Have you been asking yourself “What is a macchiato?” The answer is that this is an espresso coffee with a bit of milk, often milk foam added to it. Since this coffee begins with an espresso, in Italy, it’s typically served in a demitasse cup (half the size of a full cup) and topped with a little foamed milk.
The word Macchiato (pronounced Mah-key-AH-toe) in Italian means spotted or marked. The coffee known as Macchiato is called a Café Macchiato in Italy. Along with espressos and cappuccinos, the Café Macchiato is one of the staples of the Italian coffee culture.
Love strong coffee, Macchiato maybe for you
It’s a strong coffee, but the small amount of milk sweetens and changes the flavour to remove some of the bitterness of an espresso.
If you find cappuccinos too milky or weak and espressos too bitter or strong, you might find that you like a Macchiato. If this doesn’t work for you, then you should try a Piccolo or an espresso with some hot milk on the side.
The Spanish coffee equivalent of a Macchiato is known as a Cortado. It isn’t quite the same because it has more hot milk than a Macchiato does.
If you are in Italy, asking for a “Café Macchiato” will get you the right drink. This is because there’s also the Latte Macchiato in Italy which is a lot of milk foamed with a bit of espresso in it.
In any other bit of the world, especially coffee chains, ask for an “espresso macchiato” if you don’t see it listed on the board.
If you want to know more about other coffees, read our guide on types of coffee. If you are looking for black coffees, read about an Americano here.