How to Make a Macchiato (Traditional Recipe)

How to Make a Macchiato (Traditional Recipe)

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Did you recognize that an actual Italian macchiato is completely completely different from the caramel topped beverage at your native Starbucks? It’s true! It’s a scrumptious drink in its personal proper, and it doesn’t include a facet of a sugar crash.

Keep studying to seek out out how one can make a conventional Italian macchiato within the consolation of your individual dwelling. You may be stunned to find you favor it to the syrup-filled variations you’ve had earlier than.


  • Coffee beans
  • Milk
  • A burr grinder
  • An espresso machine
  • A approach to froth milk
  • An espresso cup



10 minutes


1 espresso macchiato

A number of necessary notes, earlier than we dig into the main points:

  • 1% or 2% milk is customary, however as a result of a macchiato requires a dollop of froth on high, almost any milk or plant-based milk substitute will work.
  • Make positive you will have a grinder that may deal with a positive espresso grind. If you don’t have entry to 1, purchase your beans at an area coffee store and have them do an espresso grind for you.
  • If your espresso machine doesn’t have a milk frothing system, you have to a separate milk frother.
  • Also generally known as a demitasse, these measure between 2.5 and three ounces.

How to Make a Macchiato

Before we make a macchiato, we had higher outline a macchiato. There is loads of confusion on this matter — and for a very good purpose. 

A correct Italian macchiato, often known as an espresso macchiato, is solely a double espresso shot with a small quantity of milk foam. It will get its title from the Italian phrase for “stained” since you stain the espresso with a milk dollop. This is the model we’ll be making on this article.

Macchiatos gained reputation in Italy as a result of Italians usually don’t take pleasure in cappuccinos after breakfast time. They are thought of to be too wealthy in dairy for later within the day. So the macchiato is a day drink (1).

The day is outlined by coffee rituals: a cappuccino with breakfast, a caffè macchiato – or two – as a day pick-me-up, and espresso after dinner.

A latte macchiato can also be a conventional Italian drink, however it’s the reverse of the espresso macchiato. In this case, you stain the milk with espresso. A glass is partially full of steamed milk, and also you pour a double shot of espresso into the middle. This produces a attribute gradient within the glass and a definite dot (or “stain”) of espresso within the middle.

Then there’s the Starbucks variations, the Caramel Macchiato or the Cloud Macchiato, which don’t have anything to do with custom (2). Their solely similarity with their Italian counterparts is the presence of espresso and milk. These syrup-filled milky concoctions are undoubtedly tasty treats, however they’re a far cry from Italian espresso drinks.

So with that out of the best way, let’s get began with our espresso macchiato recipe.

Step 1: Make espresso.

Finely grind your beans, in the event that they’re not already floor, and use your espresso machine to make a double espresso, which ought to measure about 2 oz. 

Any actual espresso machine with the power to generate 9 bars of strain will work to make espresso. But as a result of this drink is so espresso-focussed, a powerful coffee such as you may get for those who brew with a Moka pot or Aeropress isn’t a terrific various. The physique of the beverage gained’t be as wealthy and creamy accurately.

If you will have a Nespresso machine, it can make one thing shut sufficient to espresso to work for this, although Italian purists won’t be impressed.

Pro tip: You don’t want to make use of espresso beans to make espresso. You can use any coffee beans so long as you grind them finely sufficient, although darker roasts are often simpler to extract. So with that in thoughts, be at liberty to make use of no matter coffee you take pleasure in.

Step 2: Froth the milk.

Again, the main points of this step will rely upon the gadget you will have. Use both a milk frother or your espresso machine’s steam wand to foam a small quantity of milk. You solely want an oz. of milk or much less for this drink, however most frothing techniques would require greater than that to function appropriately. Don’t be tempted so as to add an excessive amount of milk, or you possibly can break the drink’s steadiness.

The milk is simply added to boost the flavour of coffee, and will by no means be overpowering.

You wish to make an ethereal foam, as you’ll for a cappuccino, relatively than a creamy microfoam you may use for a latte (3).

Pro tip: Even for those who don’t have a steam wand or milk frother, you possibly can nonetheless foam milk utilizing a French press. This method gained’t generate the positive microfoam you want for latte artwork, however it’s excellent for a easy dollop on a macchiato.

Step 3: Stain the espresso and drink up.

Add a dollop of froth on high of your espresso shot and revel in. Some individuals will even add a little bit of sugar to their espresso first, however this isn’t conventional.

Pro tip: If you’re inclined so as to add sugar to your coffee, attempt going for a darker roast first. These have a pure sweetness from the caramelization that happens throughout the roasting course of. Try beans from Central and South America, which regularly have inherent nutty and chocolatey flavors. You may simply discover you don’t want that sugar in spite of everything!

Final Thoughts

When it comes proper all the way down to it, an espresso macchiato is among the easiest drinks to make. It’s simply espresso with a little bit of froth on high. You don’t should measure your milk or fear about mastering that excellent microfoam.

So so long as you will have entry to an espresso machine, why not give it a attempt at dwelling? For the entire Italian expertise, brew one (or two) as a day pick-me-up!


The greatest beans for espresso are those that style the most effective to you. Most individuals have a tendency to make use of medium or darkish roasts as a result of these yield sweeter and fuller-bodied espresso. But for those who love a very good mild roast, there’s no purpose to not attempt it as espresso.

The distinction between a macchiato, a latte, and a cappuccino is within the ratio of milk to espresso and the milk’s texture. A latte has probably the most milk, and a macchiato has the least. A cappuccino and a macchiato each use airy-frothed milk, whereas a latte wants a creamier microfoam.

For extra particulars, take a look at our articles on Cappuccino vs Latte vs Macchiato or how to make a latte.

You can generally make macchiato with chilly milk as an alternative of hot-frothed milk. In Italian, the chilly model is called a Macchiato Freddo, and the recent model is a Macchiato Caldo. Of course, for those who go to Starbucks, you possibly can order an Iced Caramel Macchiato.

  1. Eataly Magazine (n.d.). A Guide to Italian Coffee Culture. Retrieved from
  2. O’Malley, N. (2019, March 8). Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato is foolish anti-coffee, and I hate how a lot I prefer it. Retrieved from
  3. Kilmanova, Y. (2018, December 14). Why Does Milk Foam & How Does It Affect Your Coffee? Retrieved from

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