The macchiato is a simple espresso drink that’s perfect for those who want a stronger hit of caffeine first thing in the morning.

These small, delicious drinks are the perfect pick-me-up in the afternoon or early evening. Simple to make, you’ll love this pale, aromatic specialty coffee drink!

Today I’m here to show you how to make a macchiato at home in 5 minutes or less, so grab yourself a nice cup of coffee and let’s get started!

What is a macchiato?

A “macchiato” is an Italian word for stained or marked. The word also refers to adding foamed milk (made from steamed and frothed whole milk) to the top of a cup of espresso.

Thus, if you order a macchiato, you’re ordering espresso coffee with added steamed and foamed milk on top.

It’s commonly made with two espresso shots, but one can also be used, and it’s made with the milk of choice. However, whole milk is used the most, as this makes for the best foam.

If you want to learn how to froth milk at home, you can check out this great guide with six different techniques!

What ingredients are in a macchiato?

The ingredients of a macchiato can vary, and there isn’t an exact set list. Usually, ingredients include the following:

  • Two espresso shots
  • Whole milk

There may also be cinnamon or cocoa powder added as well as other flavorings for taste such as vanilla extract or lemon zest.

You can play around with different flavoring to make a macchiato that suits your taste buts.

It’s important to note that the word “macchiato” means “marked.” So if you see it written on a menu board in Italian – it’s pronounced ‘mah-kee-YAH-toe’.

Now that you know what the ingredients are, how the drink is pronounced, and how you can customize it, let’s talk about the taste of the macchiato:

What does a macchiato taste like?

A macchiato is served in a small glass with a little bit of foamed milk on the top and mixed with steamed milk.

It tastes like a coffee with very little milk. More milk makes it taste less strong, and more so, the milk’s flavor comes out.

For me, a macchiato is a perfect coffee if you want to learn to drink espresso coffee. Because of the amount of milk used, you won’t taste all the flavors that the espresso has to offer, and you can get used to the flavor.

Milk in a jar.

The milk added makes the espresso taste more mellow, and the added milk foam gives the coffee a bit of texture, while you can still taste the robust flavors of the espresso.

It’s the perfect combination of espresso and milk to make an espresso-based drink that everyone can enjoy!

Recipe tip: You can check out this caramel macchiato recipe if you want to try a sweetened version!

Is a macchiato stronger than coffee?

In general, a macchiato has more milky foam on top, which helps offset some of its bolder flavors. Black coffee typically lacks any milk content – containing no sugar and fat, making it stronger than a macchiato.

Black coffee will likely still be a little stronger than a frothy one because nothing is added to the drink.

If you like to add a bit of sugar, milk, or half/half to your coffee, you might notice that the macchiato is more robust than coffee.

This is because a macchiato is made with espresso coffee, which is a much more concentrated form of coffee, making it stronger in flavor.

Brewing espresso shots.

But if you taste them side-by-side without any add-ins or toppings, black coffee will most likely taste stronger than a macchiato.

How do you drink a macchiato?

The best way to drink a macchiato is straight after it’s served. The foam will still be intact, so you’ll get the best drinking experience.

If you want, add a little bit of sugar on top of everything for taste! If you’re going to be adding any syrups or extra sweeteners, pour them onto a spoon before stirring them into your drink.

Stir everything together with a spoon gently! Be careful not to over-stir because if you do that, then you’ll just end up mixing all the foam down into the rest of your drink too much, and it’ll be less exciting to drink.

If you prefer drinking your coffee without any sweeteners, you don’t necessarily have to stir it before drinking it.

You can simply start drinking it straight away. Taking your first sip, you should take the liquid part only. After that, taste the sweet foam and slowly drink the remaining liquid until you’ve finished the macchiato.

Don’t cheerily go straight for that first sip! You’ll be rewarded with a more nuanced taste profile if you’re attentive to what’s going on!

5-Minute Macchiato

Homemade macchiato.

You can make this easy-to-make macchiato in 5 minutes or less!

Prep Time 4 minutes
Additional Time 1 minute
Total Time 5 minutes


  • Two espresso shots
  • 1 oz (30 grams) of whole milk


Because this recipe requires so few ingredients, it's best to use high-quality ingredients for the best tasting macchiato! To make it, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Start brewing your espresso shots. I'm pulling my shots from an espresso machine.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, steam the milk.
  3. It's best to steam a bit more milk, as the amount needed will most likely scorch.
  4. After everything is ready to go, add the espresso shots to a small glass.
  5. Top the espresso with a bit of steamed milk and a topping of foamed milk.

Now, all there's left to do is enjoy your homemade macchiato!


Instead of the espresso machine, you can also use a Moka pot or AeroPress to brew espresso-like coffee.

Make sure to use the milk you like the most!

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 17Total Fat: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 0.5gUnsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 1.3gSugar: 1.5gProtein: 0.9g

How many calories are in a macchiato?

A macchiato is low in calories because just a little milk is used. The espresso coffee doesn’t have any calories, so all the calories come from the milk used.

If you’re following the recipe, you’ll have used whole milk, making this macchiato have just 17 calories.

You can opt to use lower-fat milk or a milk alternative if you prefer a different taste or can’t have dairy.

It’s also a great way to experiment with different flavors because each dairy and dairy-free milk have their unique set of flavors!

Can a macchiato be served cold?

Typically, macchiatos are served hot, not cold.

However, if you’re up for a change, I have another recipe that goes over the iced macchiato!

Interested? Click the link here to learn more!


I hope you enjoyed this article! If you are feeling adventurous, go ahead and try making your own macchiato at home.

The recipe is simple to follow with ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store. Let me know how it goes for you!

If you’re looking to try a new coffee-based beverage, or if you want to learn more about how it’s made (or even make one yourself), then have a look below for some awesome recipes.

How do you like to drink your espresso? Is it with milk? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

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Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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