What Is The Difference Between Latte And Macchiato?

Espresso lovers have a lot of choices to enjoy their morning. The most difficult decision may be about lattes and macchiatos. So, what is the difference between latte and macchiato? 

Both beverages have espresso and some milk. However, a macchiato emphasizes the espresso flavor, but a latte is a creamy texture coffee that combines the espresso's bitterness with the milk sweetness. 

Today, Top Reviews will help you make up your mind quickly. Let's scroll down for the side-by-side comparison between the two drinks!

What Is Latte? 

A latte comes with espresso and steamed milk. Then, a foam layer on the top will complete your drink. 

This beverage has various varieties across Europe. In Italy, lattes are prevalent as a morning drink. However, in North America, they can be a treat for any time of the day. 

The English word "latte" is shortened from the Italian word: "caffe latte." Other names are "Cafe con Leche" in Spanish and "café au lait" in French. Both mean "coffee with milk." 

Lattes at large coffee shops frequently have the option of putting flavored syrups like caramel and mocha. They can even offer a dab of whipped cream. 

Making lattes at home with your coffee beans and coffee maker is relatively straightforward.

Lattes have many variations across the world

What Is Macchiato? 

A macchiato has a shot of espresso and a splash of steaming milk. Europeans often call it espresso macchiato or caffe macchiato. 

Macchiato means "a stain in coffee" in Italian. It refers to the appearance of the beverage after adding a touch of milk to the java.

This drink has a tiny amount of steamed milk with some foam on top to emphasize that the drink's main ingredient is espresso. As a finishing touch, the milk comes on the top.

Coffee enthusiasts with an espresso maker may prepare macchiatos at home, allowing them to control the amount of milk in their drink. 

You may also enrich the java with a thin coating of flavored syrup or add a second espresso shot. 

Macchiatos enhance your coffee drinking experience

Similarities Between Latte And Macchiato 

Many people confuse the drinks because they look similar to some extent. Here are some of the similarities between them:

  • Both of them are forms of espresso. 

  • These beverages have their origins in Italy.

  • The base ingredients in both drinks are milk and espresso.

  • Both now come in a variety of flavors.

What Is The Difference Between Latte And Macchiato?


We'll break down the distinctions between these two beverages in this comprehensive guide. 

You'll be a real coffee enthusiast the next time you make your java or order at any cafe. 


Although the two drinks share the same ingredients, they come in different ratios. The process of making each is also dissimilar. 

Let's talk about the latte first. 

Espresso, foamed, and steamed milk are the three components of a latte.

A typical latte has a shot of espresso in the mug first. Then, the barista will add some steamed milk and finally a layer of milky foam. 

To make this drink, drinkers often start with an ounce of coffee. You can add more if you want. The rule of thumb is to keep the ratio of coffee and milk the same. 

In North America, the drink often has some sugar for more sweetness. Many people like to serve lattes with ice and flavored syrup. 

A macchiato also has two primary ingredients like the latte. A single ounce of the espresso is in a standard macchiato. Yet, you can request a double if you need an uplift.

Steaming milk usually is 2%. However, you can change it to suit your preferences. The goal of this beverage is to moderate the java with just some milky foam rather than overpower it.

Begin by making an espresso shot. Then, fill a small cup halfway with it.

Heat the milk and pour a splash on top of the java. The addition gives the java a softness and sweetness without reducing the potent taste.

The different ratios of ingredients make the two coffees distinctive


Latte aims to highlight the sweetness of milk while its competitor emphasizes the richness of coffee. Hence, the caffeine content of a macchiato is higher than that of a latte.

A latte usually contains 85% milk and 15% coffee. A macchiato, on the other hand, has 10% milk and 90% coffee.


As you can see from the amount of milk in each drink, you may expect to consume more calories for a cup of latte. This drink is not suitable for those who are on a diet.

On the other hand, due to the higher concentration of coffee, macchiatos are perfect if you want to stay awake while maintaining your dietary plan.

On average, a cup of standard latte contains 90 to 100 calories. This figure for macchiato is only about 30 calories.

Macchiatos have more caffeine but fewer calories

We have compared the two drinks in essential features. Now, this comparison table will help you summarize their differences and similarities. 







Ratio of espresso to milk

1 : 2 

2 : 1 


Sweeter and softer

Bitter and more powerful


15% coffee

90% coffee


90 to 100 calories

30 calories

Variations Of Latte And Macchiato 

You change the ratio a little bit or add some ingredients in your lattes and macchiatos. Some variations below will give you ideas to create new recipes. 


The recipes for lattes change depending on the region. 

For example, in America, lattes have a thick microfoam and more milk. Baristas sometimes add sugar or flavored syrup to enhance the flavor. 

In France, the drinks come in large bowls for you to dip your baguette in. 


Many macchiatos differ significantly from the original recipe. A "zebra macchiato" with white mocha on the base and a coffee shot on top are available from Starbucks.

The "latte macchiato," a reverse macchiato consisting of hot milk served with espresso and coming in a tall glass, is also a popular variant.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the differences between lattes and macchiatos. 

1. Lattes vs. macchiatos, which is stronger?

Macchiatos have more espresso and are bolder. They contain more flavors as well as caffeine. 

Another reason is that lattes come with other flavors, but macchiatos only focus on the coffee taste. 

2. Can I have my macchiatos stirred?

Often, drinkers don't stir their drinks. However, you can ask the barista to do it for you by adding some milk. This tip helps remove the bitter ring from your java and offers a nice flavor balance.  

3. What makes a cappuccino different from a macchiato?

The milk-to-espresso ratio makes the two drinks different from each other. Macchiatos include more espresso. The coffee tastes, therefore, are more pungent.

You can learn about the differences between these two beverages via this video.


Youtube source: Roasty Coffee


Final Words

There are many numerous variations of coffee, but the lattes and the macchiatos are among the most popular. Both provide a caffeine and taste boost. 

Choose the macchiato if you want a more robust coffee. Otherwise, if you like a creamier beverage, a latte should be the way to go.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. 

Now, if you have made up your mind, keep that idea and be ready to enjoy your flavorful coffee!

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