How to make a Macchiato: Classic Recipes & Variations

What is a Macchiato

In Italian, Macchiato means  “stained” or “spotted”, and refers to the traditional preparation of this coffee beverage. A macchiato is typically made from a shot of espresso and topped with a dollop of frothy steamed milk, creating a rich, creamy texture that contrasts deliciously with the bold flavor of the espresso.

Fun fact

Some people say the Macchiato was invented as a way of drinking espresso deep into the afternoon.

Well, that’s understandable.

The Macchiato History

While the exact origins of this delicious recipe are a bit uncertain, some sources believe that the first macchiato was invented in Italy in the early 18th century. Over time, it has become a popular coffee drink all over the world and continues to be a favorite among coffee connoisseurs everywhere.

Over time, coffee shops and baristas diversified the macchiato recipe.  Today, you can find variations like caramel macchiatos and white chocolate macchiatos, which are just as delicious as the original recipe.

A latte Macchiato

This is a delicious variation of this classic recipe, often served at gourmet coffee shops and high-end restaurants. To make a latte Macchiato, simply add some steamed milk to your shot of espresso and top it off with flavorful caramel sauce for an extra hint of sweetness.

Milk for the macchiato

Preparing froth milk for a macchiato is the most complex but necessary technique. The frothed milk for a macchiato should always be steamed in order to achieve the creamy texture and sweetness to balance out the espresso’s rich flavor. Many coffee connoisseurs recommend using whole milk for the best results, though others suggest using a mix of almond milk and coconut milk for an even more sophisticated taste.

You can always use an espresso machine to froth the milk.  Simply follow the machine’s directions for steaming milk, and use a spoon or whisk to create the desired frothy texture.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, there are other ways to prepare frothed milk at home. One popular method is to heat up your milk in a pot or microwave until it gets hot, but not boiling. Then, place your milk in a glass jar or bowl and use an immersion blender to create the desired frothiness.

To make the perfect macchiato, you’ll need some quality espresso beans, frothed milk, and a little bit of skill when it comes to pouring and mixing the ingredients together.

Caramel Macchiatos

Caramel macchiatos are a delicious variation of the classic recipe and have become very popular in recent years. This recipe combines the bold espresso flavor with sweet caramel sauce for a decadent treat that’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or after-dinner dessert.

How are caramel macchiatos made?

To make a caramel macchiato, you’ll need to start by brewing your espresso shot and frothing your milk.

Then, simply pour the espresso into a mug or glass, top it off with the frothed milk, and drizzle some caramel sauce on top for an extra hint of sweetness.

Why do people enjoy Caramel Macchiatos?

There are many reasons why people enjoy caramel macchiatos. Some people love the rich espresso flavor, while others crave the sweet and creamy taste of the caramel sauce. Many coffee lovers also enjoy experimenting with variations like white chocolate or hazelnut-flavored macchiatos for a fun twist on this classic recipe.

Plus, the caramel macchiatos offer an escape for people with dietary needs.  Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or lactose intolerant, there are many ways to modify the recipe so that you can enjoy this delicious drink without compromising your health.

This coffee drink provides a framework to test your taste buds with an unbeatable coffee drink. Go ahead and find the best recipe to suit your preferences.

Starbucks Macchiato

The Starbucks macchiato is a classic recipe that continues to be popular among coffee aficionados. The recipe combines the rich and bold espresso flavor with steamed milk, creating the ideal balance of sweetness and richness.

How to make Starbucks macchiato

To make a Starbucks macchiato, you’ll need an espresso shot, some steamed milk, and a little bit of skill in the art of pouring and mixing. Brew your espresso shot using high-quality espresso beans. Then, steam your milk until it’s perfectly frothy.

Finally, simply pour the espresso into a cup or mug and add the steamed milk on top. You can top your macchiato with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce for an added hint of sweetness and richness.

Why does the Starbucks macchiato taste different?

For some, it’s because the recipe for macchiatos at Starbucks includes different types of milk or espresso, while others suggest that it has to do with the barista’s technique and skill level. A common consensus is that Starbucks mainly deals with latte macchiato topped with hazelnut-flavored a d caramel syrup on top.

It’s topped with different layers of coffee flavors, and steamed milk, espresso, and foam. It’s then completed by a sweet sprinkle drizzle on top.

Pro tip

If you prefer a macchiato in its original sense, discard the use of flavors.

How to make the best Macchiato at home

Macchiato is a delicious and versatile coffee beverage that is easy to prepare at home. To make a macchiato, you will need the following ingredients and tools:

Macchiato Recipe

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Italian
Keyword macchiato coffee, macchiato recipe
Calories 13kcal


  • 1 A handheld milk frother 
  • 1 French Press for making foam
  • 1 Whisk to whip milk. Works perfectly well.


  • 2 Shots Freshly brewed coffee or espresso
  • ¼ cup Milk or cream
  • A milk frother if desired
  • Caramel syrup if desired


  • Once you have gathered your ingredients, follow these simple steps to create the perfect macchiato:
    1) Brew a fresh batch of coffee or espresso according to your preferred recipe. If you are using espresso, it is best to use finely-ground beans that have been freshly ground from the store. Then use 2 shots of expresso (2 ounces).
    2) Pour the espresso into a cup or mug. You can use a small latte or cappuccino glass for an elegant touch, or simply use any regular coffee mug.
    3) Heat your milk using a steam wand, if you have one, or by heating it on the stovetop in a small saucepan.
    4) Froth the milk using a milk frother or vigorously whisking it with a spoon. If you would like to add caramel syrup, now is the time to do so.
    5) Pour the hot, frothed milk over the espresso in your cup, creating a layered effect and leaving a small "mark" of milk on top. Use ¼ cup of froth milk foam (2 ounces).
    6) Enjoy your macchiato immediately, while it is still warm and frothy! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder for extra flavor if desired.

Whether you are making a classic macchiato or experimenting with different flavor variations, this recipe is sure to become your go-to coffee drink for any occasion. Get brewing and start sipping your way to a delicious caffeine fix!

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