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Caffè macchiato (Italian pronunciation: [kafˈfɛ mmakˈkjaːto] (About this sound listen)),[1] sometimes called espresso macchiato,[2][3] is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means "stained" or "spotted" so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is "stained coffee", or coffee with a spot of milk.

Caffè macchiato
A typical espresso with milk and foam (Italy)
Caffè macchiato (Italy)
Type Hot
Country of origin Italy
Color shades of brown, white
Ingredients espresso, milk



The origin of the name "macchiato" stems from baristas needing to show the serving waiters the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a tiny bit of milk in it; the latter was "marked". The idea is reflected in the Portuguese name for the drink: café pingado, meaning coffee with a drop.[4]


See also: latte macchiato and caffè latte.

The caffè macchiato has the highest ratio of espresso to milk of any drink made with those ingredients. The intent is that the milk moderates, rather than overwhelms, the taste of the coffee while adding a touch of sweetness. The drink is typically prepared by pouring a small amount of steamed milk directly into a single shot of espresso.[5] One recipe calls for 5–10 g (1–2 teaspoons) of milk heated to 60–66 °C (140–150 °F).[6]

Other namesEdit

In some countries like Mexico the macchiato is called a cortado. This can lead to confusion since in most countries, a cortado is a different beverage and has much more milk than a macchiato.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In isolation, macchiato is pronounced [makˈkjaːto].
  2. ^ "Milk Frothing Guide",, 13 June 2012
  3. ^ "Espresso Macchiato",, June 2012
  4. ^ "How to order coffee in Portugal". 
  5. ^ Davids, Kenneth (1997). Espresso: The Ultimate Coffee. Cole Group. ISBN 1564265579. 
  6. ^ Moldvaer, Anette (2014). Coffee Obsession. Dorling Kindersley Limited. pp. 150–151. 


  • Davids, Kenneth (2001). Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Enjoying (5e ed.). New York, NY, USA: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-24665-X.