Created for Coffee Lovers.

What is a Macchiato? The Most Loved Drink by Coffee Lovers

Dave Carter

Published: October 8, 2021

Last updated: May 30, 2023

Everyone loves coffee. It is the go-to drink for people of all ages and cultures. There are many different types of coffee, such as espresso, iced, and cold brew, that you can choose from when it comes to your morning cup. One type that has been gaining popularity in recent years is a Macchiato. However, what is a macchiato? And how is it made? Well, for those of you who love coffee but need to be healthier and wean yourself off the caffeine addiction, this is for you! 

A macchiato is a hot or cold espresso-based drink with half the amount of milk as in a latte. It is like an iced mocha, but it has less sugar and more protein thanks to the addition of skimmed milk. These drinks are usually topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, which tastes delicious! Therefore, if you are looking for something that will still give you that morning jolt without giving up your health goals, try out a macchiato today!

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What is a Macchiato? Its Origin & Variations

Different Macchiato Varations You Should Try

A macchiato is a frothy espresso beverage that derives its name from the Italian word 'macchiato,' meaning 'marked.' It was created during World War II to use up milk or cream that was close to its expiration date, as coffee and milk go well together. 

Nowadays, there are many variations of a macchiato that baristas make in any coffee shop down the street. The standard size is about 3 - 4 ounces, and unlike a latte, it is topped with milk foam instead of steamed milk. It is made using one or two espresso shots that are poured into a glass containing hot water and the remaining ingredients (milk/foam, cinnamon, etc.). Then the drink is topped with more foam. We believe we have sufficiently answered the question, ‘what is a macchiato?’ Let us now proceed and have a look at some of its variations.

Macchiato Variations

Over the years, there have been many variations of the macchiato, especially in coffee houses around the world where customers can order their preferred version of the drink. Flavored Macchiatos are also becoming popular in the United States. They come in flavors such as pumpkin spice, caramel, almond, etc. Some of these drinks are topped with flavored foam that is made using syrups or powders instead of being steamed. 

Below are the common Macchiato variations.

Latte Macchiato: This is a glass full of hot water where espresso has been poured into and topped with steamed milk.

Caffè Macchiato Freddo: It is an iced macchiato made using iced espresso instead of regular cold press coffee.

Marocchino: This is a macchiato made with chocolate and spices.

Caffè Corretto: It is an espresso macchiato that has been given a shot of liquor such as grappa or cognac to provide it with additional flavor and kick!

Doppio Macchiato: This macchiato has two shots of espresso poured into a glass full of hot water and topped with steamed milk.

Caffè Doppio Macchiato: This drink is made using two shots of espresso topped with foam to create the double-layered effect created by pouring one shot at a time over the back of a spoon. These drinks use the bottomless portafilter as it's being pulled through the group head and is poured directly into a cup full of hot water to create this effect.

Americano Macchiato: This is an Americano coffee with steamed milk foam on top.

Caffe Mocha Macchiato: It is a Caffe mocha with the added foam.

Cappuccino Macchiato: This drink consists of one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foamed milk that is poured into a cappuccino cup.

Caffè Latte Macchiato: It is a drink made using steamed milk and adding one or two espresso shots into it.

Espresso Macchiato Freddo: This is an iced espresso macchiato that has been used as a base to create all the other variations.

After trying several of these different macchiatos, they can be pretty difficult to remember and order at first. However, with time, you will get to master each one of them and know what you are ordering!

Differences between Traditional Macchiato and other Coffee Drinks

Definitive Guide to What is Macchiato Flavor

The difference between a traditional macchiato and other coffee drinks is actually very subtle. A traditional macchiato tends to have very little space underneath the foam in the cup so that you can drink it quickly and easily. While a traditional macchiato does not include all of these subtle differences, they make it different from other coffees such as Cappuccinos and Lattes. The three major differences are explained below.

  • Amount of Espresso

Traditional macchiato uses less than a tablespoon of espresso, while most other drinks call for two tablespoons. Less espresso means that the flavour ends up being more subtle in a Macchiato’s cup.

  • Intensity of Flavor

The second distinction between a traditional macchiato and other coffee drinks is the flavour intensity in the milk. With a traditional macchiato, there is much less foam on top of the drink when it is finished being prepared. Also, because the espresso isn't floating on top of lots of milk, it is much easier to taste the espresso flavour a bit more in a traditional macchiato than taste it in other drinks.

  • Drink Texture

Finally, there is the texture difference that separates a traditional macchiato from most other coffee drinks. Traditional Espresso Macchiato’s 'wet' foam has a very smooth and velvety texture compared to the 'dry' froth on top of most other coffee drinks.

Traditional Macchiato Recipe

With the discovery of of this drink, Macchiato’s recipes have been popping up everywhere and now you can find this delicious beverage brewed by baristas at any coffee shop! Here is a simple macchiato recipe to make at home for that quick morning fix!

What You’ll Need:

  • Espresso (One-shot)
  • 1/3 steamed milk (20 ml)
  • 1/3 foamed milk (30ml)


  1. Take one shot of espresso and pour the first half into a ceramic cup.
  2. Fill the rest of the cup up with steamed milk so that it is about 3/4 full.
  3. Steam the remaining 1/3 cup of milk to make foam for the top of your drink.
  4. Once finished, your traditional macchiato should have very little foam that is easy to drink through, and you will be able to taste the espresso flavour much more than in other coffee drinks.
  5. Enjoy!

Whats in a Macchiato?

Different Types of Macchiato Coffee

Macchiato is a new coffee drink that has been popping up in cafes and restaurants around the country. It is a refreshing blend of cold brew coffee, cold milk, ice cubes and sugar syrup. 

The flavour is sweet with hints of vanilla, caramel and hazelnut. This iced java will have you looking forward to your morning commute! But whats in a Macchiato that makes this drink so great? We shall explain the role each of these ingredients plays in making this wonderful drink!

Milk: Milk is vital in making a macchiato because it softens the strong coffee taste and together with ice, produces a smooth and creamy texture.

Sugar syrup: Adds sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the coffee.

Ice cubes: This iced treat is perfect for hot days! As it melts, it dilutes the drink so that you won’t be overwhelmed by its caffeine content.

Cold-brew espresso coffee: Gives a different dimension to the coffee taste by producing a less acidic yet more concentrated flavour.

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We are sure this article has helped you learn more about the macchiato. The next time someone asks you, 'What is a Macchiato?' You will know what to answer them and even explain the different variations that they should try out! The best part about this drink is you will never run out of new ideas for making your morning cup of Joe! In addition, it is considered as a more healthy drink in regards of caffeine and sugar. Happy Drinking!

PS: you liked this article and want to directly brew a fresh Macchiato? Then you should also check out our review of 10 best espresso makers under $1.000.

Dave Carter

As a coffee enthusiastic Dave share with you his latest and greatest coffee news and insights. He es always interested in trying out new things about the best bean of the world!

More Posts in this Category:

How to Make a Cappuccino in Your Own Home
Cappuccino Vs Coffee: Classical Differences for these Brews
Cappuccino Vs Latte: Differences that All Baristas Should Know!


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