Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato

Distinct from both a latte and a caffe macchiato, a latte macchiato (pronounced ma-kee-YAH-toh, literally “marked milk”) is a glass of steamed milk with a middle band of espresso. The espresso settles under the airy milk froth yet over the liquid milk surface, creating a beautiful, three-layered, white-brown-white coffee with a foamy head rising over the glass. It’s a nifty effect to create and even more pleasurable to dissolve.

Simple syrup or flavored syrups—caramel, vanilla, almond, hazel nut, berry, chocolate, maple, amaretto—may be added to sweeten a latte macchiato in one of two ways: To preserve the layered effect, pour the syrup over the finished drink, and leave it to the drinker to stir and blend it into the milk and coffee. To better integrate the syrup into the drink, pour it into the milk before it is steamed.

The quantity of syrup, generally between 2 and 3 tablespoons for a 10-ounce latte macchiato, is dictated by its relative sweetness as well as by personal taste.–Daniel Young

Latte Macchiato

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 1 serving
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  • For the simple syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (white or pure unrefined cane)
  • 1 cup water
  • For the macchiato
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 rounded tablespoons finely ground coffee, preferably an espresso blend
  • Simple syrup (substitute flavored syrup) to taste, optional


  • Make the simple syrup
  • 1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • 2. Transfer to a clean lidded jar or, ideally, a syrup dispenser, and refrigerate for up to one month.
  • Make the macchiato
  • 3. Warm up the espresso machine. Press the steam switch and wait for the ready indicator to light up. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a stainless steel pitcher.
  • 4. Submerge the tip of the steam wand at least half an inch below the milk surface and turn on the steam switch. As the foam rises, gradually lower the pitcher so the tip of the wand remains just below the milk surface. As the milk begins to heat up, tilt the pitcher slightly to swirl the milk and continue to steam until the side of the pitcher becomes too hot to hold. Turn off the steam while still holding the tip of the wand under the milk surface.
  • 5. Spoon the frothed milk into a tall 10-ounce glass, starting with the foam on top and gradually working your way down until the glass is full. Let stand, allowing the milk to settle under the foam while you prepare the espresso.
  • 6. Put the coffee in the double-sized filter basket of the portafilter, tamp down with a tamper, and secure the portafilter in the brew head. Place a brew pitcher or other receptacle under the brew head, turn on the brew switch, and brew for 22 to 28 seconds to yield 2 to 3 ounces of espresso.
  • 7. Slowly pour the espresso into the glass over the center of the foam in a thin stream. Top with syrup, if desired. Serve hot.


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