It seems like Starbucks is always adding new coffee drinks to its ever-growing menu. Founded in 1971, the coffee giant is still hugely popular and has made terms like “pumpkin spice latte” and “caramel macchiato” household names. One of Starbucks’ most popular drinks, perhaps because of its sweetness, is the macchiato. Yet you may not know that a Starbucks version is far from traditional.
The Starbucks macchiato is over-the-top and usually involves a lot of milk and sugar. On top of that, it adds a generous drizzle of caramel or hazelnut on the top. Starbucks’ creation is really just a latte with added foam and flavoring.
Starbucks released two new macchiato creations earlier this year, the Iced Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato and the Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato. Both are decadently layered drinks of espresso shots, coconut or almond milk, and a whole lot of sugar. Starbucks’ “coffee” concoctions like these that often contain more calories than a big mac don’t even seem related to the simple, traditional macchiato.
The Real Macchiato
There are two types of traditional macchiatos: a latte macchiato and a caffè macchiato. A latte macchiato is a larger drink. It is mostly steamed milk and foam, with just about half a shot of espresso.
Conversely, even though a caffè macchiato is traditionally about half the size of a latte macchiato, it’s a much stronger drink. it is more popular and uses a whole shot of espresso, with just a small dollop of foamed milk on top.
Both types of traditional macchiatos are actually very easy to make. For starters, the term “macchiato” translates to “marked” in Italian. So depending on what type you’re making, the espresso is either marked with milk or the milk is marked with espresso.
What’s a simple way to keep the two types of traditional macchiatos straight? Whatever is first in the cup, steamed milk or espresso, directly corresponds to the type.
Clearly, both types of traditional macchiatos are straightforward espresso drinks, unlike Starbucks’ numerous variations. If you’re looking to try the real version, most local coffee shops will know what to do. We strongly urge you buy the normal version instead of go to Starbucks and get the fatty, sugary one.