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Macchiato vs Espresso – How Are They Different?

Macchiato vs Espresso – How Are They Different?

A cup of coffee is an ideal way to kick-start your day, even researchers can attest to its benefits. What makes it even better is with coffee beans, you can brew your cup just how you like it.

Today, we focus on espresso and macchiato. Are they really different? Let’s take a look.

Here are some notable differences between an espresso and a macchiato:

Caffeine Content

Both drinks are made using espresso, which means the caffeine levels in both drinks are the same. A single shot of espresso has approximately 212 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content in your drink depends on the shots of espresso used. In addition, adding milk or another ingredient doesn’t reduce caffeine levels.


A macchiato is a delicious warm drink. However, the taste may vary depending on how the ingredients follow each other. The type of coffee beans and how finely they are grounded also determine the general taste.

If you want to drink something bold, intense, and strong, espresso is a great choice. Espressos are highly concentrated and finely grounded dark roast coffee beans. An espresso has no additional ingredients, just water and coffee beans.

What’s an Espresso?

What’s an Espresso

The origin of espresso can be traced back to Italy. However, now the drink is enjoyed worldwide. An espresso is a concentrated form of coffee with a strong bitter taste. The drink is served in small cups and is a good base for different coffees.

The level of caffeine, thickness, and bitter taste of espresso depend on several factors.

These factors include:

Espresso is made with an espresso machine. The beans are ground a fine product before packing them into the machine. Hot water then passes through. The result is an espresso rich in acidic, toasty, bitter, and lightly sweet taste.

Espresso is the ultimate base for several drinks, such as:

  • Americano, where water is added to the espresso to make it sweeter.
  • Ristretto, where less water is used to increase the concentration of the espresso.
  • Cappuccino, which contains steamed or foamed milk to make it sweeter and creamier.

What is a Macchiato?

What is Macchiato

Macchiato is Italian, meaning “stained” or “marked.” A macchiato is excellent for those who find the taste of espresso a little bit harsh. To make a macchiato, you begin by making an espresso, then adding small amounts of foamed or steamed milk, depending on your preference, and there you have your drink.

There are two types of macchiato coffee:

  • Espresso Macchiato: An espresso macchiato is a basic espresso with a few pours of hot, foam, or cold milk. Most people who drink the espresso macchiato appreciate the espresso but prefer it with additional sweetness and creaminess.
  • Latte Macchiato: A latte macchiato comes in large glasses, containing a shot of espresso, a layer of steamed milk, and foamed milk at the top. The espresso is poured on top of the milk, leaving a distinct taste you will notice on the first sip.



How to Make a Macchiato

First, you need the following ingredients:

  • Espresso
  • Foamed milk
  • Milk jug
  • Coffee machine with steam arm or wand
  • Thermometer

Here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Depending on your preference, brew a single or double shot of espresso, and pour it into a cup or glass.
  • Foam the milk with the milk jug.
  • Release the large air bubbles by gently swirling the milk jug or tapping it on the counter.
  • Pour the foam onto the espresso to the levels you prefer.
  • Now you can enjoy your sweet cup of coffee.

How to Make an Espresso

You need to have the following items:

  • A quality espresso machine
  • Finely ground coffee beans
  • Filtered water
  • An espresso cup
  • A tamp
  • A portafilter

Here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Preheat your machine and run some water without adding any beans yet.
  • Add the finely ground coffee into your portafilter. The amount of coffee used depends on the size of your portafilter.
  • Tamp espresso like a pro by leveling the coffee and adding pressure by compression. A good tamp evenly compacts the beans and creates resistance.
  • Place the espresso cup underneath and press the brew button.

Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Espresso is made by pressurized hot water through the finely ground coffee beans, resulting in concentrated coffee. If you don’t mind the bitter taste, then you can enjoy the coffee as it is. However, if the espresso is a little too much for you, add small amounts of milk, which can be hot, cold, steamed, or foamed, and now you have a macchiato.

The type of milk you add when making a macchiato impacts the taste. Foamed milk reduces the bitterness but retains the original flavor, while whole milk gives it a creamier taste. In addition, you can start off with a macchiato and work your way up to drinking an espresso.

Whether you prefer an espresso or a macchiato, you can be sure you’re drinking a favorite for many.