Confused about the differences between Latte Machiatos, Macchiatos, Cafe Macchiatos, Cpaauccinos and Cafe Lattes?
Although they are all very similar, we are going to explore the subtle nuances that separate them into distinct espresso based beverages and share their distinct recipes and an iced variation.
Latte macchiato is the means of preparing a coffee drink that is mostly milk with a hint of espresso and it directly translates as stained milk as it is made by “staining” the milk with espresso.
It is distinctly different from a cafe latte because in a latte macchiato, espresso is added to milk and in a caffe latte, milk is added to espresso. Latte macchiato also has much more foam and only has around a half or even less of the espresso proportion.
Also, latte macchiato is a layered drink which means you can see and observe the divisions of the ingredients rather than the usual homogenous mixture of a latte.
Cafe macchiato or simply macchiato is the same concept as the latte macchiato. However, cafe macchiato includes other ingredients such as cocoa.
It may be misinterpreted as a cappuccino but even if they have similar ingredients, the macchiatos have a stronger and more aromatic taste.
Latte macchiato is favored by those who do not want the usual strength of espresso and by coffee chains who specialize in the over roasting poor quality beans as a way to hide ill flavors.
Because it is composed mostly of milk, the usual acidity, strength and bitterness of (of ill prepared) coffee drinks are dissipated and is being neutralized by the sweetness and gentleness of milk.
You may want to consider making homemade espresso and latte macchiatos because it’s not only cheaper but they are real easy to make and usually a whole lot better then the ones found at the popular coffee chains.
The preparation time for this coffee beverage recipe is just 7-8 minutess. The ingredients include one to two shots of espresso and a dollop of foamed milk that has the texture of a melted ice cream.
The frothed milk is easy to make on good home espresso machines or one can buy a separate milk frother.
First, take a macchiato cup or any small cup around four fluid ounces.
Next, pour in the steamed and frothed milk into the cup. Then, prepare the espresso shots and add them to the steamed milk.
Finally serve the concoction immediately and enjoy.
Ice Cafe Macchiato
The ingredients needed for a homemade iced macchiato include one cup of ice (or around five large ice cubes), one cup of milk, two tablespoons of real vanilla extract, one half cup of espresso and two table spoons of caramel sauce.
You will also need one cup of sugar, one fourth cup of water and one teaspoon of vanilla for the flavoring.
First, add the cup of ice cubes into a tall glass container. Next, add the cup of milk to the top of the ice. Then add one fourth of a teaspoon of vanilla extract plus two to three small packs of sugar or other sweeteners.
Mix them with milk and ice. After which, add the espresso by using a large spoon to slow down the espresso pour by holding it upside down over the milk and then pouring the espresso slowly and gently over the spoon so as not to mix the espresso with the milk
Lastly, add the caramel sauce around the edges.
Click here to find out more about Cafe Lattes.
Do you have more Macchiato recipes? What is your favorite variation?
About Mike Quinn
Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.
10 thoughts on “Latte Machiato, Macchiato, Cafe Macchiato, Cappuccinos, and Cafe Latte – Are these the same?”
Thanks for removing me from the brambles and bushes of confusion when it comes to those terminologies 🙂 . Still, to be on the safe side, I’d rather bookmark this page for future reference and to obviously sound ‘cool’ and ‘wise’ before my pals when out at our favorite cafe 😉
To be honest, I knew little more than the difference between a latte and a cappuccino so thanks for this interesting explanation. I’m the type of person who asks for an extra shot in their latte so I think that the macchiato is maybe not for me!
Thank you for clarifying the differences! There are so many and they all look the same on a menu. Great job!
Love this guide! It’s super helpful! I wish there was a guide of the most common coffee drinks, only with recipes for sugar free or lowfat varieties. I know the ingredients are integral for a good drink, but it’d be nice to see if it was possible to pull it off with almond milk or some alternatives.
I am a big coffee freak. I love all sorts of variations but never took the time to really educate myself on the differences between them. This article is really well written and gives all the information short and sweet. Thanks Mike
Wow! It’s impressive how when you first read the names of these types of coffee you can easily think that they are basically the same, but it’s really impressive how big this difference is. And frankly, as a fan of coffee, they all look extremely good, but sadly, I don’t really have the abilities for doing that and I will probably mess this up… but an ice cafe macciato will be my first choice the next time that I visit a coffee shop, lol.
Thanks for sharing!
While a latte macchiato might be frothed milk “stained” with a bit of espresso, an espresso macchiato is espresso “stained” with a bit of frothed milk, perhaps only foam. There is much less milk than in a cappuccino. In addition to taking a bit of the edge off the coffee, the foam serves the practical purpose of acting like an insulating blanket to help keep the espresso warm.
Better keep researching if you want the classic italian versions of these drinks. Start with Wikipedia. Starbucks gets it right if you know how to order it. A hot espresso macchiato, for instance, is simply espresso with a bit of foamed milk on top – not layered with milk on the bottom. Layered macchiato, caramel macchiato, and iced macchiato appear to be American inventions for people who like coffee-flavored milk shakes.
So- I’m in the airport and just had a VERY popular coffee chain barista tell me multiple times that my latte macchiato is “exactly the same as a regular latte” and “basically the only difference is the flavors added”. One, it’s too early for that crap and two she’s WRONG. I wish I could read your information to her but it would fall on deaf ears ???? Thank you for validating me! ????
Thanks for reading Sonia!