An espresso macchiato, also known as caffè macchiato or simply macchiato, is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. “Macchiato” is Italian for “stained,” so an espresso macchiato features one or two shots of espresso “stained” with a spot of milk foam. A macchiato is typically served in an espresso cup and contains twice as much coffee as it does milk. \n\nA macchiato typically contains less milk than a [cortado](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/cortado-coffee-guide) or a [flat white](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-a-flat-white), and since the foam is thicker, it does not easily lend itself to latte art. Like most espresso drinks, the macchiato was likely invented in Italy. Not only is the name Italian, but Italy is also the birthplace of the espresso machine.\nEspresso macchiato and latte macchiato both have "macchiato" in the name, but these drinks are on opposite ends of the espresso-drink spectrum. The key differences include:\n\n- __Milk foam__: An espresso macchiato contains one espresso shot, a small amount of milk, and a dollop of milk foam. (An espresso macchiato made with two espresso shots is known as a “doppio espresso macchiato.”) A latte macchiato includes the same amount of espresso, plus hot milk and a crown of milk froth. \n- __Espresso flavor__: An espresso macchiato contains less milk than a latte macchiato, so it has a strong espresso flavor. \n- __Milk stain__: An espresso macchiato features a white stain of milk in the center of the brown crema. A latte macchiato is a "stained" latte, meaning that the espresso is the last ingredient added to the drink, leaving a small brown stain in the center of the white drink.\n- __Serving cup__: Baristas serve espresso macchiatos in an espresso cup and latte macchiatos in a tall glass.\nFollow these macchiato recipe steps to make a traditional macchiato at home using an espresso machine.\n\n1. __Grind the coffee beans__. The best espresso comes from freshly ground coffee beans—preferably ground with a burr grinder, which produces more uniform particles than a blade grinder. Grind the beans directly into the portafilter for the freshest coffee possible.\n2. __Tamp the beans__. The next step is tamping. A tamper is a small, flat round weight with a handle—kind of like a stamp. You use the tamper to press the coffee grounds into an even disc. This will ensure that the portafilter can go into and come out of the machine properly and maximize the water's contact with the coffee. Don't press too hard, or the disc will become compacted. Apply light pressure and release with a slight twist.\n3. __Prepare the cup__. Warm up a small espresso cup (about 3.5 ounces) by pouring hot water into the cup. Make a single or double shot of espresso. Gently slide the filter basket into the machine and turn the handle to lock it into place. Pour the hot water out of the glass and place it underneath the portafilter. Depending on the design of your espresso machine, you'll need to flick a switch or press a button, and the coffee will stream out into the cup.\n4. __Steam the milk__. Your machine will have built-up steam that you can now release using the steam wand. Release a tiny bit of steam into a rag or sponge to clear the wand of any residue. Fill your frothing pitcher a third of the way full with whole milk (or barista-style almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk) and insert the wand into the center of the pitcher. Keep the wand submerged to heat the milk until the outside of the pitcher is warm to the touch and a good amount of foam has formed.\n5. __Pour the milk__. When you start pouring, the milk that comes out will be hot but not very thick and frothy. Pour the milk into a separate glass or container until you reach the foam. (Reserve for another use.) Pour the foam on top of the espresso and serve immediately.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Gordon Ramsay, Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Alice Waters, and more.\nAn espresso macchiato is a classic espresso drink that features a small amount of milk.