When you are about to order a milky coffee in a café, it wouldn’t be a surprise that there is more on the menu than “just” a cappuccino and a latte macchiato. All the new coffee variations are really great, but it doesn’t make it easier for you to pick one. We are here to help you discover the differences between the milky coffees: latte and latte macchiato.
Both latte and latte macchiato consist of one or two shots of espresso. Next to that, warm frothed milk, including foam, is used for every milky coffee variation. That leaves us with the question: What are the real differences between these coffee types?
What is a latte?
Latte simply means milk in Italian. So latte is not actually a coffee drink. That’s also why you call it latte art or milk art. Most people expect a latte or caffe latte to be more milky than a cappuccino. A slightly larger cup is therefore ideal to make the caffe latte to be more milky. The caffe latte often has less foam than a cappuccino and is usually served in a taller cup or glass.
Then what is a caffe latte? Caffe latte is an espresso with milk. In Italy a Caffe is an espresso. Latte is milk. So don’t be surprised if you order a latte in Italy you will just get you a glass of milk!
Because a latte contains more milk, many people in Italy make a latte for breakfast by simply brewing coffee in a Bialetti Moka pot, heating milk on the stovetop and combining the two. This seems to be the common style – they don’t bother with foaming the milk.
In conclusion, a latte contains more steamed milk to make it more milky. A latte consists of about 150 ml of steamed milk. On top of that there is a small layer of foam and then espresso. The latte therefore contains much more milk, which is the main difference between cappuccino vs latte.
What is Latte Macchiato?
Macchiato literally means “marked”, as it is an espresso “marked” with a spoonful of foamed milk on top. Nowadays you can find countless different variations of the macchiato including the caramelly Starbucks one. Technically, however, a macchiato is simply an espresso with a tiny dash of milk.
Then what is latte macchiato? A latte macchiato is one of the variations of macchiato. It has the same ingredients as a caffe latte but it is made and looks different.
A good latte macchiato is served in a tall glass and has distinctive layers between the foam, espresso and milk with the foam on top, espresso below the foam and milk at the bottom. Because of the milk at the bottom, make sure you stir the drink first or else you will get the coffee first.
There are of course other variations such as the flat white and the cortado. Many coffee shops have their own creations as well and there are even shops out there who prefer to not give the drinks any names at all as they believe this takes a lot of confusion away. If you happen to find these kind of coffee shops, tell the barista that you want to order espresso macchiato to make sure you get the right drink.