Long Black VS Macchiato (An In-depth Comparison)

Long black and macchiato are both strong espresso-based drinks. Macchiato has a little dairy while a long black only has water.

Whether it’s drinking hot coffee in the winters or iced lattes throughout summer, coffee is a customizable drink that has people hooked.

The instant energy boost that the caffeine from coffee provides is much needed by students and working individuals. A strong cup of coffee is all that we need early in the morning or even late afternoon to push the drowsiness and tiredness away. Two such examples of strong coffees are a long black and a macchiato. They both are very similar in effects and taste yet have a bit of a difference.

In this article, we will navigate through both of these to have a better understanding of each of these coffees.

What’s The Big Difference In Long Black and Macchiato?

Macchiato and long black are very similar to each other. They both are strong coffees and have espresso as their base. In a cup of Macchiato, a dollop of steamed milk or milk foam is added, and in Long Black, espresso is poured over plain hot water.

As I mentioned earlier that half the population consumes coffee. This surely gives you an idea that the whole world must have various ways of making it.

Because let’s be real, everybody doesn’t have the same taste palette. Each person has their own preference as to what they like to drink and taste while sipping coffee. The two coffees that we are comparing today are very near to each other in terms of taste, flavor, and ingredients.

A long black is a watered-down version of an espresso shot. A double shot espresso or ristretto is poured over hot water and mixed. That’s it. For those of you who don’t know ristretto is a less harsh and a bit sweeter version of espresso. I have an article that explains the basics of a long black coffee if you’re interested in knowing more.

When it comes to a macchiato, it also starts with an espresso base. In a double shot of espresso full fat steamed milk or milk foam is added that is about a teaspoon or so. This is not stirred and is sipped just like that.

So, essentially both of these coffees are almost the same with only different variations.

Here is a summarized table.

ContentsLong Black Macchiato
Espresso shotYesYes
Steamed MilkNoA tad bit
Milk Foam NoA tad bit
SugarNoNo
Hot WaterYesNo
Flavor ProfileStrong & IntenseA hint of sweetness & a bit strong

Healthier Option In The Long Run: Cappuccino Or Macchiato

Both of these classic coffees are sugar-free and with little to no dairy, therefore, Long Black and Macchiato are healthy coffees to drink.

Coffee naturally is a very healthy beverage. There are lots of goodies that are packed inside a cup of ordinary-looking coffee. Like tons of antioxidants, minerals, and most importantly caffeine that is responsible for getting you up and running.

Caffeine from coffee boosts your energy, helps you maintain better focus, and lowers your anxiety. Also, regular use of coffee helps you protect from many chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart-related issues and even prevent type 2 diabetes. How cool is that?

Studies show that on average Americans drink about 3 cups of 9 oz daily. That’s about 62% of Americans every day. That’s huge. So, this means most people are reaping benefits from coffee.

But if you overdose on coffee, it can have some harmful effects which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated heartbeat
  • Depleting iron
  • Increased blood sugar levels

To combat this, you need to drink coffee in moderation. Along with that both of the coffee, long black and macchiato, are healthy. Why? Because each of them is sugar-free and with little to no dairy.

Dairy and sugar, as we all know are sneaky little things that manage to get into everything and ruin our health without us even being aware of it.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, daily sugar consumption should not exceed 12 teaspoons. Similarly, dairy products can be harmful as well if you consume excessive amounts.

Dairy is classified as one of the top contributors to diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Heart disease, according to the Physicians Committee. Moreover, dairy is another culprit that has some bad effects on your body.

Most people in this world are unknowingly lactose intolerant. Lactose is a form of sugar found in dairy and many people are unable to digest it. Thus, giving them an upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhea. 

Another study clearly states how added sugar is closely related to chronic diseases. So, you get the idea now, that both of these coffees are healthy but only when consumed in moderation and not over limits.

a glass of caramel macchiato in front of a neon sign that says take a break

Is Macchiato Stronger Than Long Black?

A long black does not contain any dairy to cut down the strong and intense nature of espresso, and macchiato contains very little dairy. Therefore, a macchiato and a long black are similar in strength.

Espresso is the most active and strongest coffee form that ever existed. Basically, it is brewed the best way possible. It has concentrated compounds that are packed tightly in the espresso.

Espresso isn’t consumed in tall mugs because of that reason. Shots of espresso are consumed instead. In addition, since it has all these advantages, it is used as a base for almost all kinds of coffee.

Macchiato and long black both have espresso in the majority and almost nothing to cut it down. In a long black, ristretto is poured over hot water. Water doesn’t have any alkaline properties to balance out the intense espresso.

Though this version of the espresso shot is less harsh than the original, it still is a power-packed punch of coffee when consumed. If we talk about Macchiato, the case is the same.

A macchiato is made by adding barely a pinch of steamed milk or milk foam to the shot of espresso. It is not even stirred to make sure the mix is homogeneous.

Macchiato is as strong as a long black due to the sharpness and harshness of the espresso. Another factor to take note of here is that a macchiato is not stirred at all before sipping. Because of this, espresso has the most noticeable flavor, thus resulting in a strong cup of coffee.

Does Long Black have More Caffeine Than Macchiato?

Macchiato has 128 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup of coffee, meanwhile, a long black has 205 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup of coffee. Thus, a long black has more caffeine than a macchiato.

By now we all know that espresso is an extremely potent and strong form of coffee. In other words, it can serve as the base of other coffee drinks.

Both of the coffees we’re discussing today have espresso in them. But a long black has much more caffeine than a macchiato. Why?

This might lead to the assumption that all coffees made with espresso contain significant amounts of caffeine. This is not the case. The process of making espresso may affect how much caffeine it contains.

A long black, while preparing it, doesn’t contain any amounts of sugar or dairy. It’s just straight-up espresso with water. That’s it. Or as I like to call it, the watered-down espresso shot.

Therefore, nothing dilutes the concentrated coffee shot. On the other hand, macchiato has about a tablespoon of full-fat dairy steamed milk or milk foam, that’s why there is about a 70 mg difference of caffeine between a long black and a macchiato.

But don’t forget it’s easy to overdose on your daily caffeine limit which is about 400 mg as suggested by FDA. With multiple beverages that often contain caffeine like tea, energy drinks, soda, chocolates, and much more, be mindful of how much caffeine you intake in a day. Caffeine overdosing is dangerous and can lead to many problems. It can have the following adverse effects if consumed excessively:

  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jitteriness
  • Nausea

I have prepared a table of the top five popular coffees brands that have high amounts of caffeine, so you are aware before making a purchase.

Brands Of CoffeeCaffeine Per 8 oz Cup
Devil Mountain Coffee Company Black Label Coffee1036 mg
Black Insomnia736 mg
Maximum Charge by Cannonball Coffee734 mg
Biohazard Coffee618 mg
Banned Coffee316 mg

Also, watch this video to learn more about caffeine intake.

video based on facts

Variation In Flavors or Taste: Long Black And Macchiato

Without any additional flavoring, a long black coffee has this strong and intense taste. Similar to a macchiato.

Espresso is topped with steamed milk or foam to create macchiato in its classic form. By adding it to hot espresso, it prevents the cup from being stirred, therefore letting the espresso shine through. This coffee is therefore strong and powerful. It does taste bitter and is quite strong with hints of acidity. But people love it who prefer straight-up coffees and no sweetness.

However, Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee shop, has introduced a sweet version of macchiato. It’s called the Caramel Macchiato. People who want the flavor of caramel along with the intensity of espresso should definitely give this a try.

Though the bitterness is cut down with the added milk, vanilla syrup, and caramel syrup topping. They add vanilla syrup first in the cup, then the steamed milk, and then the milk foam. After this, they top it off with a double shot of espresso and a drizzle of caramel syrup.

a cup of freshly brewed Long Black

On the other hand, a long black is the classic black coffee that serves the purpose of providing intense boosted energy quickly. It’s strong and intense without any additional flavoring.

But if you want to take it up a notch and make this coffee keto-friendly, people also add no flavored ghee or butter to make it Bulletproof coffee. They rave about Bulletproof coffee giving them that extra energy than normal Long Black.

What Are my Thoughts

Macchiato and a long black both aren’t that different from each other. They both have adequate amounts of caffeine and great stuff for the body to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Though they have the same base, the ways these two are prepared are very different. Macchiato only has a dollop of steamed milk and an espresso shot which doesn’t get stirred. People who enjoy power-packed coffee early in the morning rave about drinking this coffee. But Long Black also has an equally strong fan base.

It’s straight-up espresso with water. No additives to cut down the intense bold flavor. People also enjoy a long black coffee as much as a macchiato. But you can change things up a bit. You can add ghee to long black make butter coffee or get Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks to switch things up a bit.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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