Difference Between Latte and Macchiato

Latte vs Macchiato

If you are coffee lover, then you will like to know the difference between latte and macchiato. Coffee has been a part of everybody’s lifestyle. Regardless of gender, race, age, or financial status, people drink coffee. So with that popularity, some people make money out of it by making variations and versions of these drinks. Since there are a number of coffee types available in the world, knowing the difference between each will give you the advantage of knowing what type of coffee to expect when you order one. They all have different flavours, thus, different names. Some go very close together that you have to pay good attention to the taste to know them better. Now, latte and macchiato are both variations of coffee drinks. They are both popular and are commonly offered in coffee shops. Both drinks originated in Italy. Both drinks are made primarily of coffee added with a certain amount of milk. Latte and macchiato has thick consistencies.

What is Latte?

A Latte is nothing but espresso and steamed milk served with a small layer of milk froth on top. Latte is different from black coffee, which is prepared without milk. As mentioned above, latte can be traced back to Italy. The latte we know today is believed to have been invented back in 1950’s by an Italian barista, when one of his customers claimed that his cappuccino is too hard. In fact, milk is called latte in Italian. Therefore, being Italian in origin, latte is espresso mixed with milk. In fact, it would be better to call latte ‘café latte’, as it is a mixture of coffee and milk.

In making latte, espresso and milk are poured together into a cup, and a layer of milk froth is added on top, resulting in a good cup of latte. When a trained barista (it is the name of the coffee server) pours latte from a jug, he creates artwork on the top of your latte, which looks really mesmerizing.

What is Macchiato?

Macchiato is also called espresso macchiato. The word macchiato is the Italian word for stained, so espresso macchiato means that the espresso has been stained. The stain in this case is the milk. In other words, macchiato is nothing but espresso mixed with milk. But the amount of milk used in this is less. Earlier, as the word “stain” refers, only a little amount of milk was added to the drink. But today, it is the milk foam added on top. The way a macchiato is prepared can be changed according to different places.

Difference Between Latte and Macchiato

What is the difference between Latte and Macchiato?

• In coffee drinks, latte means coffee mixed with milk, while macchiato means coffee with a milk “stain”.

• In latte, the addition of milk was used for its flavor and the artwork on top with milk foam is for visual presentation whereas, in macchiato, milk is added for visual presentation.

Knowing the difference between these coffee drinks is useful when you stop for coffee at a coffee shop. Basically, latte was created because the customers thought that the barista’s cappuccino was too strong. So the barista thought of adding more milk into the mix, creating what we call now as latte. On the other hand, macchiato only has a “stain of milk”, so it has lesser milk in it compared to latte. In latte, milk is added to give the coffee a milky taste, whereas in macchiato the milk was just used for visual purposes.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Macchiato by Takeaway (CC BY-SA 3.0)