Macchiato Guide

macchiato coffee guide

What is a Macchiato?

A macchiato is an Italian type of coffee made of espresso and milk. As such, it is often referred to as a type of espresso. The ratios may differ, and the drink may have the same name but taste differently. Some may have more milk than others and therefore have a creamier texture. 

The word macchiato is loosely translated to mean stained, which is a nod to the staining by the milk. Therefore, adding milk makes a macchiato the middle ground between a strong espresso and a creamy latte. 


First brewed in Italy around the 1980s. As it has crossed borders and transcended different cultures, it has evolved. When it was first brewed, it was a way to get an excuse to have an espresso in the afternoon. Since espressos are pretty strong, they may not be everybody’s cup of tea (pun intended). As such, adding milk soon became a viable option. 


Since the macchiato is an espresso-based drink, you can expect it to taste a lot like an espresso but with the creamy velvet texture from the milk. It has bold flavors and has a higher caffeine content which means it is strong. The bold flavors are thanks to the good-grade beans that are used. 

Caffeine Content

When it comes to the amount of caffeine in a macchiato, it depends on the number of espresso shots used. Each shot of espresso is about 1.5 ounces and has about 185 milligrams of caffeine.

macchiato coffee guide

What is an Espresso Macchiato?

An espresso macchiato is an espresso that is topped with foamed milk. It is also the name used to ensure that you get the original macchiato without additions or tweaks. 

It is made with espresso. This could be a double or a single shot of espresso. It is often served in a small cup. It is much more robust, and you can taste the espresso. An espresso macchiato is stronger and bolder than any other variation that you could get—more than you would in different types of coffee drinks, except a neat espresso, of course. 

What is a Latte Macchiato?

While a latte macchiato may seem like it’s just another latte, the difference is in the order in which the milk and espresso are added when making the drink. A latte macchiato has the espresso added to the milk instead. A latte macchiato also uses foamed milk instead of milk that has simply just been heated up.  

Macchiato vs Latte: What’s the difference?

One of the main differences between the two is the ratio of milk that is used. A macchiato is made using steamed milk. In contrast, a latte will have foamed milk added to the mix. A macchiato is much stronger than a latte. It has a bolder flavor and more caffeine. The other difference is that a macchiato is served in a small cup similar to an espresso. 

When it comes to taste, a latte is a milk-forward drink, and as such, this is the drink most likely to be flavored. A macchiato is more espresso-forward and is a great way to get an espresso that has its bitterness cut slightly by the milk. 

The true differences are often seen when the drinks are served in their original spaces and not tweaked in any way. 

Macchiato vs Cappuccino: What’s the difference?

A cappuccino is often made using equal parts of milk and espresso. In contrast, a macchiato is a shot of espresso with just a dash of milk added to it. This, therefore, means that a macchiato will have a much stronger flavor than a cappuccino. The cup a macchiato is served in is also smaller than the cup a cappuccino is served in. 

How to Order a Macchiato

Ordering a macchiato can be tricky, especially when you are not in a specialty coffee shop. Where you are ordering, it counts a lot. It will determine if the person serving you knows what you are talking about when you ask for a macchiato and the differences between the available variations.

You may need to specify that you want an espresso macchiato to order the traditional macchiato. If you have a dietary preference for the milk used, you can also specify that so that you don’t wind up with whatever milk the coffee shop chooses to use. When it comes, it will either be in a glass cup or a ceramic cup. The glass cup tends to be a favorite because it will show the different layers and defined differences in colors, which is always quite satisfying to see.  

How to Make a Macchiato at Home


There are a few things that you will need to make sure that you have to make a macchiato at home. For the espresso, you will need to choose an espresso machine to pull the shot you need. You will also need the cup in which you will be serving it. 


The ingredients are pretty simple. You will need;

  • 2 ounces of espresso
  • One ounce of steamed milk. 


  1. First, pull the shot of espresso as you desire. If you are using ground coffee, you can use about 16grams of coffee. This should get you 2 ounces of pulled espresso. 
  2. Then begin preparing the milk. You will need to steam milk in a pitcher. The stovetop works great because you can monitor the milk as it heats up. 
  3. Heat the milk in a pitcher, at least until the pitcher is warm. 
  4. Then pour the pulled shot of espresso into the cup that you will be serving it in. 
  5. Add the milk. All you will need is a dash of milk. About an ounce of milk should do the trick. 
  6. The ounce of milk is used to stain the espresso. 

More on