Caramel macchiato, espresso macchiato, latte macchiato, caffè macchiato, bla-bla-bla macchiato… Are you still mad about all those strange coffee drink names in the nearest cafe menu and want to know exactly what does it all mean? Do you want to understand which kind of coffee you’ll get (with more milky taste or with more coffee flavor) if you order macchiato? You’re in the right place! COC team will always give you the most detailed explanation all over the web!
Enough prelude, let’s cut down to the essentials!
What Is A Macchiato
This coffee drink started its way around the world from Italy with the original name “caffè macchiato”, and after a while it took over the world with its unusual flavor and appearance. The international name of such drink is “espresso macchiato”. But why such a strange name?
Espresso macchiato is a coffee drink consisting of an espresso shot and a small amount of milk foam. “Macchiato” (correct pronunciation is “mock-e-ah-toe”) is an Italian word, which means “spotted” or “marked”. In our case “mark” will be a dollop of foamed milk on top of the espresso.
A bit of drink name history: in a busy Italian coffee house you can often see the baristas putting the cups of espresso in a row on the bar counter. Some of the visitors may ask for an espresso with a drop of milk, some of them may prefer to drink an espresso shot. If barista pours a few tablespoons of milk into a freshly brewed espresso, it will simply disappear under a layer of cream, and you will not distinguish your drink from others. In such a situation it is important for baristas to make some “mark” on espresso with milk, and such a mark was a little milk foam on top, which helped to distinguish the type of coffee in a cup for visitors.
Espresso macchiato is designed for coffee-lovers, who want something middle between an espresso and cappuccino. It’s stronger than a cappuccino, but has a milder taste, compared to espresso, due to small milk content.
In Italy, espresso macchiato is considered a strong drink with a real masculine character, despite the frivolous name and tenderness of milk foam. Milk in the recipe is required only to balance out the bitterness of the espresso.
How To Make A Macchiato
The main difference of espresso macchiato from other espresso-based drinks is the ratio of milk to espresso. The perfect ratio is 2:1 (espresso : milk), whereas cappuccino’s standard ratio is 1:2, latte’s – 1:3.
To make espresso macchiato you need:
- pull the shot of espresso (30 ml) into the prewarmed serving cup;
- steam 15 ml of milk under 60C;
- add steamed milk to espresso and top it all with a dollop of milk foam.
This drink is usually served in a small demitasse cup or 90 ml glass cup.
Espresso Macchiato VS Latte Macchiato
While ordering your macchiato drink in different coffee houses, you must be cautious with drink names. If you ask for a macchiato coffee in a reputable coffee house, you’ll get a small cup of espresso with a dollop of milk foam, called espresso macchiato. But if you make the same order in a famous coffee chain (e.g., Starbucks, etc.), there’s a high probability that you’ll get a warm coffee milkshake, called latte macchiato. Thus, it’s better to specify what you need.
What is the difference between latte macchiato and espresso macchiato? It’s huge. These are two absolutely opposite drinks! Let us explain.
First of all, let’s remind ourselves about the meaning of “macchiato” word – it’s “spotted” or “marked”. Word “latte” from Italian means “milk”. Hence, we get the translated name as “marked milk”. Can you imagine what is it? Literally, it is a cup of steamed milk, spotted with an espresso. So, the main difference is in milk content.
Latte macchiato has a lot of fans around the world. The secret of popularity is in an expressive taste, and in a beautiful, effective presentation. It is prepared by pouring strong espresso shot into a gentle frothed milk in a 1:3 ratio. Due to the difference in temperature and density of the ingredients, it has a fancy layered look. Layers of milk, espresso and milk foam do not mix with each other and create perfect gradient – this is a signature of latte macchiato drink. Such layering makes the taste and texture of the drink unforgettable: delicate velvety milk contrasts with strong rich coffee and is complemented by light airy milk foam.
Another important thing about this drink is a sequence of actions, required for preparation of the drink:
- steam the milk and pour it in a serving glass;
- prepare an espresso and pour it over the steamed milk (this stage requires very slow pouring of coffee into the milk, which makes sure to create a perfect gradient).
Remark: as you may remember, espresso macchiato’s preparation method is vice versa – milk is poured over the espresso.
So, to make it clear:
- Espresso macchiato – more espresso, less milk. Milk poured over the coffee;
- Latte macchiato – more milk, less espresso. Coffee poured over the milk.
Latte macchiato is served in a tall glass or in an Irish glass so that you can see even, clear layers. There is always coffee trace (“spot”) on the top of the milk foam. Additionally, a long handle latte spoon is served.
Hope now it’s clear for you what’s a macchiato and latte macchiato!
What Is A Caramel Macchiato
We’re sure you’ve already tried it in one of the Starbucks cafes. This is one of the most popular drinks over there!
Basically, caramel macchiato is made with steamed milk, espresso, vanilla syrup and caramel sauce. Sounds great, right? This is a real joy for sweet teeth.
If you don’t want to go to Starbucks and spend extra money to get a cup of this concoction, you can easily make it by yourself. We’ll tell you how to make a caramel macchiato:
- steam 8 oz of milk (2%);
- put 1 tbsp. of vanilla syrup into the bottom of the serving cup;
- pour the steamed milk into the cup with vanilla syrup;
- prepare an espresso and pour it over the steamed milk and foam;
- drizzle the caramel on top.
Enjoy your homemade caramel macchiato. The only thing you’ll be missing from Starbucks – the name on your cup!
So, no more feeling stupid and no more condescending looks for asking questions at your local coffee house. Now you have all the necessary information to make the right choice! If you want a strong coffee taste – chose espresso macchiato, if you prefer more milky taste – try latte macchiato, if you have a sweet tooth – take caramel macchiato!
By the way, which drink you like the most? Let us know in the comments!