What Is A Macchiato Coffee?

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You enter your local cafe and want to try something different. You spot a macchiato on the menu–but what exactly is a macchiato, and how does it stand out from other coffee drinks such as lattes?

This is everything you need to know about delicious macchiato coffee.

What's Macchiato Coffee?

The word “macchiato” derives from Italy, and it means “marked.” The coffee drink was named after this word because a shot of espresso is “marked” with some milk.

Macchiatos are made in a way that’s very similar to other coffee drinks such as mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos, with the tying factor being that they are all made with espresso and milk.

Macchiatos, however, are distinct from other coffee drinks, and macchiato lovers enjoy the difference.

How Is A Macchiato Different Than A Latte?

Both lattes and macchiatos are produced with a single shot of espresso with milk added. However, the amount of milk–and the way it’s added–is what separates the two types of coffee drinks and gives the macchiato its distinction.

The espresso in lattes is a little bit more diluted because there is more milk used, and it is completely integrated with the espresso. However, macchiatos are simply a shot of espresso with just a foam layer of milk along the top; they are frothier and feature the espresso more, rather than providing a milky drink.

The way milk is foamed in a macchiato has a significant impact on the taste and texture of your drink overall. Ideally, macchiatos should be prepared with a process that is known as “velvet microfoam,” in which tiny air bubbles are added to the milk. 

Instead of being steamed, these air bubbles make a subtle yet major difference, as they create a smooth and velvety texture.

History of the Macchiato

Like many other coffee drinks, the macchiato originated in Italy. It was originally created as an excuse to consume espresso in the middle of the day.

Cappuccinos, on the other hand, are served as a morning drink in Italy as a kind of counterpart to macchiatos. 

Macchiatos are not quite as strong as a straight-up shot of espresso, but they have a little bit more potency than cappuccinos.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Macchiato?

If you would like a macchiato without fretting too much about its caffeine content, good news: it doesn’t pack any more caffeine than your typical coffee drink.

A small macchiato will contain about 80mg of caffeine, while a large version will have about 120mg – the same as a latte. It’s important to regulate your intake of caffeine, and you can have a couple of macchiatos each day without worrying.

Drinking Delicious Macchiatos

Since their conception in Italy, macchiatos have been enjoyed around the world. They’re popular for their smooth, velvety taste, and fans praise the difference from lattes or cappuccinos.

If you’re looking for a velvety espresso kick, order a macchiato the next time you’re at your local cafe.

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