This espresso macchiato is easy and simple to make with just two ingredients: espresso and milk foam. A traditional, Italian espresso macchiato (also called a caffe macchiato) is made with a shot of strong, high quality espresso, topped with frothy milk foam.
This classic espresso macchiato is very similar to this doppio macchiato which has more espresso and also a bit of steamed milk as well as milk foam.
Why this is the best caffe macchiato
- It’s simple & quick. With only two ingredients, this classic drink is easy to make.
- It’s strong. If you don’t like coffee drinks that are loaded with milk, cream and sugar, this is the perfect drink for you. Strong espresso with a little scoop of milk foam.
- It’s cheaper than going to a cafe. As long as you can make high quality espresso at home, this drink is definitely less expensive to make at home.
- Espresso: Since this drink is mostly pure espresso, use high quality espresso, not instant espresso powder.
- Milk: Whole milk works best for frothing, but 2% will work as well.
Heat the milk on a saucepan over medium to high heat. Don’t let the milk boil. Once there is a lot of steam coming off of the milk (after a couple of minutes), remove the milk from the stove.
Use a handheld frother to froth the milk.
Scoop off the top layer of milk foam and put it on the shot of espresso.
Macchiato means “stained” or “marked”, like how the dot of milk foam stains the top of the espresso.
You can if you prefer, but generally macchiatos are not stirred.
Starbucks macchiatos are more like lattes. They add a lot of sugar, flavoring and milk with a little bit of coffee or espresso. A real macchiato is almost all espresso with a bit of milk. The closest drink Starbucks has to a classic espresso macchiato is this doppio espresso.
A macchiato is made with espresso and a little bit of milk foam.
- Don’t let the milk boil. Watch the milk very carefully to prevent it from boiling or scalding.
- Make multiple macchiatos at once. It is difficult to heat smaller quantities of milk on the stove without it scalding, so there will be leftover milk. Make a couple macchiatos at once to use up the extra milk.
- Only take the top milk foam. After frothing, the milk will separate into two layers, with steamed milk underneath and milk foam on top. For a traditional espresso macchiato, only take this top layer of milk foam. This should sit on top of the espresso and not mix into it.