless specifically requested and have 75 mg.
An iced cappuccino has a double espresso and thus 150 mg of caffeine.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
Does A Cappuccino Or Macchiato Have More Milk?
A latte macchiato has more milk than a cappuccino and an espresso macchiato as it is made with an espresso, steamed milk and milk foam using a ratio of 1:2:2.
A cappuccino is made with an espresso, milk and milk foam using equal amounts, a ratio of 1:1:1, and thus has less milk.
In the case of an espresso macchiato, only a tiny teaspoon splash of milk and a dollop of milk foam is added.
Which Is Sweeter Macchiato Or Cappuccino?
Between a macchiato and a cappuccino, the drink that is the sweetest is a latte macchiato due to the higher amount of milk and milk foam used.
Of the three drinks, espresso macchiato, cappuccino and a latte macchiato here they are in order of sweetness:
- 1. Latte Macchiato.
- 2. Cappuccino.
- 3. Espresso Macchiato.
If you notice something, it is that the sweetness of these drinks are in order of their milk content. It is the lactose, the milk sugars that provide the sweetness.
Which Is Sweeter Cappuccino Or Latte Or Macchiato?
The sweetness of these drinks follow the same format of the sweetest drink, without any sweetener or honey added, is the one that is the sweetest.
A latte macchiato has a little more sweetness than a latte as it uses the same espresso to milk ratio but considerably more milk foam. Both a latte macchiato and a latte are sweeter than a cappuccino. All three, a latte macchiato, a latte and a cappuccino, are sweeter than an espresso macchiato.
Which Is Healthier Cappuccino Or Macchiato?
Between the three beverages of a cappuccino, a latte macchiato and an espresso macchiato it is the espresso macchiato that is the healthiest of them all due to having a reduced amount of milk and thus less fat, sugar and calories.
Does A Cappuccino Have More Caffeine Than A Macchiato?
The amount of caffeine in these drinks depends entirely on the number of espresso shots used to make them.
A cappuccino and an espresso macchiato are both made with a single shot of espresso while a latte macchiato is made with two shots of espresso and thus a latte macchiato has more caffeine.
What Is The Difference Between A Frappé And A Macchiato?
A latte macchiato is made with a double espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk using a ratio of 1:2:2, while a frappuccino is made with ice, espresso, milk and flavored syrup blended together.
Why Is Starbucks Macchiato Called A Macchiato?
A Starbucks macchiato gets its name from the original Italian coffee. The name, or rather the word means stained or marked in English as that is all there is, a little stain or mark of milk.
Why Do They Serve Water With A Macchiato?
Water is often served with a macchiato and other coffee drinks as the minerals help you to cleanse your palate before you take the first sip, allowing you to savor the coffee.
Final Thoughts – What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Cappuccino?
If you have read this far, you know what is the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino and have a full understanding of all the variations of a cappuccino and all the different types of macchiato that you can enjoy.
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