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. 

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Two Variations of Macchiato Drinks

Coffee experts classify this beverage in to two types. This largely helps classify the ocean of recipes from which different versions of the macchiato is made, globally. This in turn helps to guide customers in picking the version most suited to their taste palate. The two types of Macchiatos are: 

1. Basic Macchiato 

The basic macchiato is made from espresso and layered up warm and cold milk. The basic macchiato is served in a tall glass. However, since there is no precise specification for how much milk is to be used for this type of beverage, there hasn’t been a particular measurement by which chefs stick to while layering up the milk in the macchiato.

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2. Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato is different from the basic macchiato in many ways. It is served in a smaller espresso cup and not in a tall glass. This type is made mostly of espresso with just a few drops of either hot milk, cold milk, or foam and not a layer of all. If you see a Macchiato with latte art, that is probably an espresso macchiato.

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