Latte vs Macchiato: Difference and Comparison

A macchiato is a strong coffee drink topped with steamed milk. These formulations, however, oversimplify the situation.

Macchiatos come in various flavours, including a latte macchiato, which you may be familiar with. The slight differences between these espresso-based drinks set them apart, which is not a criticism.

Key Takeaways

  1. Latte is a coffee-based beverage made with steamed milk and espresso, while macchiato is made with espresso and a small amount of steamed milk.
  2. Latte is a larger and creamier drink, while macchiato is smaller and has a stronger coffee flavor.
  3. Latte is served hot, while macchiato can be served hot or cold.

Latte vs Macchiato

Latte, also known as a caffe latte, is a milk coffee that is made with steamed milk, one or two shots of espresso, and a thin layer of frothed milk placed on top. Macchiato or caffe macchiato is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, frothed or steamed and placed on top.

Latte vs Macchiato

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Caffe latte, the Italian phrase for coffee combined with milk, comes from “latte,” which means milk in Italian.

Latte is an increasingly used phrase in other nations, notably in English-speaking ones, to describe a specific kind of coffee. A latte in Italy is just a cup of milk with no coffee, as the name implies.

Caffè macchiato means “coffee with a stain” in Italian. There is not a lot of milk in the macchiato, but there is enough to leave a stain. It’s impossible to say precisely when or in what century the macchiato initially originated.

However, according to legend, this beverage was born of need. This stain came about because baristas wanted some way to distinguish between a plain espresso and an espresso with a splash of milk (macchiato).

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonLatteMacchiato
ProcessTo make a latte, you’ll need 1/3 espresso and the rest milk. About a portion of the espresso is supplanted with steamed milk and a layer of frothed milk.A macchiato is a coffee drink prepared with 50/50 espresso and heated milk.
MilkA latte is made with either 2% fat milk or whole milk.Macchiatos are made with whole milk.
EspressoA latte is made with a single shot of espresso.Two shots of espresso are used in a macchiato.
Caffeine68 milligramsThe caffeine content of a macchiato is 136 mg.
Number Of Calories95 and 102 calories34 calories

What is Latte?

Like a cappuccino, a latte starts with a shot of espresso. Once the espresso and heated milk are blended, you’ll get a creamy, smooth coffee drink with a subtle espresso taste.

One shot of espresso to two swigs of heated milk is the standard. Lavender foam covers the whole glass for an elegant presentation.

It is available in a wide range of hot and cold flavours and is widely regarded as one of the world’s most popular espresso beverages.

The latte has long been associated with breakfast. Even though it’s been cited in cafés since the 20th century, it’s most likely from the 17th century.

Although it has its origins in Italy, it has been widely adopted across continental Europe and the United Kingdom for many years. In the US, of course, it’s also been a favourite espresso drink for many generations.

Even though Europeans have been drinking this particular kind of coffee for centuries, the commercial form was developed in the United States.

The term “latte” in English is a contraction of the Italian phrase “caffe latte.” The drink is also known as “café au lait” in French and “Cafe con Leche” in Spanish, which means “coffee with milk” in both languages.

Therefore, you will be served milk if you order a coffee, lait, or Leche is one of those nations.

What is Macchiato?

‘Macchiato’ is an Italian word that is commonly used to describe coffee beverages. If you asked fans of this drink how to make it, most would say that you add some milk to an espresso shot.

While this is not incorrect, there’s no universal amount of milk to be used, which means you could get other drinks if you order a macchiato in different cafes.

Simply put, a macchiato is an espresso made first, followed by a smaller amount of steamed milk and foam. It is the traditional and most straightforward definition of a macchiato.

In Italian, “Macchiato” means “marked” or “spotted,” which is an excellent way to begin to look at the drink itself.

If we talk about the sweetness of macchiatos, it depends on how traditionally they’re made. Traditional ones don’t have any syrup in them, and that’s why they’re less sweet unless sweetener is added in some way.

For no reason, coffee chains like Starbucks don’t precisely add syrups and sweeteners to their macchiatos. Their customers love these sweet, sugary drinks, and so that’s how they’re prepared nowadays.

If we use traditional ways of making a macchiato, the only two ingredients to be used are milk and espresso, which will not result in a lovely drink overall.


Main Differences Between Latte and Macchiato

  1. Latte signifies milk in Italian, but Macchiato indicates marked or spotted.
  2. A latte is just coffee and milk, but a macchiato is coffee and milk with the addition of visible milk.
  3. Latte refers to the drink’s composition, while macchiato relates to the drink’s look.
  4. The new latte is made with milk poured over the espresso, while the new macchiato is made with espresso poured over milk.
  5. The calorie count for Latte is 95 to 102 calories, whereas it is 34 calories for Macchiato.
Difference Between Latte and Macchiato

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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