Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and there are a ton of different varieties to choose from. You can order a macchiato and a latte in every coffee bar you go to. But there’s a subtle difference between these two coffees.
When comparing these coffees, there’s a clear difference. A macchiato is made with two shots of espresso, topped with steamed milk. A latte is made by layering a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and topping it with foamed milk.
Want to learn more about the differences between macchiato and latte? This article will explain the differences between these two popular coffees. You’ll also learn about how they’re made.
Macchiato vs. latte
What’s the difference between a macchiato and a latte? We often order a “latte” at coffee shops, but when you look at the menu, sometimes it says “macchiato,” other times it says “caffe latte.”
It’s very important to know the difference between these coffees when you want to order either of them from your local coffee bar. So, what’s the difference?
- A macchiato is made by using two shots of espresso and is then topped with steamed milk.
- On the other hand, the latte uses a single espresso shot, has steamed milk added, and is topped with foamed milk.
As you can see from the comparison, it’s pretty hard to notice the difference between these coffees as they’re made with the same ingredients and have the same look and feel.
However, a latte uses only one espresso shot and is topped with an extra layer of foamed milk that makes it amazing to drink.
A latte is also served in a taller glass as opposed to the macchiato which uses a smaller one; this is because the latte is a bigger drink.
What is a macchiato?
A macchiato is a coffee drink made by combining two espresso shots and pouring steamed milk on top.
This coffee is really easy to make and is absolutely amazing to drink. The steamed milk makes for a great addition to the strong espresso shots and gives the coffee a nice textured drinking experience.
When you order a macchiato at a coffee bar, you’ll get amazing shots of espresso made with an espresso machine.
But you can also make this coffee at home, using a Moka pot or AeroPress to brew your shots of espresso. This works great when you don’t have an espresso machine at home and still want to make great coffee.
I’ve written a beginner’s guide to brewing coffee with the Moka pot. If you’re interested in learning how to brew coffee with it and going in-depth about it, you can check out this article.
What is a latte?
A latte is a coffee that is made by combing a shot of espresso with steamed milk and topping it with a layer of foamed milk to give it a bit more texture.
The latte is extremely delicious when done right. The espresso and steamed milk combination are already extremely delicious, but the foamed milk on top brings it to the next level.
Adding foamed milk on top makes for an amazing drinking experience as the foamed milk is velvety of texture and gives the coffee its edge to distinguish itself from all the other coffee drinks.
A latte is made with the same milk and shots of espresso. If you want to make great espresso coffee using an AeroPress, you can check out my beginner’s guide to brewing AeroPress coffee.
It’s a great article to learn all about the AeroPress and make excellent espresso-like coffee at home, without the need for an espresso machine.
How to make a macchiato
It’s really easy to make a macchiato at home, and I wanted to share an easy recipe with you.
By following the recipe listed below, you’ll no longer have to go to your local coffee bar to order a coffee, and you can simply make it yourself!
A macchiato is all about the perfect balance between steamed milk and espresso coffee. The coffee is made up of 50% espresso and 50% steamed milk. It is also a considerably less amount of total coffee you get compared to a latte.
To make the macchiato at home, you’ll need the following items:
- 2 oz (60 grams) of steamed whole milk
- Two espresso shots
This coffee recipe will be super easy to follow and will leave you with an amazingly balanced coffee to enjoy. Follow the next steps to make a macchiato at home:
- Grab a small cup that will fit the coffee perfectly.
- Make the shots of espresso and pour them directly into your cup.
- Now, steam your milk.
- Once the milk is steamed to perfection, layer the milk on top of the espresso.
- By slowly pouring the milk on top, you’ll keep the layers intact, and you’ll be left with a perfectly stained coffee.
Tip: Grab a tablespoon, hold it just above the espresso, and pour the milk on the tablespoon. It will slow the milk down and make sure you get that perfect layering.
That’s really all there is to it. This coffee can be enjoyed throughout the day and will be perfect as the first coffee of the day. It will give you to caffeine needed but not hit you with the strong coffee flavor you’d otherwise get when drinking black coffee.
How to make a latte
A latte is a perfect choice for those who like a coffee that is a bit more milk-focused but still has enough flavor to get that balanced coffee flavor throughout the drink. You’ll need the following items:
- 1/2 cup (0.12 l) of steamed whole milk
- 2 oz (60 grams) of foamed milk
- Shot of espresso
For this recipe, you’ll need more steamed milk and a bit of foamed milk, and uses just one espresso instead of two for the macchiato. Let me tell you how to make the latte:
- Prepare your espresso shot, and in the meantime, steam your milk.
- Add the espresso to a tall glass.
- Slowly pour the steamed milk on top.
- Now, foam the remaining milk.
- After the milk has been foamed, pour this on top of the steamed milk. This will create a three-layered coffee that looks stunning.
You can use the same tablespoon technique that I’ve mentioned above. You want to focus on creating those perfect layers that make the latte so special.
The best coffee beans for espresso
The best coffee beans for espresso are either dark roasted or medium roasted coffee beans. These coffee beans have the most robust flavors that work great when it comes to brewing espresso coffee.
I’ve made a ton of coffee over the years and have tried making various coffees with different coffee beans and concluded that lightly roasted coffee beans are a no-go for espresso.
Lighter roasted coffee beans have not been roasted to get that distinctive flavor profile that espresso has. The intense, full-bodied coffee flavors are not there yet.
However, these coffee beans do work great when making pour over coffee. Lighter roasted coffee beans are roasted to taste the tiniest details from the coffee itself and not just the roasted coffee flavor that dark roasted coffee has.
I suggest trying out various coffee beans when brewing your espresso at home. You’ll certainly find a coffee bean that suits the flavor profile you seek in coffee.
My favorite coffee beans are medium roasted coffee beans from Costa Rica, I’ve used them for a longer period, and they just taste great.
As you can see, it’s not the darkest roast that most people use to make espresso shots, but the flavor of these coffee beans certainly matches those darker roasted coffee beans.
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Macchiato vs. latte, which is better?
If you’re still on the fence about which coffee is a better choice for you, you can check out the bullet points below. I hope that these give you an even better insight into which coffee you like most:
- Order a macchiato when you want a stronger tasting coffee that has a subtle and balanced coffee flavor from the added milk.
- Order a latte when you don’t like strong coffee and want a bit more structured coffee that uses the most delicious foamed milk on top.
Remember, if you don’t like strong coffee flavors, your best bet is ordering a latte. The coffee has just a bit more milk and tastes a bit more balanced.
Moreover, it’s always a good option to add some kind of sweetener to your coffee. A few popular choices are using coffee syrups, but sugar will suffice as well.
If you’re interested in learning to make a few coffee sweeteners, you can check out the following sweeteners I’ve written a how-to guide about:
You’ll most certainly have a great choice to sweeten your coffee. All of these coffee sweeteners are homemade and are easy to make. I always make these recipes so that you have a good amount of coffee syrup for multiple coffees.
This coffee comparison was a much-needed explanation between two coffees that might look the same but are totally different.
Now that you know the difference between a macchiato and a latte, you’ll know what to look for and how to order this coffee drink at your local coffee bar, or you can make them yourself.
If you’re interested in trying out a few coffee recipes, I suggest checking out below. I’ve listed a few coffee recipes that might interest you.
Which of the two coffees do you prefer? 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!