In Italian, the word macchiato translates to the word stained or spotted. In other words, macchiato can be thought of as a stained coffee, because of the dash of milk in it, that forms a foam on the drink, floating on the top akin to the visual appearance of a stain.
Macchiato has become a popular coffee option for many people across India. (Read this article to know more about the different types of coffees). For the uninitiated, macchiato is a type of coffee that is similar to the espresso with some milk. A fun fact about this beverage is that each café has their very own version of making a macchiato. There is no fixed version and cafés are often customising the recipe as per the preference of their guests. In Italian, the word macchiato translates to the word stained or spotted. In other words, macchiato can be thought of as a stained coffee, because of the dash of milk in it, which forms a foam on the drink, floating on the top, akin to the visual appearance of a stain on the coffee. Another theory regarding the origin of this drink’s name is that macchiato came to be called as the ‘marked’ or ‘stained’ coffee as baristas needed to show the serving waiters the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a tiny bit of milk in it; the latter was "marked" with floating milk foam. (Also read: The Lesser Known History Of Cappuccino)
History of the Macchiato
Reportedly, macchiato came up in the eighties in Italy as a distinct drink from the espresso when cafés started distinguishing between ‘stained’ coffee and coffee with no milk. Every café had their own measurement for how much of milk would qualify as ‘stained’ coffee or the macchiato. The trend of a multiple recipes of the macchiato continues till date with there being myriads of varieties of this beverage being served in cafés and in supermarkets that differ from one another, based on the ratio of espresso to milk used. For instance, a piccolo latte is an espresso topped with foamed milk, while a caramel macchiato, popularly served in Starbucks, is a beverage made of steamed milk with some espresso and caramel topping.