Thursday, October 13, 2011

What is a Macchiato?

A common drink ordered in coffee shops is a

There is a lot of confusion about what a macchiato actually is, but that is because there is actually two types of a macchiato.

What most people think of when they think of macchiato is a caramel macchiato. However, a caramel macchiato is not the original macchiato.

Macchiato is Italian for marked with.
A traditional cafe macchiato is espresso "marked with" foam.

The drink is served in a small cup around 2 oz.
The temperature of the drink is a bit cooler than a cappuccino.
The milk helps cut the power of the shot just a little bit for a small but powerful drink.

Americans invented something called a latte macchiato, which means milk "marked with" espresso. It is essentially a latte, but the milk is put in the cup first and then the shots of espresso last. This is what has become the caramel macchiato.

So next time you go to order a macchiato, be sure to clarify if the shop does traditional cafe macchiatos or latte macchiatos.

Here's a hint:
If they put syrup in it, it is probably not a traditional one.
If you are looking for a caramel macchiato at a shop that only serves traditional ones, order a caramel latte. It is pretty much the same thing.


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  1. Thanks this auctually helped in a school project.

  2. Finally someone is out there telling people what the truth is about the "Caramel Macchiatos". Very good read, thank you!!


  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Many Thanks .. Beth.

    Great effort and really informative.

    -Love from India!

  5. Very informative blog about it

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often..


  7. Thank you Coffee Girl, you have diluted my Macchiatto confusion in its delish foam. Now I have to figure out Latte vs Cappuccino hehe

  8. Oh on the macchiato note, if anyone is ever in the City of NY, among numerous great coffee shops, check out the "Macchiato Espresso Bar"

  9. Excellent description Beth. Thanks you so much for providing such a comprehensive explanation. I feel educated :-)

  10. Thanks for a great tip on macchiato vs caramel latte (aka caramel macchiato @ SB). I was at a small patisserie at lunch and ordered the macchiato envisioning what I typically get at SB. An hour later, I'm still pretty jacked up from the caffeine. ;-)