Who will refuse to enjoy a cup of chocolate-flavored cappuccino? Nowadays, there is an incredible variety of espresso-based coffee drinks. Sometimes, it is effortless to get lost in all those delicious beverages, especially when each coffee shop has its own interpretation of classic recipes.
For example, if you order a macchiato cup in Starbucks, it will mainly resemble a latte. Believe us; it differs from traditional espresso macchiato that you can find in small coffee shops somewhere in Rome or Venice.
The main thing is that large coffee chains greatly impact our understanding of different types of coffee drinks. It causes numerous difficulties for small coffee shops, especially those that tend to use classic recipes. Usually, most people who tend to buy their morning coffee in one of those big chains think they were served with the wrong drink when they visit small shops.
This article wants to clear some of those misunderstandings and tell you about such espresso-based drinks as macchiato and latte. Many people tend to confuse those drinks, but after reading our article, we hope you will easily distinguish them.
What Is Macchiato
The word “macchiato” takes its origins from Italian and can be translated as marked or stained. In simple words, it is espresso with just a little milk or milk foam. Traditional macchiato consists of only two ingredients – one shot of espresso and a splash of steamed milk.
However, there are lots of other variations, such as, for example, latte macchiato. This drink is made of a glass of milk with a shot of espresso.
Since it includes just a small amount of milk, macchiato tends to have a stronger flavor than other espresso-based drinks that include milk. Because there is only a small amount of milk, one serving of macchiato is smaller than other similar drinks. Usually, it is about one and a quarter ounce that is about 37 ml.
Benefits of Drinking Macchiato
You may think that macchiato has hardly any health benefits considering it contains milk and most coffee shops offer it with various syrups and sweeteners. Due to all these things, it tends to contain more calories than regular espresso. However, you can always make it less fatty by choosing classic macchiato with no sweeteners.
If you are a real fan of macchiato or just looking for some coffee recipe that will be less strong than espresso but still strong enough to keep you energized, a macchiato is a great option for you. Believe us; it has numerous health benefits. For example, Nitro coffee has zero calories, so that you can use it as a base for your drink.
Keeps Your Blood Pressure in Control
If you have hypertension but still cannot avoid drinking coffee, a macchiato is a perfect solution for you. Because it is not so strong as espresso, it will keep your blood pressure in control.
People tend to think that coffee increases anxiety, but the truth is that if you consume it in moderation, it will have the opposite effect. By drinking macchiato, you can increase your concentration as caffeinated cocktails can make you energetic.
Drinking macchiato allows neutralizing toxins. It will let you feel healthier and more energized. Moreover, it helps prevent osteoporosis. Just make sure not to drink too much as too much coffee may have the opposite effect.
How Does Macchiato Work
If you like coffee but prefer something less strong than espresso, then macchiato is a perfect option for you. It is softer and more delicate than espresso but still more intense than cappuccino or latte.
It is known for its pretty strong but still delicate sweet taste with creamy, milky notes. Many people like it because of the airy milk foam that is added to a macchiato. It makes this coffee drink rather delicate and especially delicious.
One other important thing about macchiato is that it contains fewer calories than cappuccino or latte as there is just a tiny splash of milk. It means it is less fatty—a perfect option for people who pay attention to the consumed calories and stick to a diet.
Italians prefer drinking macchiato in the afternoon as it is a perfect coffee drink for this part of the day. If you want to enjoy it in the same way people drink it on its motherland, you can brew a cup of macchiato and have some relaxing time in the afternoon while sitting on your couch. However, if you are a real fan of macchiato, do not hesitate to enjoy it any time you want.
Pros and Cons of Drinking Macchiato
Like any other coffee drink, a macchiato is absolutely great but not perfect. It has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of this delicious drink, the next part of our article is especially for you.
- Macchiato is a perfect combination of creamy texture, milky foam, and espresso-like flavor.
- It is not so strong as espresso.
- It is great for people who do not like black coffee but still want to burn some extra weight.
- It is very delicious and rather delicate.
- Macchiato is a layered drink, so there is a lack of blended flavor.
- As it is an espresso-based drink, low-quality or cheap beans can ruin the taste of your coffee.
- To brew it, you need to have an espresso machine and some skills to make a milky foam.
- Macchiato tends to be more acidic than other types of espresso-based drinks.
Types of Macchiato
Macchiato – it is not just one coffee drink. Actually, it is a variety of coffee drinks. Two main types of macchiato are known all over the world. Each of them has its specific features and characteristics.
Below, there is a description of those two macchiato types that are espresso macchiato and latte macchiato.
You may already notice that you are usually served with a small demitasse cup when you order macchiato in small coffee shops and not in big chain shops instead of a huge mug. In this case, your macchiato is a combination of two shots of espresso, just a little milk, and some milky foam on top.
It is exactly when you get confused, especially if you tend to buy your coffee in huge coffee chains. The reason is that it is not the drink you used to get when ordering macchiato.
This classy espresso macchiato tends to be less creamy than the one from big coffee shops. It is exactly the drink that Italians like drinking in the afternoon. It has fewer calories as it is not so creamy and contains less milk. At the same time, its taste is richer and brighter. Also, it is healthier as there are fewer calories.
When it comes to latte macchiato, it is exactly the type of macchiato served in coffee chains. Actually, it is somehow the opposite of espresso macchiato. While espresso macchiato is an espresso with a splash of milk, latte macchiato can be described as steamed milk with a splash of espresso.
The main thing about latte macchiato is that you need to have certain skills to brew it. The reason is that it is a layered drink. It is served in bigger glass cups so you can see those perfect layers of espresso, milk, and creamy foam in your mug. It looks really amazing!
The main trick of making latte macchiato is to slowly pour one espresso shot in a cup with milk and milky foam. You need to do it very slowly to prevent coffee from mixing with milk. You can mix it before drinking or you can leave it as it is. If you choose the second option, you will be able to enjoy an incredible gradient of flavors, starting with espresso richness, transferring to milk tenderness, and finishing with foam creamy texture and sweetness.
How to Make Macchiato
Want to learn how to brew macchiato? We prepared for you two guides that you can follow to make your favorite espresso-based drink at home. Below there is a guide for espresso macchiato as well as latte macchiato.
How to Make Espresso Macchiato
To make espresso macchiato, you need:
- 18 g of coffee beans, for example, the world’s best decaf espresso
- 60 ml of water
- 30 ml of milk
Step 1 – Grind the beans
When making espresso macchiato at home, the first thing you need to do is to grind the beans. It is always better to choose grinding coffee beans at home. Take about 18 g of coffee beans. Put the beans in the grinder and grind them well. You need fine grounds to brew espresso for your macchiato.
Step 2 – Put coffee in the portafilter
Remove portafilter from your coffee maker and fill it with ground coffee. After it, tap the portafilter several times slightly to make sure that the coffee is evenly distributed. Then temp coffee grounds to make sure it is evenly distributed and pressed.
Step 3 – Brew espresso
Put the portafilter back in your coffee maker and make sure it is securely locked in the place. Put the cup under the portafilter and start the brewing process. It should take you about 30 seconds to brew the espresso for your macchiato.
Step 4 – Steam milk
Take a metal pitcher and pour cold milk. Put the steam wand in the pitcher and hold it at 45 degrees to the wand. Turn on the steam and start steaming milk until it is about 60 degrees Celsius. After it, move the pitcher down a little bit, so the tip of the wand is just below the surface. In such a way, you will be able to make airy foam.
Step 5 – Add milk to coffee
Now it’s time to mix the ingredients. Take the cup with espresso and pour milk there. Take a spoon and scoop some foam, place it in the cup on top of your drink. Your macchiato is ready. If you want, you can add some sugar, syrup, cinnamon, chocolate, or whipped cream as coffee creamer is a delicious addition to any coffee type.
How to Make Latte Macchiato
Latte macchiato is milkier and creamier than espresso macchiato. Also, it is harder to make as it is a layered drink. To make a latte macchiato, you need:
- 125 ml of fat milk
- one shot of espresso
Step 1 – Grind coffee beans
You need about 7 grams of coffee to make one shot of espresso. Grind the beans till they are finely ground.
Step 2 – Brew espresso
Put ground coffee in your espresso maker’s portafilter, place the portafilter in the holder, and start the brewing process. Brew your coffee for about 20 seconds. As soon as it’s ready, stir it slightly. You can also try using a premium pod coffee machine to brew your coffee.
Step 3 – Steam milk
Pour milk into the pitcher and steam it with the steam wand. Do not forget that the volume of milk will increase two times during the process, so be attentive and use the big enough pitcher.
Step 4 – Mix the ingredients
Pour milk and foam in the mug and add coffee. Pour espresso in the milk slowly to create a layered drink. Add sugar, syrup, chocolate, or cinnamon if you want, and enjoy your drink.
What Is Latte
The word latte can be translated from Italian as milk. So, basically, a latte is a coffee with milk.
There is no certain recipe to make a latte. To make a latte, you simply need to add steamed milk to one shot of freshly brewed espresso. Sometimes, a little bit of foam is added to the drink. You can also add different syrups, sweeteners, spices, and creamers.
Since latte contains more milk than other espresso-based beverages, it is more delicate with a tender, slightly sweet flavor. It is really mild and delicate, so it’s perfect for people who do not like black or strong coffee.
Benefits of Drinking Latte
As we already said, a latte is an espresso-based beverage. Due to this fact, the latte has a whole bunch of benefits. Below, we made a list of the main benefits of drinking latte.
Latte is well known for its ability to decrease the chances of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Prevents Cardiovascular Disorders
Drinking latte in moderation, you can protect yourself from cardiovascular disorders. Also, it helps burning fat that is great for your heart.
Makes Your Skin Healthier
Latte is perfect for your skin as it makes it healthier and adds some healthy glow. There are also lots of other benefits, such as relieving muscle pain and fighting infections. Latte can also be a great memory-booster.
How Does Latte Work
There is a variety of espresso-based drinks, so what makes latte? It is the proportions of ingredients and preparation process that distinguish this beverage among others. Latte is usually made with espresso and steamed milk. Latte contains more milk than other espresso-based drinks; that’s why it is creamier. Milk foam is not in the list of main ingredients for a latte, but it is often added to the drink.
If you compare latte with other drinks, you will see that it has less or no foam but more milk than others.
If you prefer lighter and more delicate espresso-based drinks, a latte is a perfect option for you. It is perfect for everyone.
Pros and Cons of Drinking Latte
Latte is a great drink, but there are still some advantages and several disadvantages as well.
- Latte has a perfectly blended delicate flavor.
- It is creamier than other similar drinks as it contains more milk and some foam.
- It is sweeter than other espresso-based drinks.
- Latte is known for its less acidic flavor.
- It’s not an option as it is too mild and you cannot sense the aroma and rich taste of espresso.
- Latte is rather fatty as almost 80% of the drink consists of milk.
Types of Milk
Two types of milk are used for a latte – steamed milk and milk foam. Below, there is a description of each type of milk.
Steamed milk is one of the most important ingredients required for a latte. Usually, you need about 125 ml of steamed milk that is combined with espresso.
The main thing about adding steamed milk to the latte is that it should be well mixed with espresso to provide you with an even taste. To make steamed milk, you need to steam it with the steaming wand. After it, the milk will be heated and have a creamy texture. Keep in mind that the process of steaming milk requires a certain set of skills.
The other type of milk that is added to the latte is milk foam. Usually, there is only a thin layer of foam that is added on top of your drink. It is often decorated with spices, chocolate, and even different arts.
How to Make Latte
Want to learn how to make a latte? We made a step-by-step guide for you. You can use it to make a latte at home daily.
Step 1 – Measure coffee
You need to brew two shots of espresso to make a latte. To do it, you need to measure the right amount of coffee. Usually, about 18-21 g of coffee is required for making espresso.
Step 2 – Grind beans
After measuring coffee, it’s time to grind it. Just keep in mind that for espresso, you need finely ground coffee.
Step 3 – Tamp coffee grounds
Place ground coffee in the portafilter and tamp it using a special temper. Make sure the coffee is evenly spread in the portafilter and well pressed together.
Step 4 – Brew shot of espresso
Insert the portafilter in your espresso maker. Place the cup under the portafilter and start the brewing process.
Step 5 – Prepare the milk
Usually, you need about 6 ounces of milk for each ounce of brewed espresso. Pour the required amount of cold milk into a stainless steel pitcher.
By the way, there is a way of making a latte without a machine. If you have no espresso maker, it’s a good idea to learn how to make your favorite drink in this case. Also, you can use one of those semi-automatic cappuccino makers.
Step 6 – Steam milk
Insert the steaming wand in the pitcher. Make sure to keep it right under the surface and the pitcher should be placed diagonally to the wand. Switch on the wand and start steaming the milk. By the way, you can use a milk frother to make foam. Milk frothers are fast and convenient and are great for making creamy mocha at home, as well as other foamy coffee drinks.
Step 7 – Pour milk and coffee into a mug
Now it is time to mix the ingredients. Pour steamed milk into the mug with espresso. Top your drink with foam if you want.
Macchiato vs Latte Comparison
We told you everything about macchiato and latte. Now it’s time to learn about their similarities and differences. Below is the list of common things for both these drinks, but they may have small differences.
An average cup of latte that is about 475 ml contains about 173 mg of caffeine. However, due to the high content of milk, the drink is still pretty delicate and mild.
At the same time, when it comes to macchiato, one cup that is about 60 ml contains approximately 85 g of caffeine. It means that macchiato has higher caffeine content than a latte.
Both latte and macchiato contain milk and milk foam, but there is a different percentage of this ingredient in those drinks. The point is that milk has a significant impact on the nutritional value of these drinks.
Because a latte contains more milk than a macchiato, it has a higher content of fat, protein, and calories. Simultaneously, there is only a tiny splash of milk in a macchiato, so it is much healthier and less fatty.
Also, keep in mind that nutrient content is impacted by ingredients such as sweeteners, syrups, and creamers.
Latte is known for its creamy, milky, and mild flavor due to its higher milk content. Also, because there is more milk than espresso, it tends to have a rather sweet flavor.
When it comes to macchiato, it is known for its bolder flavor as it contains more espresso than milk. It is slightly bitter with a rather high acidity due to the higher percentage of espresso.
Milk foam is an essential part of macchiato. However, when it comes to latte, it can be added to the drink optionally. Also, only a small amount of foam is used for both drinks.
Latte is very milky as almost 80% of its content is steamed milk. At the same time, macchiato contains just a little steamed milk.
FAQ About Macchiato vs Latte
Still, have questions about macchiato and latte? Here you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
Does macchiato or a latte have more caffeine?
Latte tends to have more caffeine, but it happens only because it has a larger serving. However, a macchiato is for sure stronger. If you compare the serving size for each drink and their caffeine content, you will see that latte is lighter.
Is a latte or macchiato healthier?
Macchiato is for sure healthier than a latte. The reason is that a latte contains more milk than a macchiato. As a result, a latte is fattier and has more calories. At the same time, macchiato contains only a tiny splash of milk, so it’s not fat.
What Is the difference between a Starbucks latte and macchiato?
Starbucks macchiato contains two ingredients – steamed milk and espresso as well as a latte. However, their latte is milkier and creamier than macchiato. Macchiato is stronger, but the latte is more balanced.
What is in a latte macchiato?
Latte macchiato consists of espresso, milk, and foam. The main thing about this drink is that it is layered. The bottom layer is espresso. Milk is in the middle and airy foam on the top.
What is the difference between a latte and a latte macchiato?
The main difference between latte and latte macchiato is how the ingredients are poured into the cup. Latte is perfectly mixed, which results in a blended, delicate flavor. It happens because it is milk that is added to espresso. Latte macchiato is layered as you first pour milk into the cup and then add coffee. As a result, you get separate layers of espresso, milk, and foam.
As you can see, latte and macchiato are two great espresso-based drinks that are pretty popular. These drinks have lots in common, but there are also some distinct features for each of them. You just need to choose which one you like more.
Don’t know which one to choose? Use our guides to make both these drinks and give them a try.
Photos from: belchonock / depositphotos.com, xMarshallfilms