In Italian, the term “macchiato” translates as “marked” or “stained”, meaning a stained or marked coffee. The macchiato is an espresso coffee drink, topped with a small amount of foamed or steamed milk to allow the taste of the espresso to still shine through.
The origin of the name “macchiato” stems from baristas needing to show waiters the difference between an espresso shot and an espresso with a bit of milk in it. As the latter is “marked” or “stained” by the addition of milk, it was quickly given its name to highlight the addition.
Unlike the cappuccino, originally being created exclusively for that morning coffee, the macchiato is the perfect afternoon coffee.
The small amount of milk that is used in the macchiato gives this coffee drink a slight sweetness. However, the combination of sweetness and creaminess of the milk isn’t enough to dilute the strength of the espresso, so some may argue that a macchiato can taste slightly bitter.
There are two main types of macchiato coffee: the espresso macchiato and the latte macchiato.
The difference between a macchiato and a latte depends on what type of macchiato you choose. A macchiato, often referred to as an espresso macchiato differs to a latte by not having any milk foam. A latte macchiato differs from a latte by being made in reverse. In a latte, the espresso is added first, followed by steamed milk and a final layer of frothed milk.
Now, that you have discovered what a macchiato is, quench your thirst and explore a flat white.