How to Make a Macchiato

Wouldn’t it be great if you could make you favourite coffee at home and it tasted just as good as it does in a coffee shop? Well now you can, with our ‘How to’ series we will guide you through making coffee at home. 

This article includes what a Macchiato coffee consists of, the history of the Macchiato and how it came to be, along with a simple step-by-step guide showing you what you need and how to make a Macchiato coffee, just like a barista.


I - About Macchiato Coffee

II - What You Will Need

III - Step-By-Step Guide

IV - FAQ's


About the Macchiato

A macchiato coffee, which is sometimes referred to as an espresso macchiato, consists of a shot of espresso topped with foamed milk, so it’s a relatively simple drink to make. This foamed milk is used to add a hint of creaminess to the espresso, but without overwhelming it. When considering ratio of coffee to milk, a macchiato is one part milk and two parts espresso. Traditionally, a macchiato coffee is designed to not be stirred, so that the person consuming it drinks the foamed milk first and the shot of espresso afterwards.  

Macchiato Coffee with Latte Art

The word Macchiato translates to ‘spotted’ or ‘stained’ in Italian, which refers to the spot of milk added to the top of the espresso. It is said that the Macchiato coffee was first invented, or named, in the 1980s. Apparently, it was named because baristas wanted a distinction between a plain espresso and one which features milk. However, the Macchiato coffee has evolved since its invention, with variations now being found around the world. For example, latte macchiato coffee, where the main ingredient is milk and espresso is then added to it.

What You Will Need


- 18g of coffee beans or coffee ground for espresso. We recommend our Guatemalan Coffee.

- 30ml of milk.


- A coffee grinder (only if you are using coffee beans).

Equipment to make the espresso (this can be automatic or manual).

- A tool to foam milk (this can be your machine or a handheld milk frother)

- A jug to froth your milk in.

- A thermometer

- An espresso cup.

Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1 - Grind your coffee beans (18g) to a fine consistency, similar to table salt.

Step 2 - Make the espresso with your ground coffee, with your chosen equipment.

Step 3 -  Froth your milk (30ml) using your desired method (please note: you will need to heat your milk up first if you’re using a handheld milk frother). You’re looking for a light and fluffy or ‘dry’ type of foam.

3 cups - starting from the left. Beans, Espresso Shot, Latte Art

Step 4: Pour the milk onto the espresso. Make sure you start pouring the milk quite far away from the espresso cup and in the centre of the espresso. Then draw the jug in closer to the cup gradually, so it is very close when you get towards the end.


How hot should my milk be if I’m using a handheld frother?

Your milk should be heated to around 150-160°. Top Tip: Hold your frother just below the surface of the milk to create the foam.

Why is a macchiato in certain coffee shops different to this?

Some coffee shops may just call a latte macchiato a macchiato coffee. So if you’re ordering in a coffee shop, you may need to ask for an espresso Macchiato to make sure you are getting this version!

What’s the difference between an espresso macchiato and a latte macchiato?

An espresso Macchiato has a ratio of one part milk, to two parts espresso. Whereas a latte Macchiato on the other hand, has a ratio of two parts milk and one part coffee. This means that the latte Macchiato has a much more delicate flavour and contains a lot more milk.

I’m not sure where to start when it comes to making coffee at home.

We understand there’s a lot to take in when it comes to making coffee at home, especially using a coffee machine. We recommend taking our Home Barista Experience, where you can learn to get the best out of your home machine.

You might also be interested in these:

- How Coffee is Decaffeinated

- How Coffee is made

- How do coffee beans grow?