Caffè macchiato

Caffè macchiato
Caffè macchiato (Italy)
Type Hot
Country of origin Italy
Color shades of brown, white
Ingredients espresso, milk

Caffè macchiato (Italian pronunciation: [kafˈfɛ makˈkjaːto] ( listen)), 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 coffee with a spot of milk.


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]


See also: latte macchiato and caffè latte.

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]

Other names

In some countries such as Mexico the macchiato is called a cortado. This can lead to confusion since in most countries, a cortado is a different beverage and has much more milk than a macchiato.

See also


  1. "Milk Frothing Guide", CoffeeGeek, 13 June 2012
  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.


  • 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. 
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