What Is A Macchiato?
If you’re a frequent visitor in cafes, the term macchiato is one of the most puzzling terms you've heard, since those can technically be considered two different drinks. However, it’s actually an Italian word that means “stained.” If you order one from a barista, you will get espresso in a demitasse cup or a milky drink similar to a latte. Isn’t that confusing?
In this article, we will be discussing both macchiato beverages so you wouldn’t have a hard time deciding which one you should order next.
Espresso Macchiato Vs. Latte Macchiato
The traditional macchiato (or caffè macchiato) comes with solo (one) or doppio (two) espresso shots topped with a dollop of milk foam. The beverage is intense, giving a kick of caffeine and espresso flavor while lightly balanced by the milk.
If you’re familiar with an espresso cortado, it’s actually similar to the cafe macchiato, but the milk and espresso are both of equal parts. This also means that the macchiato is the more concentrated of the two.
On the other hand, a latte macchiato beverage assembly begins with steamed milk. This is different from the usual latte, where espresso comes first. The barista will pour milk before the brewed espresso shots on top of the foam. Because the coffee is heavier than the foam, it will sink beneath it and not mix with the rest of the drink, creating an ombre effect.
Depending on where you buy your latte macchiato, preparations may vary. Some coffeehouses may use one or two espressos, which will have differences in caffeine strength too.
So, what does a macchiato taste like? Macchiatos are deemed "espresso-forward" beverages, which means the flavor of the espresso is more evident. If you compare the two, latte macchiatos are generally milky and espresso macchiatos are more intense.
What about the Caramel Macchiato?
Every Starbucks fan most likely knows about caramel macchiato since it’s one of the most famous espresso-based drinks the brand offers. If you’d break down the beverage components however, it composes vanilla syrup, milk and foam, espresso shots, and a crosshatch drizzle of caramel sauce—basically nothing like the above-mentioned beverages.
Because the coffee is on top of the drink, you get to experience it first as you take a sip. Still, it is actually quite sweet due to the vanilla and caramel. In addition, the beverage can also be made over ice.
How To Make A Macchiato At Home?
If you have your own espresso machine at home, making a macchiato is very easy–be it a simple espresso macchiato or a latte macchiato.
Making an espresso macchiato is very easy. It’s all about making sure you brew your shots and steam your milk the correct way.
- Brew your espresso shots directly into your serving vessel.
- Froth a small amount of milk.
- Make use of a spoon to hold back the foam and pour a little milk into the espresso.
- Take a dollop of foam and top it on your drink.
Just like every espresso drink, you have to ensure you have perfectly prepared milk and espresso. Also, the best way to layer a latte macchiato is to ensure you don’t just plop the shots into the milk base.
- Steam your milk. Aerate to create a smooth microfoam without overdoing it and producing a consistency that’s used for cappuccinos.
- Pour the steamed milk into the cup. A clear glass vessel will allow you to see the layering of the beverage.
- Brew the espresso using the correct variables.
- Pour the shots gently and slowly at the center of the foam to create a mark.
There is still a continuous fascination with macchiato drinks in the coffee industry despite recipes varying in every coffee shop. With this trend, future versions of this beverage will probably become more different. Companies have begun providing their consumers with new blends and roasts that highlight the coffee’s best characteristics; add-ons like sugar and milk may no longer be required to appeal to a wider audience. Nevertheless, factors like market demand and even barista skills would still be major contributors to the quality of that cup of macchiato or whatever coffee you get.