You go to your local coffee shop, or are preparing to make your coffee at home, but you want to try something different. Maybe you have seen a macchiato listed on the menu at your local coffee shop or have heard about it when researching different coffee options to try and make at home. But what is a macchiato, and what makes it different from other coffee beverage options such as the latte or cappuccino? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about macchiato coffee.
What is a Macchiato?
Define macchiato: ‘Macchiato’ is an Italian word that translates to ‘marked’. The coffee drink itself was named as such because the milk is used to mark the shot of espresso. An espresso macchiato is made in a very similar way to other popular coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. The main factor between all of these is that they are all made using espresso and milk. However, macchiatos have some distinct differences from other coffee drinks. What is macchiato flavor? It’s focused on the espresso, with a subtle hint of sweetness from the milk.
Macchiato vs. Latte
Both a latte and a cafe macchiato are made with a single espresso shot that has milk added to it. However, the amount of milk used and the way in which it is added is what makes these two coffee drinks different and gives the distinction to the macchiato. In a latte, the espresso that is used is a little more diluted as there is a greater amount of milk, which is also completely combined with the espresso. However, a macchiato, on the other hand, is just a shot of espresso with a layer of milk foam along the top. Compared to a latte, they are frothier, and much more about the espresso, rather than being a milky coffee drink.
The way that the milk is foamed for a macchiato impacts the taste and texture of the resulting drink. A macchiato should ideally be prepared with a process known as velvet microfoam, which adds tiny bubbles of air to the milk. Rather than the milk being steamed, as is the case with the latte, the small air bubbles add a difference to the drink that is subtle yet huge, creating a texture that is velvety and smooth.
Like many other popular coffee drinks, the macchiato drink comes from Italy. Originally, this drink was thought up as an excuse to consume more espresso in the middle of the day rather than jut in the morning. On the other hand, a cappuccino is often served in Italy as a morning drink as a counterpart to the macchiato. While this drink is not quite as strong as a regular shot of espresso due to the added milk, they do tend to be more potent compared to a cappuccino.
How Much Caffeine Does the Macchiato Contain?
If you want to drink a macchiato coffee but don’t want to end up consuming more caffeine compared to another drink, the good news is that this drink does not contain any more caffeine than a typical coffee. How much caffeine you get will depend on the size of your macchiato. A small drink contains around 80mg of coffee, while a large drink has around the same caffeine content as a latte, which is around 120mg. This gives you plenty of room to have a couple of macchiatos a day without the need to worry about overdoing it with the caffeine.
How is a Macchiato Made?
If you love coffee and like ordering it at a coffee shop or making it at home, it’s important to pay attention to detail when making the coffee drink of your choice. Getting a macchiato just right involves getting the quantities of the ingredients right. As the name suggests, this coffee drink contains a splash of milk that is added to a regular espresso shot. If you add too much milk, you could end up with a drink that is more like a cappuccino or latte, while on the other hand, not adding enough milk will lead a macchiato that does not have the right flavor or texture. When making a macchiato, the main goal is to ensure that the flavor of the espresso is well-preserved, while adding a subtle and delicate touch of sweetness with a small amount of milk. To make a macchiato, a shot of espresso will typically be poured into an espresso cup of demitasse, before adding a splash of velvety hot milk.
How to Make a Macchiato at Home
If you enjoy drinking a macchiato in the morning, the good news is that making one at home is quite a simple process. To make the perfect macchiato, the first step is to make sure that you can create the perfect espresso. If you have a coffee machine at home that is an automatic espresso machine, this will make it easier, but you don’t have to have all the latest gadgets to make a delicious macchiato at home. You can make espresso for your macchiato with a simpler and cheaper method such as a Moka pot, for example.
To use a Moka pot to make a macchiato, all you need is your Moka pot, coffee beans, a grinder, and a spoon. You may also want to get a scale to ensure that the weight of the beans is just right. Grind the beans to the right consistency and add them to the Moka pot with some water on your stove.
Once your espresso is ready, the next step in making your macchiato is to prepare and add your milk. You will need a layer of frothed milk or foam for the top of your macchiato, which you can make using a milk frother or steam wand. Once the milk is ready, pour it into the espresso in a small glass or espresso cup.
Who Can Benefit from Drinking Macchiato?
If you look at any coffee menu today, you’re likely going to come across a huge range of options and names of coffee drinks that will leave you feeling confused. If you’re not already sure on the type of coffee that you like the most, it is always worth trying out some new drinks and flavors to get a better idea of what’s for you and what isn’t.
Macchiato is a drink that you’ll often hear in the same sentence as espresso and cappuccino. A macchiato is essentially a shot of espresso or a double espresso shot with a spot of milk added. Adding milk creates a different flavor profile compared to a regular espresso, but since it is only added in a small quantity, this means that the eventual coffee drink will taste very different compared to a cappuccino or a regular espresso shot. Whether you’re just starting out drinking espresso and want something milder for your mornings or are a coffee-lover looking to try out some new drink options, a macchiato could be an ideal choice for you.
Where is the Macchiato a Popular Drink?
The macchiato is a coffee drink that originated in Italy, but it has spread to the rest of the world and is now popular and widely available everywhere that you go. No matter where you are in the world, the increased popularity of coffee and the growth in coffee shop chains means that you will find it easy to order a macchiato wherever you go. While the basic version of this coffee drink involves a single or double espresso shot with a splash of milk added, there are several versions of this coffee that you may come across depending where you are. In Italy, the traditional macchiato is still a staple of the culture with many people enjoying it in the mornings. It’s also a popular coffee beverage option for people in other Mediterranean countries, the US, and the UK. There are now newer and more exotic versions of the macchiato to try including caramel macchiatos, which are a popular choice of drink at Starbucks, and latte macchiatos. These tend to be a more popular version of the macchiato in the US and UK compared to in Italy.
The macchiato is a very similar coffee beverage to the cortado, which originated in Spain. In Spain, a cortado gets its name from the fact that milk is used to cut through the espresso. The main difference between a macchiato and a cortado is the way that the milk is prepared. With a cortado, you will get a gentle splash of milk added that is not textured, and does not have a microfoam layer, unlike the macchiato. On the other hand, the long macchiato is a popular choice of drink in Australia. This is a beverage that is typically served in a tall glass and made with a double shot of espresso, with more milk.
Traditionally, the macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dash of milk, although there are several variations on offer. This is a great choice of drink if you want to broaden your coffee horizons and try something new or prefer espresso that’s a little bit sweeter thanks to the milk.