What is Macchiato Coffee? A macchiato contains two shots of espresso and 1 ounce of steamed milk or a dollop of milk foam. Each form of macchiato is correct in its creation and both serve the same flavor purpose. Traditionally, the macchiato was a sipping drink that earned its name from labels in Portuguese applied by baristas who needed to differentiate from the espresso coffee. Adding a dollop of milk brings depth to the espresso and lightens the flavor of the drink, thus making the macchiato a more enjoyable beverage.

The macchiato¬† is a cornerstone of Italian coffee culture, along with the espresso and cappuccino, among other coffee drinks. It’s basically an espresso (served in a demitasse cup) with a small amount of foamed milk on top — the name macchiato means “marked.” So really, you could look at it as a cross between an espresso and a cappuccino. Since Italians only drink cappuccino in the morning, a macchiato gives the afternoon drinker the option of having a little milk in their espresso for some extra flavor. It’s also a good option for those who can’t tolerate a strong espresso but find a cappuccino too weak and milky.

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