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What is a Macchiato, Really?

What Everyone Ought to Know About a True Macchiato

What Everyone Ought to Know About a True Macchiato

Macchiato comes from the Italian word that means "stained". Quite literally it is a short espresso with a dollop of steamed milk foam added to it, one to two teaspoons max.

In this Starbucks-obsessed world there is some confusion as to what a macchiato is because Starbucks sells a long coffee drink with caramel flavor added to it that it calls a macchiato.

To distinguish the true macchiato from the one on offer at Starbucks, you will find many coffee shops refer to a true macchiato as an "espresso macchiato".

Many that I have ordered here in the U.S. have been presented to me in a full-sized (12oz) paper cup, drowned in milk-foam. That's what I call a cappuccino, or bad training.

A true macchiato

This picture of a macchiato I made at home should give you an idea of what a true macchiato should look like and how to make one.

If you're not feeling like a lot of milk, but in dire need of a double shot, give the real macchiato a go at home. You will need good quality fresh whole beans that have not been roasted to the point that they have been shiny from the oils. A mid-roast is best. Hopefully you have a good independent coffee shop in your town that does its own roasting and you can buy some beans there. If not, then head on over to Amazon and order what I use most of the time: Coffee Masters Gourmet Coffee, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Whole Bean, 12-Ounce Bags (Pack of 4).

Oh, and this snobby post I just wrote reminded me of this very funny video in which two bitchy barista girls terrorize a customer for having the audacity to ask for a "caramel macchiato". Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. It is true that starbucks has macchiatos but if you order a doppio macchiato you will get a doppio with milk foam. Macchiato is the word for stained there for a "caramel macchiato" is a carmel stained drink. The milk is not flavored with caramel is is flavored with vanilla the espresso is then "floated" on the vanilla milk and lightly heavier layer of milk foam. Then the milk foam is stained with caramel. There is a difference.


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