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The Complete Guide to Macchiatos: Types History and Best Places to Try

Coffee Options in Coffee Shops: Understanding Different Types of Coffee

Coffee shops have become a staple in modern society, offering a place for people to grab a quick caffeine fix, work or socialize. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or simply enjoy the occasional cup, it’s essential to understand the different types of coffee options available in coffee shops.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at one particular type of coffee – macchiato.

What is a Macchiato?

Although the word macchiato has become a buzzword in coffee culture, few people understand its true meaning. A macchiato is an Italian coffee drink that typically consists of a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk on top.

The word “macchiato” is derived from the Italian word “macchia,” which means “stain” or “spot.” In this case, the stain or spot refers to the dollop of milk on top of the espresso, which gives the drink its characteristic appearance.

Types of Macchiato

There are three main types of macchiatos – espresso macchiato, caff macchiato, and latte macchiato.


Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato is the most traditional type of macchiato and consists of a shot of espresso topped with a small amount of milk foam. The milk foam typically covers only a small portion of the espresso, forming a distinctive brown mark on the surface.

It’s a strong and bold drink, perfect for those who enjoy the taste of pure espresso but want a touch of sweetness. 2.

Caff Macchiato

Caff macchiato is similar to espresso macchiato but with a slightly different preparation. It consists of a shot of espresso with a small amount of steamed milk added on top.

The milk is added as a “stain” to the dark espresso, creating a bittersweet flavor. It’s a common drink in Italy and is popular among those who appreciate the intensity of pure espresso, but want to soften the taste with a hint of milk.

3. Latte Macchiato

Latte macchiato is different from the other two types of macchiato as it contains more milk and is less strong.

It’s made by adding steamed milk to a shot of espresso. The milk is poured slowly, resulting in three distinct layers – espresso at the bottom, followed by a layer of steamed milk and a layer of frothed milk on top.

Unlike other macchiatos, the milk is layered in a way that it doesn’t mix with the espresso, creating a beautiful visual effect. Latte macchiato is a popular choice for those who prefer a milky and creamy coffee.


In conclusion, understanding different types of coffee options available in coffee shops is essential to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee. By exploring the various types of macchiatos, you can discover the one that suits your taste and preferences.

The next time you visit a coffee shop, don’t hesitate to try a macchiato and experience its unique flavor. History of the Macchiato: From Its Origin to Evolution

The Macchiato is one of the most popular coffee drinks today, but its history dates back to the early 20th century.

The term “macchiato” was first used in Italy, where it referred to an espresso “stained” with a small amount of milk. In this section, we’ll explore the history of the macchiato and how it has evolved over time.

Origin of the Macchiato

The origins of the macchiato can be traced back to Italy in the early 1900s. During this time, Italian caf owners started serving a drink called “Caff Cappuccino con Panna,” which consisted of a shot of espresso, topped with whipped cream.

The drink became popular among Italian coffee drinkers, but it was a heavy and rich drink. To make a lighter alternative, baristas started to place a small amount of milk onto the espresso, which gave birth to the macchiato.

The word “macchiato” literally means “stained” or “marked” in Italian, which referred to the small “mark” of milk added to the espresso.

Evolution of the Traditional Macchiato

Over time, the macchiato has evolved to suit different taste preferences. For example, the traditional macchiato was made with a single shot of espresso.

However, some coffee shops now offer double-shot macchiatos for an even bolder flavor.

Additionally, as the drink gained popularity in countries outside of Italy, baristas started to experiment with different types of milk for the macchiato.

For instance, in the United States, baristas use steamed milk instead of milk foam for a creamier taste. How is a Macchiato Made?

Making a macchiato involves a few simple steps, but getting the quantities right is essential to achieving the perfect flavor balance. 1.

Making Perfect Espresso

The first step is to make a perfect shot of espresso. This involves using freshly roasted, finely ground coffee beans and a high-quality espresso machine.

Ensure that the coffee is tamped down evenly in the portafilter, and the water temperature is between 195-205F (90-96C). 2.

Adding the Milk

After preparing the espresso shot, add a small amount of milk for the perfect macchiato. The amount of milk added depends on the type of macchiato being made.

In the traditional espresso macchiato, steamed milk is added to the espresso shot with the sole purpose of creating a brown mark on the surface. For a caff macchiato, add a dollop of milk foam instead of steamed milk.

Latte macchiato, on the other hand, requires more steamed milk to create a layered effect.

Making a Macchiato at Home

If you’re unable to visit a coffee shop or simply want to enjoy a delicious macchiato at home, you can use a Moka pot to make espresso. A Moka pot is a coffee-making device that produces a flavor similar to espresso, without needing an expensive espresso machine.

To make a macchiato using a Moka pot, follow these steps:

1. Fill up the Moka pot’s lower chamber with water up to its valve level.

2. Fill up the metal filter basket with finely-ground coffee and level it out.

3. Screw on the top part of the Moka pot.

4. Place the Moka pot on a low-medium heat source.

5. Once the coffee starts to come out of the spout (this typically takes 4-5 minutes), remove the pot from the heat source, and pour the espresso shot into a cup.

6. Add a small amount of steamed milk for a traditional macchiato.

Who is a Macchiato Best for? A macchiato is perfect for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy a strong, bold flavor with a touch of creaminess.

It’s an excellent choice for individuals who appreciate the taste of pure espresso but can’t handle its thick and strong taste.

When comparing a macchiato to other popular coffee drinks, such as a latte or cappuccino, the difference lies in the quantity of milk.

While a latte or cappuccino contains a significant amount of milk, the macchiato consists of a small quantity.

In Italy, it is customary to drink macchiato as a mid-morning coffee.

Italians see it as an essential coffee break ritual, and it’s enjoyed as a quick and straightforward drink. The traditional caff macchiato is a common choice in Italy, where it’s preferred over other types of macchiato.


The macchiato is a delicious coffee that’s steeped in history. From its origins in Italy to its evolution in the 21st century, the macchiato has gained immense popularity worldwide.

By understanding the different types of macchiatos, how to make them, and who they’re best for, you can take your coffee experience to the next level. Where is the Macchiato Most Popular: Variations Around the World

The macchiato is a well-known coffee drink enjoyed by people all over the world.

Its popularity has led to different variations of the drink, with each country adding its own unique twist. In this section, we’ll explore where the macchiato is most popular and the different variations of the drink.

Availability of Macchiato Worldwide

The macchiato is available worldwide, but it’s most popular in coffee-loving countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. In these countries, the traditional macchiato is preferred over other types of coffee drinks.

North America and Europe have also adopted the macchiato, but with some variations. For example, in the United States, the macchiato typically contains more milk than the traditional version.

In Europe, the macchiato is referred to as “cortado” and is made with whole milk, whereas in the United States, it’s made with steamed milk.

Different Variations of Macchiato in Different Countries

In Italy, the traditional macchiato is a popular mid-morning drink, enjoyed by locals during their coffee break. The drink consists of a single shot of espresso, with a small dollop of milk on top, as a “mark” or “stain.” In Spain, cafes serve the cortado, which is a macchiato made with whole milk instead of steamed milk.

In Portugal, the macchiato is known as “galo,” which is different from the traditional macchiato. It’s made with one part espresso and three parts hot, steamed milk, served in a tall glass.

In Argentina and other Latin American countries, the macchiato is served with a short shot of espresso and a dollop of whipped cream.

Similarities and Differences Between Cortado and Macchiato

Cortado and macchiato have some similarities, but they’re also different in some aspects. Both drinks consist of a shot of espresso and a small amount of milk.

However, the main difference is the type of milk added. In Italy, macchiato is usually topped with a small amount of milk foam, whereas, in Spain and Portugal, it’s topped with steamed milk.

Cortado, on the other hand, is always made with whole milk, giving it a smooth and velvety texture that sets it apart from traditional macchiato. Tips for Ordering a Macchiato: Maximizing Satisfaction

Ordering the perfect macchiato can be tricky, but if you follow some tips, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a delicious drink.

1. Specify the Type of Macchiato You Want

Be specific about the type of macchiato you want to avoid any confusion.

If ordering a traditional macchiato, make sure that you specify whether you want milk foam or steamed milk on top. 2.

Try Different

Types of Macchiatos

Don’t be afraid to try different types of macchiatos. While the traditional macchiato is a favorite, trying different types of macchiatos, such as latte macchiato or Espresso Macchiato, is a great way to explore different tastes.

3. Modifications to the Order

Modifications to the macchiato order are accepted by most baristas, but make sure to specify the modifications explicitly.

For example, if you want a sweeter macchiato, ask for caramel or vanilla syrup added to the drink.


The macchiato is a delicious coffee drink enjoyed by people worldwide. Its popularity has led to different variations of the drink, with each country adding its own unique twist.

By understanding where the macchiato is most popular, the different variations of the drink, and some tips for ordering it, you can maximize your satisfaction and enjoy the perfect macchiato. In conclusion, the macchiato is a versatile and popular coffee drink enjoyed around the world.

From its origins in Italy to its variations in different countries, the macchiato offers a balance of bold espresso with a touch of milk. Whether you prefer the traditional macchiato, the cortado, or other variations, understanding the different types and ordering tips can enhance your coffee experience.

So, the next time you visit a coffee shop, don’t hesitate to explore the world of macchiatos and savor the unique flavors they offer. Happy sipping!

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