Caffè macchiato

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Caffè macchiato
A typical espresso with milk and foam (Italy)
Country of origin Italy
ColorShades of brown, white
IngredientsEspresso, milk

Caffè macchiato (Italian pronunciation: [kafˈfɛ makˈkjaːto] ), sometimes called espresso macchiato,[1][2] is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means "stained" or "spotted", so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is "stained coffee" or "marked coffee".


The origin of the name "macchiato" stems from baristas needing to show the serving waiters the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a tiny bit of milk in it; the latter was "marked". The idea is reflected in the Portuguese name for the drink: café pingado, meaning "coffee with a drop".[3]


The caffè macchiato has the highest ratio of espresso to milk of any drink made with those ingredients. The intent is that the milk moderates, rather than overwhelms, the taste of the coffee while adding a touch of sweetness. The drink is typically prepared by pouring a small amount of steamed milk directly into a single shot of espresso.[4] One recipe calls for 5–10 g (1–2 teaspoons) of milk heated to 60–66 °C (140–150 °F).[5]

Regional variants[edit]

In Australia the drink is referred to as a macchiato and has some variants.[6] A traditional long macchiato is usually a double shot of espresso with a dash of textured milk and most of the glass left empty. In Perth, a 'long mac topped up' is usually ordered, which is a double shot of espresso with the glass filled with textured milk. In Melbourne, it is a double-shot of espresso, a glass half-filled with water, and a dash of textured milk on top.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Milk Frothing Guide", CoffeeGeek, 13 June 2012". Archived from the original on 18 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Espresso Macchiato", Starbucks Coffee Company, 13 June 2012
  3. ^ "How to order coffee in Portugal".
  4. ^ Davids, Kenneth (1997). Espresso: The Ultimate Coffee. Cole Group. ISBN 1564265579.
  5. ^ Moldvaer, Anette (2014). Coffee Obsession. Dorling Kindersley Limited. pp. 150–151.
  6. ^ "How to order a coffee in Australia". ABC Education. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  7. ^ "Solving the Macchiato Mystery". Vittoria Coffee. Retrieved 5 July 2023.


  • Davids, Kenneth (2001). Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying (5e ed.). New York, NY, USA: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-24665-X.