Caffe Latte? Macchiato? What’s the Difference?

As a coffee lover, you know there are seemingly endless variations, but two popular coffee drinks that should be on your list are the Caffe Latte and Macchiato. 

These two drinks are often mistaken for each other, but they are two distinct drinks. So, let’s explore the differences between these drinks, their taste benefits, and some delicious variations.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Caffe Latte vs. Macchiato

Caffe Latte means “coffee with milk” in Italian. The delicious drink is the perfect balance between espresso coffee and steamed milk topped with frothy milk foam. It contains one part espresso to every five parts of milk, and a thin layer of froth on top. 

On the other hand, the Macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” in Italian, which refers to how the espresso is stained with a small amount of milk. Macchiato is primarily an espresso with just a dollop of milk foam on top.

Taste Benefits of Caffe Latte and Macchiato

Caffe Latte is creamy and smooth, thanks to the more generous proportion of milk and the frothy milk foam. The espresso adds a distinct coffee flavor, while the steamed milk provides a sweet, nutty flavor. These two flavors merge to form a mellow drink that’s neither too strong or too sweet.

However, the Macchiato provides a more robust taste. It’s a bold drink best for coffee purists. The small amount of milk foam adds a velvety texture and balances the strong taste of the espresso. But you’re going to have a much stronger taste of coffee with the Macchiato.

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Variations of Caffe Latte and Macchiato

Caffe Latte and Macchiato are versatile as they can be customized to individual preferences. 

Here are some famous variations to keep up things.

Caffe Latte Variations:

1. Mocha Latte – Adding some chocolate sauce to the mix provides a chocolate flavor to the latte and is perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

2. Vanilla Latte – A vanilla syrup is added to the mix, which adds a sweet milkshake-like indulgence to your coffee.

3. Caramel Latte – A caramel sauce is drizzled on the latte, which adds a sweetness that anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate.

Macchiato Variations:

1. Caramel Macchiato – This drink comes with an espresso base, hot steamed milk, and caramel syrup in it.

2. Hazelnut Macchiato – The hazelnut syrup is added to the espresso, making it a smooth and nutty twist.

3. Cinnamon Dolce Macchiato – The cinnamon syrup and vanilla syrup are swirled in the coffee, adding a sweet and spicy twist.

What’s Your Taste Preference?

Caffe Latte and Macchiato are two popular coffee drinks with the same ingredients, but much different proportions. 

The Caffe Latte is creamy and sweet, while the Macchiato is strong and bold. To satisfy specific preferences, these coffees are customizable, and the variations above will give you an indulging experience like none other. 

For more coffee ratios, be sure to bookmark our handy Coffee Ratio Guide.

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