What is a Macchiato?

If you’re not a coffee aficionado, it can be difficult to keep track of the different types of coffee out there. With all these French and Italian names, it’s often hard to know what you’re ordering. It also doesn’t help that some brews only have subtle differences between them. For instance, while cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites are made with the same three ingredients, mixing them in different proportions gives you one or the other.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at the macchiato, which is made with the exact ingredients as the three types of coffees mentioned above. We will also be discussing how to identify a macchiato, how to brew one and how best to serve it.

Some Details About The Macchiato

What is a macchiato? As you might have guessed already, the macchiato is an Italian word which means ‘marked’.  Remembering this could help you identify a macchiato because this coffee typically carries a ‘marking’ on the surface. The colour of this marking, of course, depends on which is poured second – espresso or milk. If it’s the former, expect white foam.

Macchiato is made with foam, steamed milk and espresso. The first two ingredients are only added in very small portions, typically just a dollop. Similar to the cappuccino and latte, Macchiato has also been a staple in Italy’s culture for centuries. Hence, if you’re ever in the mood for an authentic Italian coffee experience, you could start things off with a cup of macchiato.

The Ingredients

Depending on whether you want to make a traditional macchiato or the iced version, the Ingredients will differ.

The Traditional Macchiato

You will need:

  • Water – 60ml
  • Milk – 60ml
  • Freshly roasted coffee beans – 18g

Pre-ground coffee works fine as well and saves you the trouble of having to grind the beans. However, if you like having total control over the brewing process, then you can start from scratch.

The Iced Macchiato

You will need:

  • Cold milk – 235ml
  • ice cubes – 5
  • Sweetener – 2 teaspoons
  • Espresso – 60ml

Note that the above quantities in both cases are used to make a single cup of macchiato only.

Making a Traditional Macchiato

If you’re particularly fond of the taste of espresso and generally like your coffee strong, then you may prefer traditional macchiato over the iced version. The recipe is as follows:

  1. Measure out 18g of coffee beans and place it in the grinder of your coffee maker. You may use 2-3g more if you wish to make it stronger.
  2. Grind the beans until you have a fine consistency. For reference, the coffee grounds should be similar in size to salt grains. This is crucial if you want to make espresso.
  3. Remove the portafilter from your coffee maker and clean it thoroughly. Afterwards, pour the ground coffee into it.
  4. Lightly tap the underside of the portafilter so that the grounds spread evenly inside.
  5. Make sure there is enough water in the espresso maker’s reservoir.
  6. Fix the portafilter back into place, and place a cup underneath it.
  7. Switch on the machine and let the brewing process take place.
  8. Steam a cup of milk using a steam wand. Steam at 60 degrees Celsius and make sure the wand touches the milk at 45-degree angle.
  9. Pour the milk into the cup of fresh espresso.
  10. Finish off by adding a small quantity of foam.

Making an Iced Macchiato

The recipe is as follows:

  1. Make the espresso by following the same steps described above.
  2. Pour 5 ice cubes and 235ml of milk into the blender. Follow this up with two teaspoons of a sweetener like maple syrup or honey and then finally, add the freshly-brewed cup of espresso.
  3. Blend the ingredients until there are no chunks of ice remaining. If your blender has an ice-crush setting, then we recommend that you use it.
  4. Pour into a glass and serve.

Creative Ways to Serve Macchiato

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the flavour of your macchiato, here are a few ideas:

  • Whipped Cream – while macchiato isn’t typically served with whipped cream, there’s really no reason not to.
  • Chocolate – a few sprinkles of grated chocolate could pair well, especially if you were to add whipped cream into the mix.
  • Cinnamon – Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can give an interesting twist to your cup of macchiato. However, make sure that you only sprinkle a pinch of it so as not to overpower your palate.

It can be hard to keep track of different types of coffee, especially when there are only minor differences between them. In this article, we talk about macchiato and how to tell it apart from similar types of coffee. You will also find out how to brew it and creative ways to serve it.