How to make a traditional macchiato

You love macchiatos. It’s THE drink you order when you visit any coffee shop.

But, when you’re stuck at home with no barista in sight, you’re left craving the strong and bold beverage.

Fear not. With a few ingredients and a bog-standard espresso machine, you can make your very own macchiato right at home.

What is a macchiato?

A macchiato coffee is a traditional Italian espresso-based drink that consists of a small amount of steamed milk and foam, topped with a shot of espresso. The word "macchiato" means "marked" or "stained" in Italian, which refers to the way the espresso "marks" the milk in the drink. The result is a stronger and bolder coffee experience compared to a regular latte, but still with a touch of creaminess. It's typically served in a small coffee cup and often garnished with caramel or chocolate syrup.

Who should drink a macchiato?

Macchiato is a popular choice for coffee lovers because of its strong and bold coffee flavour, yet still with a touch of creaminess. It offers a perfect balance between the strength of espresso and the sweetness and creaminess of milk.

Additionally, the small size of a macchiato makes it a great option for those who want a quick and strong pick-me-up without the need for a large cup of coffee.

If you like to add syrups to your coffee, stay away from macchiato. The focus is on the espresso here with the very little milk taking the edge off. Pumping shots of caramel ruins the taste - you may as well pump it straight into your mouth.


The ingredients needed to make a macchiato coffee are:

Steamed Milk

Use whole milk or skimmed milk. 

For a non-dairy milk alternative, we recommend either:

Make sure the non-dairy alternative is barista grade for the best foam.

Fancy a creamier coffee but still with the punch of the espresso? Try a Cortado.

List of equipment needed to make a macchiato coffee

The equipment needed to make a macchiato coffee are:

The espresso machine can be a traditional pump machine or a semi-automatic machine. I’ve even made this with a manual Aeropress with good results!

4-6 oz cups hold around 150ml. A standard UK mug is fine, but may look slightly empty.

Step by step instructions on how to make macchiato coffee

  1. Start by brewing a shot of espresso using your espresso machine, aiming for a 1:1 ratio of coffee to water. Prepare your milk whilst your espresso is brewing.
  1. Use a milk frother or a handheld frother to steam and froth the milk. Aim for a temperature of around 65-70 degrees celsius to make a nice, thick foam.
  1. Add your chosen syrup (if desired) to the cup before adding the milk.
  1. Once the espresso is ready, pour it into the cup.
  1. Gently pour the steamed milk over the espresso, trying to pour it in a slow and steady stream.
  1. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or whipped cream on top (if desired)

Your macchiato coffee is now ready to be enjoyed!


Different ways to make a macchiato coffee 

Here are a few different ways to make a macchiato coffee:

These are a few examples of variations of macchiato, but you can get creative and come up with your own variations by adding different syrups, spices or even different milk alternatives to make your perfect macchiato.

Share your creations in the comments below!

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