Thursday, December 7, 2023

Latte vs. Macchiato: The Coffee Essentials

by Mads

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

Are you one of those coffee lovers that often finds themselves perplexed by the difference between a latte and macchiato? Well, you’re not alone! These two coffee blends are among the most popular and coveted beverages in the realm of coffee. However, the subtle differences between their ingredients can generate a major distinction in their taste.

What is a Latte?

Latte, also known as a café latte, is a traditional Italian coffee beverage that’s gradually gained popularity all around the world. It comprises espresso shots topped with steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam on top. The milk acts as a flavor diluter, balancing the taste of the strong espresso, making it less bitter but still bold. It provides a perfect blend of sweetness, creaminess, and a smooth texture.

Nowadays, lattes come in different flavors, such as caramel, vanilla, and hazelnut, all of which improve the latte experience.

What is a Macchiato?

Contrarily, macchiato is an Italian term that translates to “stained” or “marked.” It features a layer of espresso topped up with a small dollop of steamed milk. Unlike latte, macchiato foam is denser, and the ratio of foam to milk is significantly different. The espresso is more pronounced and stands out, giving it a bolder, more robust flavor profile.

Macchiato’s smaller size makes it an excellent and quick option for those that aren’t looking for a big drink. It acts as a powerful energy boost to kickstart your day.

So what really are the differences?

The primary difference between a latte and a macchiato lies in the ratio of milk to espresso. A latte typically consists of 1-2 shots of espresso, a considerable amount of steamed milk, and a thin layer of foam. On the other hand, a macchiato contains only a couple of espresso shots with a dollop of steamed milk and foam, resulting in stronger coffee.

Another key variance to point out is the texture and thickness of the milk foam. The latte foam is usually thinner and silkier than the macchiato’s, which is denser. That’s because the latte features a petite, thin foam layer in addition to a considerable amount of steamed milk, which gives it a silkier texture.

Which One is Better?

It’s purely a matter of preference. Lattes, with their creamy texture and sweeter taste, are great for those who prefer a milder coffee flavor. Meanwhile, the macchiato offers a more robust flavor that packs a punch and ideal for coffee enthusiasts that prefer a stronger coffee experience.


Latte and macchiato will continue to be among the most trendy coffee beverages globally. Any coffee lover worth their salt knows the difference between these two, and trying them both is essential to enjoy or appreciate their distinct flavor profiles. Whether you want a slightly weaker or bolder coffee experience, the latte or macchiato has got your back. Now that you know the difference, go ahead and indulge in a cup of your favorite coffee today.

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