Macchiato

Caffè macchiato, sometimes Espresso macchiato), an Italian beverage, is espresso with a tiny dollop of steamed milk on top.

Macchiato” simply means “marked” or “stained,” and in the case of caffè macchiato, this means literally “espresso stained/marked with milk.” Traditionally it is made with one shot of espresso, and significantly less milk or milk foam. However, some newer cafes tend to add steamed milk to the espresso in a 1:1 ratio, as well as mixing the milk into the espresso, making it more like a miniature caffè latte.

Another variant of the drink, latte macchiato, conversely means “milk stained/marked (with espresso)”, which involves a higher steamed milk-to-espresso ratio. However, in certain preparations (which differ from place to place), latte macchiato has not much difference in milk-to-espresso ratio when compared to the caffè latte; caffè lattes are normally one-third espresso to two-thirds steamed milk.

The “Caramel Macchiato” served by Starbucks is actually a latte macchiato. The steamed milk is blended with vanilla syrup, “marked” by espresso, topped with foam, and dressed with a proprietary caramel sauce.

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