How To Make A Macchiato Like A Pro Barista

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
How To Make A Macchiato

How To Make A Macchiato: Curious about making a real macchiato at home? Unlike the sweet versions from popular coffee shops, this traditional Italian drink stands out on its own. Follow our guide to craft an authentic macchiato in your kitchen – you might find it even more enjoyable than the sugary alternatives!

Before we dive into the details, here are a few important notes:
  1. While 1% or 2% milk is standard, you can use almost any milk or plant-based milk substitute since a macchiato only requires a dollop of foam on top.
  2. Ensure you have a grinder capable of a fine espresso grind. If you don’t, purchase espresso beans from a local coffee shop and have them grind the beans for you.
  3. If your espresso machine lacks a milk frothing system, you’ll need a separate milk frother.

How to Make a Macchiato: Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to craft a traditional macchiato? Let’s dive into the recipe.

Step 1: Prepare the Espresso

First, grind your coffee beans finely if they aren’t pre-ground. Use an espresso machine to pull a double espresso shot, which should yield about 2 oz.

For the best results, use an espresso machine with 9 bars of pressure. While a Moka pot or Aeropress can make strong coffee, they won’t provide the rich, creamy body that a true espresso machine can. A Nespresso machine can be a decent substitute, though it might not satisfy strict traditionalists.

Pro tip: You don’t need to use specific espresso beans. Any coffee beans can work as long as they’re ground finely enough. However, darker roasts are usually easier to extract, so use your preferred coffee variety.

Step 2: Froth the Milk

Next, use a milk frother or the steam wand on your espresso machine to froth a small amount of milk. Typically, you’ll need about an ounce or less of milk, but most frothing devices require more to function properly. Avoid adding too much milk, as it can upset the drink’s balance. The goal is to enhance the coffee’s flavor without overpowering it.

Aim for airy foam like you would for a cappuccino, rather than the creamy microfoam used for lattes.

Pro tip: If you don’t have a steam wand or frother, use a French press to foam the milk. This method won’t produce the fine microfoam needed for latte art but is perfect for a simple dollop on a macchiato.

Step 3: Assemble and Enjoy

Top your espresso shot with a dollop of foamed milk and savor your homemade macchiato. While some might add sugar, this isn’t traditional.

Pro tip: If you prefer a sweeter coffee, try a darker roast first. These beans, especially those from Central and South America, often have natural sweetness and nutty, chocolatey flavors, reducing the need for added sugar.

Enjoy your authentic macchiato!

What Is a Macchiato Anyway?

Let’s clarify what a macchiato truly is. There’s a lot of confusion around this term, and for good reason.

Defining the Macchiato

A traditional Italian macchiato, also known as an espresso macchiato, is a double shot of espresso topped with a small amount of milk foam. The name “macchiato” comes from the Italian word for “stained,” referring to how the espresso is “stained” with a dollop of milk. This is the version we’ll be making in this article.

The Italian Coffee Ritual

The macchiato gained popularity in Italy as an afternoon drink, as Italians typically avoid cappuccinos after breakfast due to their rich dairy content. Italians follow a specific coffee routine throughout the day: cappuccino with breakfast, caffè macchiato as an afternoon pick-me-up, and espresso after dinner.

A latte macchiato, also a traditional Italian beverage, is the reverse of an espresso macchiato. In a latte macchiato, steamed milk is “stained” with a double shot of espresso poured into the center, creating a gradient effect and a distinctive espresso dot in the middle.

The Starbucks Influence

Starbucks offers versions like the Caramel Macchiato and the Cloud Macchiato, which differ significantly from traditional Italian macchiatos. While they contain espresso and milk, they are sweet, syrup-laden drinks that stray far from authentic Italian espresso beverages.

Final Thoughts

An espresso macchiato is one of the simplest coffee drinks to make. It’s just espresso with a bit of froth on top, so there’s no need to measure milk precisely or master perfect microfoam.

If you have access to an espresso machine, why not try making a macchiato at home? Embrace the Italian tradition and enjoy one (or two) as an afternoon treat!