Home Articles Macchiato vs. Latte- The Main Differences

Macchiato vs. Latte- The Main Differences

Macchiato vs. latte… what’s the difference?

To be considered a certified Coffee Aficionado you must know this essential information. These two popular espresso-based drinks might look similar, but they’re not the same.

Latte Coffee in Mug

Knowing what sets them apart can help you make smarter coffee choices. It’ll also score you major points among caffeine connoisseurs.

From creation to taste, macchiatos and lattes each have their own unique quirks. 

So, join me if you want to impress your fellow junkies. We’ll dive into what makes macchiatos and lattes so spectacular!

Macchiato vs. Latte (Similarities and Differences) 

Similarities

We’ve established that these two drinks are different. However, they have a few things in common.

Both beverages are made with a shot of espresso as their base ingredient. Also, they are served in a glass or ceramic cup. 

In addition, both drinks are often enjoyed as a morning or midday pick-me-up. 

Wanna know the best part? Each drink can be customized with various flavors, such as vanilla or caramel. 

Differences

There are several differences between a latte and a macchiato. These include their ingredient ratios, preparation methods, and overall flavor profiles.

But the main difference is the ingredient ratio. 

A latte contains one or two shots of espresso mixed with steamed milk. A lot of steamed milk. You’ll notice that latte glasses are larger than macchiato glasses. 

Another thin layer of milk foam is added to the top of the latte. That’s my favorite part! 

In contrast, a macchiato is made with a single shot of espresso. And it only has milk foam on top. Macchiatos were created in order to celebrate espresso.

The difference in the amount of milk affects the taste and consistency of each drink.

A latte is smoother and creamier, while a macchiato has a much bolder espresso flavor.

Shot of Macchiato Coffee Drizzled With Caramel Syrup

What Is a Macchiato? 

A macchiato is an espresso-based coffee beverage originating in Italy. 

The word “macchiato” means “stained” or “spotted” in Italian. The name refers to the small quantity of milk added to the espresso shot. 

A macchiato is made with a single shot of espresso with a dollop of foam on top. 

Some variations may also include a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top. Or possibly, a drizzle of flavored syrup.

But true macchiatos are made with only coffee and milk foam. 

Anything else is not authentic. 

A macchiato has a strong espresso flavor with a subtle cream finish.

Macchiatos are a fabulous choice for those who enjoy the taste of espresso. But can’t quite handle an espresso alone. 

Foamy Latte on a White Mug

What Is a Latte? 

A latte is an espresso-based drink made with one or two shots of espresso. It’s made with steamed milk and has a layer of foam on top.

The ratio of espresso to milk is typically 1:2 or 1:3, depending on the size of the drink.

Fun fact: The word “latte” comes from the Italian caffè latte, which means “milk coffee.” 

In Italy, a latte refers to a glass of milk. So, don’t order a latte in Italy. You will likely be served a glass of milk rather than a coffee beverage. 

A latte has a creamy texture with a rich espresso flavor. Steamed milk adds a slightly sweet taste that is divine. 

The foam layer on top provides a slight textural contrast. Again, it’s my favorite part! You can sprinkle your latte with cocoa powder or cinnamon for added flavor.

There are several varieties of lattes, including flavored lattes such as vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut. 

Latte Macchiato on a Small Mug With Fresh Coffee Beans

What Is a Latte Macchiato? 

A latte macchiato is basically a latte. However, the espresso and milk swapped around. 

Instead of adding milk to the espresso, you add the milk to the glass first. Then pour just a little bit of espresso on top. 

As the espresso is poured, it creates distinct layers, resulting in a lovely presentation. Generally, a latte macchiato is served in a clear glass.

So, you can enjoy the full effect! 

Because the milk is poured first, a latte macchiato is creamier than a macchiato. It’s a latte with the added bonus of appealing layers created by the slow pour. 

Macchiato vs. Latte (Which One Should I Order?) 

It all boils down to preference and what you’re in the mood for. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Strength: If you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, the traditional macchiato may be more your style.
    • The espresso takes center stage in this drink. And the small amount of milk foam adds balance.
  • Creaminess: If you’re looking for a creamier beverage, the latte may be more up your alley.
    • The steamed milk in a latte creates a velvety consistency. And the coffee flavor is milder (but still delicious).
  • Size: If you’re looking for a smaller, more concentrated drink, go for the macchiato. It packs a lot of punch!
    • But if you’re looking for something larger, the latte is a great option. Lattes are also more filling.
    • They are also much sweeter in the average coffee shop. 

So, which one is better? Macchiato or latte? Give both a try and see which one you prefer! 

Macchiato vs. Latte

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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