Macchiato Vs. Latte (With Pictures)

Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by John Moretti

Every coffee lover and coffee connoisseur has their favorite coffee drink. And with so many different varieties, tastes, styles, and sizes, it is hard to pick that one authentic and favorite coffee beverage. There is always a debate about which coffee beverage is better, such as whether Macchiato is better than Latte? What are the differences between both drinks? 

There are a few differences and similarities between the Macchiato and the Latte. The Macchiato and the Latte are both made with Espresso, although in varying amounts. The Latte and Macchiato also contain milk, with the Latte containing more milk than the Macchiato.

I will try my best to outline the key differences between the Macchiato and the Latte, along with the proportions of Espresso and Milk used in both of these coffee beverages.

What Is The Difference Between A Macchiato And A Latte?

When it comes to the Macchiato and a Latte they both have their similarities and some differences. Let’s see what makes both these coffee drinks unique and refined.

The Macchiato

espresso macchiato

The traditional Macchiato, which is derived from Italian meaning; “marked” or “stained,” is made by “staining” the milk with a shot of dark espresso. The Macchiato is made by pouring steamed and frothed milk into a Macchiato cup, and then the prepared Espresso shots are added to the steamed milk. And that’s it! That is all that goes into making a delicious Macchiato!

Cafe Latte / Latte

cafe latte

Latte means milk in Italian (and in Spanish as well). So the only difference between these two drinks is the amount of milk. A Latte is made with more milk than a Macchiato, but the difference is by no means dramatic. The Latte is also made in a larger cup and has a higher proportion of espresso.

For me, the Macchiato is a powerhouse of coffee, but the Latte is a more refined drink. In a Macchiato, the coffee flavor is so strong that you can barely taste the milk. In a Latte, the milk is a slightly more dominant flavor. 

So if you want a drink that will wake you up and give you a serious jolt of coffee, go with a Macchiato. If you want something that will deliver less caffeine with more body and sweetness, go with the Latte.

Does A Latte Or Macchiato Have More Milk?

A Latte has more milk than a Macchiato. When you order a Macchiato, you are ordering it with a dash of milk. A Latte has more milk than a Macchiato, and some people refer to a Latte as a Macchiato with a lot more milk.

If you are a coffee drinker, then you have probably wondered this question a time or two. The truth is that it’s a very important question to ask! The answer is yes; all Latte drinks do have milk. That being said, just because a Latte drink has milk does not mean that it is a great choice for you. 

If you are looking for a healthy and nutritious beverage, you will want to make sure that you choose a Latte drink with no added sugar. That way, you will be able to enjoy the taste of the coffee without the extra calories. If you are looking for a Latte drink with a lot of calories, you will want to look for a Latte drink with a lot of sugar.

When we talk about coffee drinks with milk, there are a few of them that almost anyone who is a coffee connoisseur would instantly recognize. Each of them would have its mix and blend of coffee with its distinctive tastes. Here are a few of the coffee drinks that have milk in them, each in varying quantities;

  • Macchiato: The Espresso Macchiato is the smallest milk Espresso drink served in an Espresso cup. The coffee to milk ratio is around 1:2
  • Piccolo or Cortado: The Cortado is a single Espresso with foamed milk often served in a glass cup. The coffer to milk ratio is around 1:4
  • Flat White: A Flat White is a double Espresso with foamed milk. The coffee to milk ratio is similar to Cortado, around 1:4 but you also get more caffeine and a much bigger drink
  • Cappuccino: Cappuccino is a single Espresso with foamed milk and the coffee to milk ratio is around 1:6 or 1:7 
  • Cafe Latte: The Cafe Latte is a single Espresso with foamed milk, served in a big cup. The coffee to milk ratio is around 1:14

When we are talking about Coffee’s that do not contain any milk at all; there are also a few of them which come to mind;

  • Single Espresso: An espresso is an intense short coffee served in a small cup. In specialty coffee shops you can expect between 20 to 25 grams per espresso shot
  • Double Espresso: A double espresso is basically two espressos served in one bigger cup. Some coffee shops only serve a double espresso
  • Americano: An Americano is a single shot of Espresso diluted with hot water and served in a bigger cup.
  • Lungo: The Lungo is a longer and less intense Espresso often served with hot water on the side so you can dilute it to your preferred taste
  • Filter Coffee: This is a black coffee alternative that is not based on Espresso, rather you brew it by hand or with a batch brewer

Which Non-dairy Milk Is Best For Lattes?

Suppose you are a vegan or a vegetarian whose diet restricts you to a dairy-free milk alternative for your beverages. In that case, there may be a few healthier alternatives to using dairy milk. Your local coffee shop probably has a few alternatives that you can pick and choose based on your liking.

I know that Starbucks coffee shops provide you with 20% reduced-fat milk as an alternative, but this is a dairy product and not a non-dairy or plant-based alternative to milk. In the realm of plant-based alternatives, you can choose from soya milk, oat milk, and rice milk to even nut-based milk such as almond and cashew milk. 

Remember that milk alternatives do not contain the fats, protein, and carbohydrates that regular milk alternatives contain. Therefore, it makes it a little tricky for the barista when he is mixing your Coffee, as the non-dairy milk alternative starts to curdle when he is pouring and mixing the Coffee. So to counterbalance this effect, he adds in a small quantity of natural suspension and stability regulators.  

How Much Milk Should I Put in a Latte? 

The amount of milk that you put in a Latte is going to be a personal preference. However, there are some general guidelines that you should follow when deciding how much milk to put in your Latte. 

  • For a 12 ounce Latte, you should use between 2 to 3 ounces of milk. 
  • For a 16 ounce Latte, you should use between 3 to 4 ounces of milk. 
  • For a 20 ounce Latte, you should use between 4 to 5 ounces of milk.
  • For a 24 ounce Latte, you should use between 5 to 6 ounces of milk.  

The Final Word

In conclusion, the type of coffee beverage you choose as a personal favorite depends entirely on your taste buds and how strong or weak you like your Coffee. Maybe you don’t need to have one personal favorite when you can have a few coffee drinks and styles to suit your mood. 

You can have them with milk, or without milk, or even with a dairy-free milk alternative, with a single shot of espresso or maybe even two shots of espresso; it all boils down to personal preference.