Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors
Coffee 101: The Basics of Macchiato
If you're like most people, your mornings start with a cup of coffee. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between espresso and macchiato? Or how they both compare to a cappuccino or latte? You might be surprised at what we found out!
Watch this video on macchiato
What's in an Espresso?
The word "espresso" comes from Italian for "pressed-out." When Italians drink their morning brew, it consists primarily of finely ground roasted beans that are extracted by steam pressure which extracts only the essential flavors (and caffeine) while leaving behind some sediment. This process creates caffeinated powdery particles called crema on top as well.
Traditional espresso is prepared with a single shot of coffee that ranges from 25 to 60 ml and served in an Espresso cup (actually, the traditional drink should be drunk out of porcelain or bone china). It's usually topped off with steamed milk and can include one teaspoon of sugar for taste and texture.
What is Macchiato?
Sometimes called "Espressino," this Italian-style beverage consists primarily of espresso shots mixed into hot water so it doesn't burn your tongue like typical straight shots do - but still provides similar caffeine content. The best macchiatos are typically pulled as doubles because they're made using double ristretto shots which require more skill than regular American style espressos.
The traditional macchiato is usually served in a smaller cup than the espresso drink, but can be as large as an Americano if it includes more water. The coffee drink should not contain any additional milk (such as steamed milk) or ingredients other than rich espresso and hot water. Some variations might include a small amount (one teaspoon) of sugar - just like with regular espressos.
What are Cappuccino and Latte?
These Italian-style drinks consist primarily of espresso shots mixed into warm/hot crema coffee (similar to what you'd experience when buying whole bean ground coffee at your local grocery store) along with steamed milk that provides some texture to the beverage without adding too much sweetness from condensed milk like chocolate syrup does for Mochas.
Cappuccinos are usually served in a wide, tall cup with varying amounts of milk (skim milk, warm milk, whole milk) and foam topping the drink while lattes tend to be shorter cups that typically have more steamed milk than foam on top. Unlike macchiatos which should only contain espresso shots mixed into hot water or Americano drinks containing espresso shots mixed into warm/hot crema coffee, these beverages can also include ingredients like cacao nibs for Mochas or even chocolate syrup, vanilla syrup, or a drizzle of caramel sauce if you want! Popular drinks you can order at your local coffee shop or coffee chain include latte macchiato, espresso macchiato, caramel macchiato, iced caramel macchiato, cafe macchiato, pumpkin spice latte, and cafe latte.
The Caffeine Difference: Espresso vs Macchiato vs Latte vs Cappuccino
Espressos provide upwards of 150 milligrams per serving (a regular shot of espresso ranges from 25-60 ml). If you're looking for the same amount of caffeine in a macchiato, an Americano is your drink. And if you want more than double that (300 milligrams), order up a Cappuccino!
Caffeine content will vary depending on personal preference and how much coffee beans are ground at each brew - so it's always best to ask your barista before ordering any type of espresso-style beverage!
What about Latte vs Macchiato?
We found out that latte drinks usually contain around 150 milligrams per serving while macchiatos have half as much with 75 milligrams in one shot. The difference comes from milk which has less protein and fat when steamed compared to hot steamed milk.
What are the Benefits of Macchiato?
If you're looking for a low-caffeine drink, this is your go-to. One macchiato contains around 75 milligrams which can be ideal if you want an espresso but don't like how much caffeine it has. It's also great because there will be less sediment in the cup than what you'd find with regular espressos - making them perfect for those who might not have a high tolerance to coffee or just enjoy more natural flavors without all the added crema and foam on top of a layered drink!
In addition, since these drinks typically contain half as much caffeine content when compared to lattes (around 150 milligrams per serving) they provide some of the benefits of coffee without all of the jitters and feelings that you need to drink more and more.
The other benefit is if you have low blood pressure or heart problems - this espresso-style beverage might be a better choice for those who want something in between an Americano with it's increased amount of water vs a macchiato which has been pulled using double ristretto shots providing less than 75 milligrams worth.
What if I Don't Drink Caffeine?
Some people might prefer to order an Americano drink which has half the amount of caffeine as a regular espresso shot and provides flavor from crema coffee without any strong taste or scent. These drinks can also be enjoyed by those who don't want caffeinated beverages in their daily diet!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Crema Coffee?
This type of coffee contains finely ground roasted beans that are extracted with steam pressure, leaving behind some sediment but extracting only the essential coffee flavor while creating caffeinated powdery particles called "crema" on top - just like when you use an espresso machine at home for your morning brew! You might also hear this type of coffee being called "espresso" in the states.
What is espresso?
Extracted from roasted, finely ground beans with hot water under high pressure for a short time, producing an intense flavor that provides a caffeinated liquid we call "mainstream." This definition may vary depending on where you live!
How does milk affect caffeine content?
Coffee contains both acidity and fat which can cause it to curdle or sour when mixed together with milk. The higher the percentage of fat (or cream) in your beverage, the more likely it will have less protein found in non-fat milks - making these drinks not as acidic than their counterparts without any steamed crema.
Final thoughts on macchiato
Hope you enjoyed this article about macchiato!
Looking for more on Macchiato and other similar content? Try these:
- The Art of Teppanyaki
- Dim Sum: A Culinary Journey
- The Hottest Condiment: Chamoy
- Step-by-Step Thai Tea Recipe
- The Best National Parks in Wisconsin
- Must-Visit National Parks in Illinois
- 10 National Parks in Washington State
- Montana National Parks: Places to Explore in the Treasure State
- Glaciers, Fjords, and Coastal Mountains: National Parks in Alaska
- The Best National Parks in New Mexico
- Arizona's National Parks
- 11 Must-See National Parks in Colorado
- Guide to the Best National Parks in Texas
- Breathtaking National Parks in Wyoming
- National Parks in California
- Hiking Boots: Why You Don't Need Them and What to Buy Instead
- Kona & the Big Island of Hawaii: Things to Do & See
- Best Backpacking & Camping Tents
- Best Backpacking Backpack: Why Osprey Packs are Superior
- Southern New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns & White Sands National Monument
- Beartooth Highway: A Montana Road Trip
- Valley of Fire State Park: The Complete Guide
- 17 Best Backpacking Hacks
- Merino Wool: The Best Fabric Known to Man?
- Camping on the Oregon Coast
- Visiting Kyushu, Japan
- Big Sur Camping & Other Lodging Options
- Mastering Your Charcoal Grill
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
— John Muir