All About Macchiato

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The traditional macchiato

Macchiato has long been a part of Italy’s rich history of coffee-drinking and innovation. “Macchiato” is actually an Italian word and it means “spotted” or “marked”.

The name itself says that the marking is essentially what is on top of the drink, like a signature.

The Origin of Macchiato

Macchiato marks the spot

Due to the fact that macchiato means “marked”, this term was used by the coffeehouse baristas to figure out which order contained milk and which didn’t. They then started to mark an entirely different drink that was made of a single shot of espresso, no sugar, no milk and lots of cream on top. Such a drink was always marked as a drink without milk but with added foam, which is why it came to be known as “Macchiato”.

Different Types of Macchiato

Latte macchiato
  • Latte macchiato– The latte macchiato is an improved version of espresso with steamed milk. A simple macchiato is different than a traditional latte as it has more milk and less espresso; whereas, this brew does not have any milk at all. Even more, it is different from the espresso as it has foam and espresso doesn’t. Latte macchiato has lower amounts of milk than in a traditional latte. In a 12 oz large glass, the barista makes this drink, with a balanced speed of pouring the espresso. Sometimes, the espresso is poured very slowly over the steamed milk. Some baristas use the back of a spoon to diffuse and further slow the pouring. Other baristas just pour into the center to create a distinct mark or stain in the milk. The decoration process is the most important part of creation, as it creates the signature layered look of the latte macchiato.
  • Espresso Macchiato– Also called café macchiato in Italy, the origin of macchiato. In this case, milk is used as a stain on the espresso shot, signifying the drink is spotted. This drink is prepared by first pushing a shot of espresso, after which 1-2 tablespoons of milk is poured on top, then a bit of foam is added. Usually served in a glass of ceramic demitasse cup.
  • Caramel Macchiato– Multi-layered, consists of milk, and the quantity of foam is more than a traditional macchiato. Milk is steamed first and then poured into the coffee cup, after which the barista adds a shot of espresso. The drink is marked once the espresso shot is added. To make it taste sweet and not bitter, sugar, caramel sauce, and iced chocolate sauce are added as layers on top of the milk and the shot of espresso. Coffee lovers, who like their coffee a little bittersweet, cannot resist this brew at all.

Macchiato can be a hot or cold beverage. For many coffee lovers, it’s a heavenly drink.

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