what is a macchiato and how it is made
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What is Macchiato?


latte macchiato vs cappuccino

The Macchiato is one of many Espresso-based drinks originating from Italy. The traditional Macchiato is a layered coffee drink with a somewhat strong espresso flavor.

The word “macchiato” is an English word shortened for the Italian Caffé Macchiato, which means “marked” or “stained”. That means this drink is mostly make up of one element, Espresso, with just a splash of another, steamed milk. It was originally invented as a way for Europeans to have their mid-day caffeine fix and can be considered as in-between an Espresso and Cappuccino. The traditional Macchiato is stronger compared to the Cappuccino, as it contains less milk, but is lighter than an Espresso.


Macchiato is prepared by pouring a long shot of Espresso into a mug. Then about 1-2 teaspoons of steamed milk and a bit of foam are poured on top. It can also made as a "Latte-style" by pouring the Espresso on top of the steamed milk and then the foam.

Espresso Macchiatos can be served in glass or ceramic demitasse cups.


There are two main variants of the traditional Latte Macchiato: Espresso-based and Milk-based. Espresso Macchiato uses an Espresso base stained coffee with milk, while the Latte Macchiato contains a steamed milk base. 

Another variant is the Caramel Macchiato. It is not considered a standard Italian Macchiato, but was created and popularized by large coffee chains in the US. The Caramel Macchiato is made with a Macchiato with milk base, but is a lot sweeter in taste than the traditional one. It is made with added vanilla flavoring to the Macchiato base and a drizzle of caramel sauce on top. In this sense, its name is misleading as it is mostly flavored by vanilla, but named a Caramel Macchiato because the caramel is more readily noticeable.


The caffeine content in a Macchiato, as with all other Espresso-based drinks, depends on the number of Espresso shots it contains. According to Caffeine Content, a shot of Espresso is about 1-1.5 ounces and contains 58-185 mg of caffeine, with an average of 100 mg per shot.


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