Some coffee connoisseurs are prone to a somewhat disdainful reaction when confronted by the wide range of flavoured coffees available today. There’s talk of overpowering the natural roast and overwhelming the beans. But we believe that gatekeeping coffee, one of the world’s most popular beverages, is an utter waste of time. If you like it with a ton of milk and drowned in chocolate sauce, go for it. It’s still valid. It’s still coffee. Simply coffee of a different kind. (If you are a ‘coffee purist’, you might want to stop while you’re ahead, because chances are you’re not going to like what’s coming next.)

One of the most recent revelations in my own life has been the Caramel Macchiato. As a die-hard tea-drinker, I was curiously enamoured by the deep smoky, almost burnt edge of caramel with the punchy espresso shining through. In Italian, "macchiato" translates as "marked" or "stained", meaning a stained or marked coffee. In this case, an espresso is marked with foamed or steamed milk. The goldilocks of coffee proportions, the milk tempers it slightly, but not too much, so if you find espresso too harsh but cappuccino too weak, this might be the choice for you.

Also, unlike an espresso, the Macchiato was designed to be an afternoon drink and also, thanks to the addition of milk, it blends well with additional flavours. You could of course go ahead and stick with the traditional and timeless combo of coffee and chocolate, but if you want flavour without it being sickly sweet, we suggest a burnt caramel sauce. Easy to make and store at home, you can just add a drizzle of this to your drink every day to transform your coffee experience from basic to the bomb in seconds.

Also Read: 4 Types Of Coffee Drinks You Probably Didn’t Know About

Burnt Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cups light corn syrup
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter 

Method:

  • Put the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts. 
  • Continue to cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns black, about 10 minutes. 
  • Just before it turns black, the sugar syrup may foam up. If it does, reduce the heat to low and, wearing an oven mitt, carefully stir it down. When the sugar syrup is ready, it will smoke and large bubbles will break on the surface.
  • While the sugar is cooking, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar is black, remove the pot from the heat and carefully stir in the corn syrup. 
  • Carefully pour the hot cream into the sugar syrup a little at a time.
  • Whisk in the butter.
  • Pour the finished sauce into a bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes before using. 
  • If not, cool completely and store for up to a month.

Assembling A Macchiato

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce divided
  • 1 double-shot espresso
  • ½ cup milk steamed with foam*

Instructions 

  • In the bottom of a mug add 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce.
  • Add the espresso directly on top of the caramel, then pour in the hot milk. Spoon the remaining milk foam on top.
  • Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of caramel over the milk foam. Enjoy hot!