What Is A Macchiato? (A Different Kind Of Coffee )

Macchiato coffee is a popular European version of espresso that is usually drunk with steamed or foamed milk.

It’s a classic variation that brings together the rich, strong flavor of espresso and the light sweetness of the milk.

If you prefer your coffee with a touch of creaminess without it overshadowing the bitterness of espresso, then macchiato may just be the right drink for you.

While the recipe for macchiato seems straightforward, there is a lot more to the drink than meets the eye.

Too much milk, and it’s already a latte. Too little, and it’s just plain espresso. Even more, there are many kinds of macchiato that you can try.

In this article, I will discuss what makes a macchiato and the various twists you can put to it.

Let’s dive in!

When and Where was the Macchiato Invented?

Macchiato originated in Italy during the 1980s. 

The word macchiato means “stained” in Italian, as baristas would often use the word to describe how an espresso drink should just be lightly stained by milk.

However, there is no standard recipe for a macchiato. It gradually gained popularity and spread all over the world, spawning many different variations.

Because of this, macchiato has gained a foothold as a favorite for caffeine junkies everywhere. Walk into any coffee shop, and you will surely see some type of macchiato on the menu.

Is a Macchiato Stronger than Coffee?

A macchiato has a much stronger flavor than most coffee drinks.

This is because it’s made of espresso, which has a strong and bitter taste. It also has a higher caffeine content than regular coffee.

Despite being served in small cups, a macchiato packs quite the punch.

Is a Latte or Macchiato Healthier?

A macchiato is healthier because a latte contains a lot of milk and sugar.

Macchiatos are made with only espresso and milk, which goes to say that it’s low in calories and sugar.

However, caramel macchiatos tend to be loaded with sugar and additives like caramel syrup and whipped cream, which can be bad for your health.

But the classic macchiato is still miles healthier than a latte!

How Do You Make a Macchiato?

Macchiato is made by adding a dash of milk to espresso.

While these two elements remain constant, there are many ways to prepare a macchiato.

A macchiato is usually served in a long glass with double espresso topped off with foamed or steamed milk. Another way to make a macchiato is to add cold milk to an espresso shot and top it off with foamed milk to the brim of the glass.

As I already mentioned, macchiato has no distinguished recipe, so you can add any sort of element into your macchiato according to your taste.

But I’d suggest you get to know the macchiato basics first.

Watch the video below to know more!

Making a macchiato is surely worth a try.

What are the Types of Macchiato? 

Among all the macchiato variations, the most common ones are Espresso Macchiato, Latte Macchiato, Caramel Macchiato, and many more. 

Just like any other coffee drink, people have been trying to reinvent macchiato for ages. Some cafés have achieved that by creating a lot of versions of our favorite caffé macchiato.

These variations are different from each other in terms of looks, taste, ingredients, and origin.

Among the common macchiatos mentioned above, the espresso macchiato is perhaps the closest to the basic macchiato and the most popular one. 

The Espresso Macchiato 

The espresso macchiato uses foamed milk to top off the espresso.

To prepare this drink, first, you have to take a shot or two of espresso in a small espresso cup. Then you have to make foam out of fresh milk and top it off on the espresso.

The preparations are pretty simple and anyone can pull it off at home if they have an espresso machine.

Check out this easy espresso macchiato recipe you can easily make at home!

By the way…

A double espresso macchiato has about 150 mg of caffeine in it, just the right amount to get you started on your day.

The Latte Macchiato 

The latte macchiato is the lighter version of espresso macchiato. 

It was invented so that people could drink espresso during the afternoon. The focus on the sweeter side of macchiato makes it the perfect delight later in the day.

Unlike espresso macchiato, where you stain your espresso with milk, in latte macchiato, you stain your milk with espresso.

Latte macchiato is suited to those who are looking for a sweeter and lighter macchiato as it’s substantially less bitter. Plus, you can add sweeteners as well.

Here’s a guide on how to make your own latte macchiato. All you need is one espresso shot and 1/3 cup of foamy whole milk.

It has less caffeine content, containing about 85 mg per serving. This means that latte macchiatos don’t have as strong an effect as your usual cuppa.

Caramel Macchiato

Caramel Macchiato is the sweetest macchiato variation.

You might know caramel macchiato as a popular Starbucks drink that is also synonymous with a caramel latte.

Caramel macchiato is steamed hot and made with one or two shots of expresso marked with a cup of 2% milk and vanilla-flavored syrup. After the mixing, it is topped with two things: foamed milk and caramel drizzle.

If you want to recreate that Starbucks magic at home, try this caramel macchiato recipe that will surely satisfy any sweet tooth.

It is a comparatively large drink and contains about 150 mg of caffeine just like espresso macchiato.

However, caramel macchiatos tend to be very sugary, so make sure you drink them in moderation.

Iced caramel macchiato with whipped cream.
Caramel Macchiato can also be served cold, topped with cream.

This table discusses the differences between the three macchiato variations.

ContentEspresso MacchiatoLatte MacchiatoCaramel Macchiato
Milk20 ml 2% Milk Foam100-120ml regular milk8 ounces or 2% milk
Caffeine150 mg/per serving85 mg/per serving150 mg/per serving
Sugar/Syrup/Sweeteneroptionaloptionalvanilla syrup and caramel
Preparation time3-5 minutes4-6 minutes5-7 minutes
All three variations offer macchiato staples with fun twists of their own.

Is Macchiato High In Caffeine? 

The caffeine content in macchiato coffee varies in type.

Out of all three variations, espresso macchiato has the highest caffeine content, which averages 150 mg per serving.

Because macchiatos are espresso-based drinks, they have relatively higher caffeine content than most caffeinated beverages.

A shot of espresso usually contains about 85 mg of caffeine, and macchiatos are generally made with a double espresso.

So there are about 150 to 170 mg of caffeine in macchiato (especially in espresso macchiato).

Latte macchiato is generally made with a single espresso shot that contains about 85 mg of caffeine per serving.

Other coffee drinks such as black coffee and americano have above 95-140mg of caffeine in them per serving.

Since macchiatos have more caffeine than you might be used to, be careful of your consumption.

Too much caffeine can lead to caffeine headaches and other side effects.

Should You Drink Macchiato Often?

No, you should not drink macchiato often because it is high in calories and sugar.

Macchiato has about 250 calories and about 150 mg of caffeine per serving.

If you’re serious about trying to track your calories, macchiato coffee might not be the right choice. Since it is high in calories and caffeine, it can cause problems if you plan to drink more than one cup per day.

The milk in macchiato can add extra fat and protein to your body which is bad for your health.

While all the added sugar and milk can have their downsides, coffee at its purest has a lot of health benefits to offer you.

You might consider switching to black coffee or cold brew, which are healthier for you to drink every day in the long run.

Final Thoughts

While a popular drink all over the world, the macchiato is still a mystery to many.

But its wide appeal boils down to its simple ingredients and its delectable taste.

Anyone can easily make a macchiato with an espresso shot and foamed milk. There are also a lot of variations that will fit anyone’s taste!

If you’re hankering for a strong cuppa, the espresso macchiato will be to your liking. However, if you’d like something sweeter, the caramel macchiato is a fun choice.

Still, a few words of wisdom: macchiato can have quite the caffeine kick as well as sugar content.

Be sure to consume it in moderation to avoid health risks.

But if you are looking forward to making this drink at home or order it from your local cafes, I suggest you not hesitate at all and rather go for this new and loving experience. 

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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