I remember the first time I noticed Macchiato on a local coffee shop menu. I was instantly curious about this premium drink. Before exploring espresso-based beverages, I usually ordered drip coffee or iced tea.
The main ingredients include espresso and milk, with a few variations, depending on the version of this beverage. In Italian, Macchiato means “stained” or “spotted,” referring to how the coffee is flavored for a unique taste.
Read our guide to the history of Italian coffee.
The Basics of a Traditional Macchiato
Essentially, the Macchiato is created by blending a shot of espresso with a hint of milk. It’s vital in flavor due to the minimal amount of milk and its small size. Due to its popularity, this drink has variations, including the long Macchiato and the latte macchiato, which combines a glass of hot milk with a shot of espresso.
The Macchiato is among one of the most popular coffee house drinks, alongside cappuccinos and lattes.
How a Long Macchiato is Different
While the original or “short” Macchiato combines one shot of espresso with a splash of milk, the long Macchiato offers a double shot, or twice the serving of espresso, making it a more potent drink. The milk added to this drink may include a bit of foam and liquid, or we can add a teaspoon of either cold or hot milk.
Serving a Long Macchiato
When we order a long macchiato at our local coffee house, the barista will serve our drink in a glass with a bit of milk and a dollop of foam. I find that every café or coffee shop chain has its signature style of pouring and serving this beverage.
Variations of a Long Macchiato
If you’re like me and enjoy a hint of vanilla or a drizzle of caramel with your shot of espresso, these variations are sure to amuse you.
Many popular coffee shop chains and local baristas offer flavor options, usually served on top of the drink, topped with foam, and drizzled in a crosshatch or swirl pattern.
Plant-based Milk Alternatives
If we’re looking for a plant-based or dairy-free version of the Macchiato, many coffee shops offer soy, almond, and coconut milk as an alternative. We may enjoy trying one or more of these options, as they offer distinct almond and coconut flavor with our double shot of espresso.
There are iced versions of the Macchiato available, which include the extended macchiato version of this beverage. Whether we enjoy this espresso-based drink hot or chilled, it’s a great way to enjoy a quick “pick up” in the morning.
Sweetening a Long Macchiato
If a double espresso is a bit too strong for our taste, or we find the drizzle of vanilla or caramel isn’t sweet enough, we can add a bit of sugar to the espresso and stir before adding in the milk and foam. The long Macchiato offers an excellent caffeine fix with some fun variations on this traditional espresso-based beverage.
Stirring or Blending a Long Macchiato
Stirring a macchiato is a matter of preference, though it’s typically enjoyed without blending or mixing the milk foam and espresso. It’s a simple beverage with poured milk and a bit of foam on top.
Layering a Macchiato
In a traditional Macchiato, the drink is layered with espresso at the bottom, milk next, and foamed milk on top. Some coffee shops vary this layering style by pouring the foam or milk at the bottom and espresso on top or poured over the milk.