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How to Make a Macchiato - Recipe

0 commentPost by : Jess Palmer
How to Make a Macchiato - Recipe

What is a macchiato?

The macchiato is often misunderstood or confused with other similarly named coffees. A true, specialty macchiato is favored by coffee lovers who enjoy the strength and impact of an espresso, but would like a little drop of milk to take the edge off.

The origin of the macchiato

Originating from Italy, the name ‘macchiato’ literally translates to ‘marked’ or ‘stained,’ referring to the manner in which the dark espresso is marked with contrasting white milk foam.

Originally, this was a way for baristas to tell apart straight espresso, and espresso where the customer had requested a small dash of milk in theirs. Now there are several variations on the macchiato, often causing confusion around its exact recipe. Latte macchiato, caramel macchiato and macchiato are all very different drinks. Plus, some cultures or cafés serve macchiato as a dash of cold milk in the espresso, while others stick to milk foam only. Below is the recipe for a traditional, Italian-style macchiato commonly accepted in specialty coffee.

Macchiato recipe

A macchiato is commonly served at a 1:0.5 ratio of espresso to milk.

  • Double espresso shot.

  • 1oz steamed milk.

How to make a macchiato:

  1. Grind enough coffee for a double espresso.

  2. Extract a double espresso shot into a 4oz cup or glass.

  3. Gently foam and steam a small portion of milk (or plant-based milk).

  4. Pour a tiny dash of the hot milk into the espresso before taking a spoon and adding a generous dollop of microfoam on top.

Points to note:

  • A glass or espresso cup is the preferred way to serve a macchiato

  • A single or double shot of espresso can be used, depending on your preference.

  • Dairy or plant-based milk can be used for this drink.

  • Beware the varying definitions of this drink! If you’re ordering in a café, always check with the barista exactly what you will be served.


What size is a macchiato?

The traditional, specialty recipe for a macchiato is a very small drink, around 3oz in size.

What are the different types of macchiato?

In addition to a macchiato as described above, you may also find that cafés offer a caramel macchiato: a large portion of steamed milk, layered with caramel syrup and espresso, a latte macchiato (also known as a long macchiato): a large portion of steamed milk with a double espresso poured in the top.

What’s the difference between a macchiato and a cortado?

The difference between a cortado and a macchiato lies in their size. Both are small, powerful drinks but the macchiato is smaller and stronger with less milk to cut through the espresso.

What’s the best type of coffee to use for a cortado?

A good coffee, that tastes great on its own or when paired with milk is perfect for making macchiatos. You can happily choose a coffee with very complex or fruity flavor profiles for this drink as the simplicity of the recipe allows any high-quality coffee to shine.

Looking for other recipes? Read our article about coffee drinks explained.

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