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How to Make a Macchiato (2 Delicious Recipes)

French macchiato noisette

A classic Italian macchiato is a shot of espresso topped with a dollop of steamed milk. But if you order a caramel macchiato at Starbucks, you get a very different drink. So what exactly is a macchiato, and how do you make it at home?

We’re here to clear up your confusion and show you how to make the perfect caffeinated drink. Whether you prefer a classic macchiato or the Starbucks version, we’ll show you how to make a macchiato you’re sure to love!

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How to Make a Macchiato (Classic Italian Recipe)

Espresso macchiato
Image: Takeaway, Wikimedia, CC 3.0 (cropped)

Macchiato means “stained” in Italian, and you’ll see why when you make this tasty drink. The steamed milk makes a white mark in the espresso, essentially “staining” it. A classic macchiato offers the bold, bitter flavor of espresso cut slightly with velvety smooth milk.

Ingredients
Equipment

1. Grind your coffee beans.

For the best flavor, grind your beans just before brewing. Make sure you grind to the right texture for your brewing method.

RELATED READ: The Ultimate Coffee Grind Size Chart (How Fine Should You Grind?)


2. Pull a shot of espresso.

Espresso shot Wacaco Minipresso

Using an espresso machine or Moka pot, pull a shot of espresso. For this guide, we’re using a Wacaco Minipresso portable espresso maker, but you can use any equipment you have on hand. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can substitute strong coffee.


3. Steam your milk.

Now it’s time to steam a small amount of milk! Place your milk into a cup and insert the frothing wand of your espresso machine. Froth until your milk doubles in size. If you don’t have a milk steamer, you can heat milk in the microwave or a pot on the stove. Then pour it into a Mason jar and shake it, or whisk it until it’s fully frothed.

SEE ALSO: How to Steam Milk at Home: 3 Quick Methods


4. Pour the steamed milk into the espresso.

macchiato latte art

To make your macchiato, pour the steamed milk into the espresso. If you want to get fancy, try making latte art!

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How to Make a Caramel Macchiato (Similar to the Starbucks Recipe)

how to make a caramel macchiato

Starbucks first introduced the Caramel Macchiato in 1996, and they’ve been a popular offering ever since. A Starbucks Macchiato is essentially a latte with vanilla syrup and caramel sauce. Here are the steps to making them at home:

Ingredients
Equipment

1. Grind your coffee beans.

Skerton Pro coffee grind quality

Measure your coffee beans and grind them finely.


2. Pull two shots of espresso.

Using your espresso machine or Moka pot, pull two shots of espresso. If you want to cut back on the caffeine, you can pull a single shot, but the classic Starbucks recipe uses two shots.


3. Steam the milk.

Ninja Coffee Bar milk frother

Steam the milk using your steam wand, milk frother, or the whisk method.


4. Set up your glass.

Pour the vanilla syrup into the bottom of a glass. For the prettiest drink, use a tall, transparent glass. Drizzle caramel sauce along the sides of the glass.


5. Add the milk, espresso, and garnishes.

caramel sauce for macchiato

Pour in the steamed milk. Then add the espresso on top. For extra decadence, garnish with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Enjoy your treat!


Espresso macchiato

Classic Macchiato

Macchiato means “stained” in Italian, and you’ll see why when you make this tasty drink. The steamed milk makes a white mark in the espresso, essentially “staining” it. A classic macchiato offers the bold, bitter flavor of espresso cut slightly with velvety smooth milk.
5 star average
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 macchiato(s)
Calories 20 kcal

Equipment

  • Coffee grinder
  • Espresso machine
  • Milk steamer
  • Espresso cup

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Grind your coffee beans. For the best flavor, grind your beans just before brewing. Make sure you grind to the right texture for your brewing method.
  • Using an espresso machine or Moka pot, pull a shot of espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can substitute strong coffee.
  • Now it’s time to steam a small amount of milk! Place your milk into a cup and insert the frothing wand of your espresso machine. Froth until your milk doubles in size. If you don’t have a milk steamer, you can heat milk in the microwave or a pot on the stove. Then pour it into a Mason jar and shake it, or whisk it until it’s fully frothed.
  • To make your macchiato, pour the steamed milk into the espresso. If you want to get fancy, try making latte art!

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal
Keyword macchiato

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Conclusion

Now you know how to make a macchiato — whether you prefer the classic, espresso-forward Italian version or the sweet, rich Starbucks version. These drinks are as easy to make as they are delicious, so whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy!

Looking for more delicious coffee recipes?

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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