In the world of coffee, where tradition and innovation often converge, few beverages capture the senses quite like the macchiato. A small but potent beverage, a macchiato is typically made with a shot of espresso or strong coffee and a small amount of steamed milk or foam on top. This drink has a layered look, as the milk is spooned over the espresso after it is brewed. Macchiatos are known for their strong, bold taste, and are traditionally served in small cups.  


Typically made with a shot of espresso or strong coffee and a small amount of steamed milk or foam on top.

Macchiato Ingredients

To make a macchiato, you need just two primary ingredients: espresso, or strongly brewed coffee, and a small amount of milk.

Coffee: Macchiatos are typically made with a shot of espresso but can also be crafted with strongly brewed coffee. To make at home, we recommend using Folgers® Black Silk Ground Coffee.

Milk: You’ll need a small amount of milk, which is often steamed but sometimes frothed. The milk-to-espresso ratio is quite low. Use any milk you like, whether that’s whole milk, skim milk, or a non-dairy option.

How to Make a Macchiato

Making a macchiato is very straightforward and can be done in just a few steps. 

  1. Start by pulling a shot of espresso or preparing a cup of strongly brewed Folgers coffee. Consider brewing double the typical strength you enjoy, in order to produce a strong-tasting macchiato. 
  2. In a separate container, steam a small amount of milk until it’s warm and foamy. 
  3. Pour your prepared coffee into a small glass. 
  4. Gently add the steamed milk, creating a layered effect with the coffee on the bottom and milk on top. Alternatively, simply add the milk foam only. 

Popular Types of Macchiatos

While the classic macchiato is made with just coffee and milk, there are many ways to put a twist on the recipe to appeal to a wide range of tastes.  

Flavored Macchiato: Perhaps the most popular macchiato variation, a caramel macchiato features the addition of caramel syrup for a sweet and slightly buttery taste. If you’re not a caramel fan, different syrups can be substituted. Vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and raspberry syrups are all popular additions to macchiatos. 

Iced Macchiato: While most macchiatos are served hot, iced macchiatos are a refreshing option. Espresso and milk are poured over ice, creating a satisfying drink, perfect for warm weather. 

Macchiato Frappe: This blended, frozen version of the macchiato is a dessert-like treat for those who desire something cold. Folgers Caramel Macchiato Frappe is a truly delicious option. 

Whether you prefer the simplicity of a classic macchiato or one of these creative interpretations, there’s a macchiato to suit most coffee drinkers. Home baristas can experiment with different syrup flavors and types of milk for even more variety in their beverages. 

Tips for Making the Perfect Macchiato

  • Start with freshly brewed, high-quality coffee (or espresso) for the best flavor. 
  • Steam your milk gently, heating to a temperature where it’s warm, but not scalding (around 140°F to 150°F). 
  • Pour the steamed milk gently into your prepared coffee to create a layered effect. The milk should sit on top. 
  • If you prefer flavored macchiatos, add your choice of syrup to the milk before pouring. 
  • Adjust the amount of milk and flavorings to suit your personal taste. 
  • The macchiato is a delicious drink that perfectly balances the rich flavor of espresso with the creaminess of milk. Whether you prefer the classic or the sweet indulgence of caramel flavoring, the macchiato is a masterpiece that’s adaptable to your personal preference.