How to Make a Macchiato





Introduction: How to Make a Macchiato

A macchiato is a beautiful, and tasty scientific drink.
It consists of layers of Chocolate, foam, milk, and coffee. And with the right tools and proper techniques, they are very easy to make.

I have separated this instructables into several steps. Grinding Tamping and Pouring, Foaming, and Layering. Each step needs proper techniques and practice to do it successfully.

For this you will need:
Espresso Machine
Espresso Cups
Coffee Beans
Coffee Grinder
Chocolate Sauce
Cold Milk Frothing Pitcher
Glass Cup

Here's the finished product

Step 1: Grinding, Tamping, Pouring.

Ideally you would grind your coffee with a bur grinder, but those can be very expensive, and most people don't have access to one so I will teach you how to use a blade grinder.

Coffee is freshest immediately after it is ground. After grinding coffee beans, the oils that were protected inside the bean are exposed to the air which oxidizes and stales the coffee. This occurs immediately after coffee grinding so it is important to tamp and extract the espresso as quickly as possible. The coffee grinder should be ran for 15-20 seconds every time a shot is desired so that only freshly ground coffee is used, for this reason it is not recommended to use pre-ground.

When your tamping the goal is to make a pellet of coffee that the the hot water from the espresso machine will penetrate evenly. Since the water from the espresso machine is under pressure, the espresso pellet must be hard and evenly tamped. Once your done grinding, put the ground coffee into you filter, use 2.5 to 3 teaspoons for a double shot.
Put the filled coffee filter on a sturdy surface, and take your coffee tamper and place it on top of the coffee in the filter. It should fit snugly into the top of the filter. If the tamper is too small, the coffee around the edges of the filter wont be compressed, and the water will flow through the grounds there, losing its flavor. Press straight down, applying even, firm pressure. You should aim for about 30 pounds of pressure. Push down, twisting slightly in one direction and lift straight up. The surface of the coffee should be smooth with no crumbs. Brush away any crumbs of coffee from around the edge of the filter and place the filter onto your espresso machine.

As a general rule of thumb, the darker the roast the shorter the extraction time should be. For example, espresso uses a Dark roast, and therefore the extraction time is quite short. The ideal rate-of-pour for espresso has the consistency of syrup, About 25-30 seconds.

To preserve the flavor of your coffee beans, you must protect them from moisture, light, and above all, air

Step 2: Foaming

When foaming your milk, use very cold milk. It is important to keep the milk temperature right above freezing. Keep the steam pitchers in the refrigerator also. This will allow you to steam the milk for a longer period of time.

Fill your milk pitcher half way with cold milk and place the tip of the frothing wand about 1/4 inch- 1/2 inch below the milk surface level. Then slightly tilt the pitcher (if the bottom of the pitcher is parallel with the floor, tilt the pitcher about 15 degrees). Make sure to tilt the front of the pitcher towards the frothing device. Then release the valve to full blast. You will will hear a high pitched squeal, as this happens you will notice the level of the milk will rise. If you see large bubbles starting to grow on the top of the milk, your wand is too close to the top, and if you see no foam form on the milks surface, and hear a deep, throaty wine, the wand is down too deep.

Keep doing this until a foam dome is formed at the very top of the pitcher.
Once the temperature reaches 180 degrees, stop heating the milk.

This can take a lot of practice to get it just right, so I recommend using an electric milk frother until you master it.

Step 3: Making the Layers

Once you have your espresso shots, and frothed milk, take out your glass cup and chocolate syrup.

The first thing you pour in is your milk, on the bottom will be your milk, and on top will be the foam.
Then pour in your espresso shots right down the middle, you will notice it stays in the middle.
Then take out your chocolate syrup and pour it in until you can see it at the button, and then put a thin layer of chocolate on top of the foam. (make sure not to make it too thick or it will sink.)

And you have your finished product, a 5 layer macchiato.

This is a great example of density. Looking at this drink we can see that Chocolate Sauce is very dense, and the foam is not.
Density is a measure of how much mass is contained in a given unit volume (density = mass/volume). Put simply, if mass is a measure of how much ‘stuff’ there is in an object, density is a measure of how tightly that ‘stuff’ is packed together.



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30 Discussions

I have been employed at coffee shops/espresso bars, and coffee is something that I adore and take very seriously. So reading this, there's something that sticks out to me immediately. Though, one that I can not truly blame or feel anger towards the consumer society for. A macchiato (in the sense described above) is only what people commonly know it as in Starbucks, entrepreneur (mom and pop) style coffee shops do not serve the same. traditionally, a Macchiato is simple, and a rare order for Barista. A macchiato is a shot of espresso (usually a double or triple shot) with milk foam placed upon the top. Thus, the Italian meaning for macchiato, which is "to mark" My only point to clarify is that when ordering a macc. at home owned coffee shops, you must be specific. When a barista gives you a true macc and you are angry, please be angry at Starbucks for making the mistake of changing a beautiful and delicious drink in its entirety. For Barista's as a society. Thank you.

5 replies

Don't frett, I too have been a barista and know your pain of having to remake drinks because Starbucks has an agenda to make your life as difficult as possible. There is a special place in hell for people like starbucks. Long Live the corner Coffee Shop.

Who cares what it's called! For all I care, it could be called DINOSAUR POOP and as long as it is the same as in the instructable above, I'll drink it!

Correct Fenimore. Growing up, I use to get a turbo from our local Italian barista. It is essentially a short cappuccino or a large macchiato. I ordered a turbo on a trip one time and got a triple espresso! My bad of course but funny how I assumed a turbo was universal. Starbucks gives coffee a bad name. Seattles Best was the best until Starbucks bought them. If you can't beat them, buy them and destroy them.

I conquer. I had to do a report on Starbucks and the history there of and I found that Seattles best was very legitimate "trustworthy." Yet, Starbucks (along with Tim Hortons,though not to such an extraneous extent.) have ruined coffee.

Nice instructable! finished product looks great

I just wanted to add that we all need to calm down about the differences in similarly named beverages.
whether right or wrong, iMac is correct in saying it is a Macchiato, and yall are correct in saying it's not.
Though it may be better if it were called by it's regional name: "Starbucks / Californian Macchiato" , or with the traditional beverage: an "Italian Macchiato."

btw, I like alessiof76: "mocaccino" kinda makes sense

That's not a macchiato! This is a macchiato. What type of espresso machine are you using. It looks awesome!

5 replies

The one shown in the instructable is a macchiato. If the picture of coffee you posted was in a glass cup, it would have layers too, there's just different ways to present it. My espresso machine is a La Pavoni.

Starbucks has ruined coffee. Macchiato is a four ounce drink. Only Starbucks can take a simple, delicate, and perfect thing and turn it into a 20 ounce glass of overheated non-frothy milk and four different syrups. Sigh...

That's not true at all, I happen to work at Starbucks and macchiato's are just shots of espresso and one scoop of foam. It's the customers who changed it to what you are describing.

Agreed. The "caramel macchiato" phenomenon is actually a caramel café latté.
The word "macchiato" means "marked" in Italian - the espresso is pulled and then "marked" with steamed milk.

iMac needs to look at the picture more closely - that cup is 3-4oz. His is probably around 14oz. If the beverage is over 4oz, it is not a macchiato.

Also, his machine is gorgeous! I love lever machines :) there's something almost romantic about pulling a shot that way.

My brother knows coffee left and right, i will only drink coffee he approves. He works at starbucks in safeway, if the coffee isn't right he gets splashed with it and presses a little button under the counter. :-D

In Italy we call it "mocaccino" Great coffee machine! better than mine! Tip: for a great espresso use warm or hot coffee cup

I agree with all above. I was a competitive barista for two years, and a macchiatto is generally served as a double in a demitasse and dolloped with foam (or art in some cases). The -only- place i know of that raped macchiatos everywhere is Starbucks with their 'caramel macchiato" bs, which is actually a caramel cafe latte. :-/ Oh the tragedy Starbucks has brought by its mass market commercialisation of such a beautiful thing. :'-(

The problem is that people don't use the full name of coffee beverages. What most people call a latte should really be referred to as a caffe latte. Similarly with macchiatos, the drink that Starbucks serves is actually a caramel macchiato (Foamed milk marked with espresso and vanilla, then topped with a distinctive caramel pattern). That is what it is called on the website and probably also what it is listed as on the menu in the stores. Conversely at the high quality caffes here in town most serve an espresso macchiato (A shot of espresso marked with milk foam)

I don't see the point in going to the effort of making real, freshly ground espresso to then go and ruin it with Hershey's syrup. That stuff makes me gag. With a machine like that your clearly a coffee purist so I'm surprised you do this but each to there own.

Cool post, I like the layers...I usually pour it so that it mixes. I have worked for may years as a barista, making awesome coffee for the masses, and the drink you make above would be more accurately called a moccachino. With layers. Fenimore is correct--a true macchiato is a demitasse cup with a shot or 3 of espresso, topped with a spot of froth. Alternatively you can 'stain' the espresso with a few drops of milk. In different places they call different coffees by different names--In Western Australia they serve a double shot in a small glass and top it with steamed milk and call that a macchiatto. Here in New Zealand we serve the same thing in a small cup and call it a flat white. I see starbucks is selling instant coffee now...

I just want to second what many have already pointed out. What you are making is not a macchiato, a macchiato is an espresso with a dash of milk. I'm sure that even Starbucks know what a macchiato is. Anyway, nice guide - you should only change the title.