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Here’s How to Make a Macchiato: Top Recipes, Types + More

It feels like with each passing day, the coffee industry introduces a new trend for coffee lovers to enjoy. Needless to say, there’s no replacement for the classic legendary recipes such as the macchiato. Its composition, different recipes and the tons of variations you can play with truly make it a timeless drink. And you’re probably wondering: how to make a macchiato at home?

Here’s how to make a cup of traditional Caffe Macchiato at the convenience of your home:


  • Around 2 tablespoons (18 g) of ground coffee or 1 espresso pod (depending on your coffee maker)
  • 1.6-3.3 oz (50-100 ml) of milk
  • Espresso maker with a steam wand


  1. Make 1 espresso shot using your coffee machine (30 ml/1 oz)
  2. Transfer the milk to a metal container (e.g. a frothing pitcher)
  3. Place the container under the steam wand and hold it at a 45° angle
  4. Insert the steam wand into the milk, turn on the steam and keep the wand right below the surface of the milk to create foam
    Note: The ideal temperature for steamed milk is between 140-160°F
  5. Continue steaming until the milk has expanded in volume and when the metal container becomes hot
  6. Once done, immediately add a dash of frothed milk (milk foam) onto the espresso
  7. Serve immediately

A traditional macchiato generally has a simple, two-ingredient recipe: a shot of espresso topped with a splash of milk foam.

That’s it – incredibly simple, yet some baristas still get it wrong or overcomplicate the original recipe.

But just like the biggest coffee connoisseurs have admitted, even the simplest coffee can be hard to perfect.

In this case, it’s the macchiato and below you’ll find more facts and the different popular recipes of this espresso-based drink!

Top 4 Most Popular Macchiato Recipes

Starting with the regular Macchiato, here’s a top 4 list of some fun macchiato recipes that you can try at home!

How to Make a Macchiato, a cup of traditional macchiato
By Takeaway – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

1. Traditional Macchiato

Prep time: 2 to 3 minutes
Level: Easy
Serving Size: 1 small demitasse cup 1.6 to 2.7 oz (50-80 ml) capacity


  • Roughly 2 tablespoons (18 g) or one espresso pod (depending on your coffee maker)
  • 1.6-3.3 oz (50-100 ml) of milk
  • Espresso coffee maker with a steam wand


  1. Brew 1 espresso shot
  2. Start steaming the milk while keeping the steam wand right below the milk surface to make foam
  3. Add a dollop of milk foam on top

Pro tip: Espresso, when brewed, has a span of 10 seconds before it expires.

This is because the crema (the frothy top part) quickly mixes with the body (middle layer) and the heart (the dark brown base).

Try to froth the milk in time so that when you extract the espresso shot, you can instantly add the foam to your espresso cup.

 Starbucks Coffee by Nescafe Dolce Gusto,...

2. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

Starbucks has been pioneering innovative coffee ideas in the beverages industry for a long time now.

And they created this drink back in 1994 to give you a flavor-packed cup of sweet and bitter notes.

Prep time: 5-7 minutes
Level: Medium
Serving size: 1 regular cup


  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 7 oz 2% milk
  • Starbucks vanilla syrup
  • Caramel sauce


1. Brew a shot of espresso.

You can use the various ground coffee or coffee capsules that Starbucks offers.

Alternatively, you can even pick your personal favorite espresso brand.

And if you don’t have access to an espresso maker, try brewing in a Moka Pot to get that espresso-like extract.

2. Froth the milk.

Either use a steam wand or a manual wire blender/whisker to make froth.

Just be patient and wait for the froth to expand in volume until you get your desired consistency.

3. Start layering.

First, layer the bottom of your mug with the vanilla syrup.

Fill nearly three-quarters of the cup with milk and the other quarter with milk foam.

4. Pour your espresso.

Take the espresso shot and steadily pour it through the milk and foam layers.

Optional: Add ice cubes

If you want iced caramel macchiato, add a few cubes of ice after the vanilla syrup and then repeat the previous steps mentioned above.

5. Top with some drizzles of caramel sauce.

And serve immediately!

How to Make a Macchiato, Nespresso Granola Macchiato drink
Granola Macchiato beverage. Digital Image. Nespresso.

3. Granola Macchiato by Nespresso

Here’s another super easy and delicious recipe to give you a healthy breakfast alternative with the sweetness of granola and the alertness of caffeine.

And this is how to make a macchiato with a Nespresso machine at home!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy
Serving size: One regular-sized glass


  • 1 capsule of Ristretto
  • 1.1 oz (35 ml) milk
  • 1.4 oz (40 g) of small-sized granola chunks
  • Nespresso original line coffee machine with a steam wand


  1. Prepare one shot of Ristretto in the Nespresso machine and chill it with ice
  2. Chill the freshly-brewed Ristretto shot with some ice
  3. Prepare some cold milk froth using the steam wand
  4. Layer two-thirds of your glass with granola chunks
  5. Pour the cold milk froth over the granola
  6. Follow that with the now-chilled Ristretto shot
  7. Finish with more milk froth and the remaining granola chunks

 Victor Allen's Coffee Caramel Macchiato...

4. Chai Caramel Macchiato

This one combines the boldness of espresso with the specific chai spice and sugary sweetness to give your taste buds an unforgettable ride.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Level: Medium
Serving size: One regular portion (around 8-10 oz) yields two cups


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾th of a cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • half teaspoon cinnamon
  • half teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of allspice
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or bean paste)
  • 2-4 shots of espresso
  • 2-4 shots tablespoons of caramel sauce
  • 2 cups of warm frothed milk


  1. In a pot, melt the butter on medium heat and add sugar, whisk until it dissolves
  2. Add heavy cream, spices, salt and bring it to a slow boil
  3. Simmer on low heat until you get your desires thickness
  4. After removing caramel from heat, add vanilla extract and whisk the mixture once more
  5. Store this in an airtight container
  6. Pour one or two shots of bold espresso at the bottom of your cup, and add the caramel sauce as per your taste
  7. Top with frothy milk and a dollop of whipped cream garnished with caramel sauce drizzles and sprinkle some chai spice

The 2 Main Types of Macchiato

Professional baristas classify this espresso-based drink into two broad categories:

  • Espresso macchiato
  • Latte macchiato

And this is how to distinguish between the 2:

How to Make a Macchiato, a cup of traditional espresso macchiato

1. Espresso Macchiato

The espresso macchiato is the traditional and original version of this espresso-based drink.

The traditional macchiato drink contains only two ingredients – espresso and milk foam.

The macchiato has become a staple for those who have a sweet tooth and can’t tolerate it when the raw espresso hits their taste buds.

An espresso macchiato is served in small demitasse cups and it contains single or double espresso topped with a dash of milk or milk foam. 

What makes the macchiato so unique is that it offers a less acidic and bitter cup than pure espresso, while still providing a strong caffeine kick.

Nonetheless, espresso macchiato is quite similar to cortado coffee, yet still different since the cortado relies on equal parts espresso and milk.

How to Make a Macchiato, a glass of typical latte macchiato
The brown spot on top is the easiest way to identify a latte macchiato.

2. Latte Macchiato

This variation takes a modern twist on the original recipe as it reverses the order at which the ingredients are added.

In latte macchiato, the first thing that’s poured into the cup is the steamed milk that’s then followed by an espresso shot that’s poured into the center of the milk.

This is the reason why this type of macchiato is typically served in a tall glass and it looks identical to caffe latte, albeit the order of the ingredients differs.

The best way to identify latte macchiato is to look for a brown spot on top of the drink – this marks where the espresso was poured and confirms that this is a latte macchiato indeed.

Sometimes your latte macchiato can even be topped with some neat latte art, depending on the barista and the coffee shop.

But regardless of the coffee place that you’re ordering from, always specify how many shots of espresso you want for your latte macchiato!

The reason for this is the lack of standardization between coffee houses regarding how many espresso shots are used in caffe latte and latte macchiato.

Besides, if you stumble upon a beginner barista he or she might have a hard time differentiating between the two!

Sometimes an espresso macchiato is topped with latte art, making it latte Macchiato.

How to make a Macchiato, the Venetian square in Rome, Italy

The Origin of Macchiato

The word macchiato translates into ‘stained’ in Italian, referring to the stain of milk on a shot of espresso.

Many coffee historians believe that this type of coffee first originated in Italy during the 1980s to create a defined coffee flavor by adding little milk to a shot of espresso.

However, in recent times the original Italian version has been a subject to various experiments by adventurous baristas from around the world.

And because brands are now openly experimenting with creating more flavorful versions of this coffee drink, we have several variations that are possibly even more popular than the original!

How to Make a Macchiato, a female barista steaming milk

The Composition of a Macchiato

The original macchiato has that signature flavor strength that Italians love and are famous for.

A macchiato usually contains 2 teaspoons of steamed milk for every 1 ounce of espresso.

In contrast, other coffee drinks normally contain a larger quantity of milk, frothy milk and water that typically rely on more even ratios.

But from all the variety of different coffee beverages, the macchiato has a much stronger aroma and an intense taste.

The serving per cup of a macchiato is also much smaller than most of the other widespread coffee drinks.


Because it contains only 2 ingredients and because the coffee is just too strong for a larger serving size. 


The macchiato is a legendary espresso-based drink that’s still available at cafés around the planet.

However, it also has an unimaginable number of variations that alter the original recipe’s strength and flavor.

Or in other words, you can freely experiment with the original macchiato recipe as much as you want.

While the actual macchiato is known for its higher nutritional value, many coffee enthusiasts also love the sweetness and spices that are added for the sake of satisfaction!

Now, have you ever tried a cup of standard i.e. traditional macchiato?

And which do you prefer – the original or one of the many variations?

Let us know by leaving your answer below!

Last update on 2023-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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