Coffee Macchiato

Last updated on April 14th, 2024 at 05:47 pm

A macchiato is a small coffee drink, typically made with just one shot of espresso.
Macchiato is a short, intense coffee shot.

Macchiato likely arose from baristas needing to distinguish “marked” espressos with a touch of milk from plain ones in the 1980s in Italy. Its name reflects this, coming from the Italian “macchiato” meaning “stained” or “marked.”

Think of it as a tiny splash of milk delicately “staining” the robust espresso. Similar to Portugal’s “café pingado” (“coffee with a drop”), the macchiato is all about espresso dominance, unlike its milkier cousins like lattes and cappuccinos. This short, intense coffee shot, traditionally around 1 ounce (30ml), is a testament to Italian coffee culture’s love for bold flavors and quick pick-me-ups.

Servings: 1



  1. Brew the espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, use strong brewed coffee.
  2. Heat the milk. You can use a milk frother, a steam wand on an espresso machine, or a saucepan on the stovetop. Heat the milk below boiling point, but don’t let it boil over. If a saucepan, be careful not to burn the milk.
  3. Froth the milk. If you’re using a milk frother, froth milk till it doubles in volume with a thick, creamy consistency. If you’re using a steam wand, steam the milk till it is hot and foamy. If you don’t have a milk frother or steam wand, you can whisk the milk in a jar to froth.
  4. Pour the espresso into a heat-resistant glass.
  5. Gently pour the frothed milk on top of the espresso.
  6. Enjoy!

Tips For Coffee Macchiato

  • Use cold milk for the best results.
  • If you don’t have a milk frother, you can use a handheld milk frother or even a whisk.
  • Add flavor to your macchiato using flavored syrups, such as vanilla or caramel.
  • For a latte macchiato, pour the milk into the glass first, then slowly pour the espresso. Doing so will create a layered effect.
  • A macchiato is a small coffee drink, typically made with just one shot of espresso.
  • The ratio of espresso to milk in a macchiato is typically 1:1. However, you can adjust this to your taste.
  • A macchiato is traditionally served without any sugar or other sweeteners. However, you can add these if you like.

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