Coffee Battle: Macchiato vs Cappuccino

Macchiato vs Cappuccino_1

Every now and then, we need to host a face-off between two mighty champions, both a complete package of caffeine with intense yet beautiful flavors, two staples of the coffee industry that top charts far and wide for global coffee sales. Today, we battle the Macchiato and the Cappuccino.

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The first thing to note, both of these drinks are made using Espresso, now, before you say that an Espresso is too intense for you, fear not, a Cappuccino and a Macchiato have their intensity lowered by pairing an Espresso with steamed milk. There are different varieties to contend with, let’s start by listing each below.


A Cappuccino in coffee culture is the drink of the morning, the right amount of caffeine to kick to start your day with wide eyes while being complimented with enough milk to ease you in slowly to the drink. This is due to the layering within a Cappuccino. The Cappuccino is made precisely with 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam – I can see you salivating over the sound of that, and rightly so. The layering in a Cappuccino is said to give you more of the milk and foam at the start and more of the Espresso at the end. This means you get eased into the drink in the morning, and when you’re finally ready, you get your Espresso hit.            

Coffee houses will serve your Cappuccino typically in a 150-180ml mug with a handle. On top, you’ll see a thick layer of foam, which if you’re lucky, will be seasoned with cinnamon or a sprinkle of chocolate powder.

A lot of people confuse the Cappuccino with a Latte, which is understandable as they share the exact same ingredients. The difference lies with the milk content. A cappuccino is a strong coffee drink, whereas the Latte is a lot more milk.

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As you’ve already guessed, a Macchiato is made using Espresso. With a Macchiato, it is not a strict layering process like a Cappuccino, which makes it the easier choice of the two, although the stronger.

A Macchiato and a Cappuccino share similar ingredients with the Espresso and steamed milk. The difference being the Cappuccino is made with 1/3 milk foam, which is not present here in a Macchiato.

If you’re ordering a Macchiato in a coffee shop like a Starbucks, what you’re going to get is essentially an Espresso in a cup with a few spoons of steamed milk.

The Macchiato is a middle ground between an intense hitting Espresso and a frothy Cappuccino. Typically, the Macchiato is the coffee drink of the afternoon as it packs a punch to see you finish your day.

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Latte Macchiato

There is a variation of the Macchiato, which is increasing in popularity, which is the Latte Macchiato. Latte means milk. A standard Latte is not a coffee drink unless ordering a Caffe Latte, which includes an espresso with the milk and some foam – similar to a Cappuccino however, the amounts are different.

Where it can get a little confusing is that the Latte Macchiato shares the exact same ingredients as the Caffe Latte – Espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. The difference lies with how the Latte Macchiato is made.

A Latte Macchiato should be made in a tall glass and layered, so the foam is on top, espresso in the middle, and lastly the milk in the bottom, this creates an appealing drink in a tall glass. A Latte Macchiato needs to be stirred before drinking however, otherwise, all of the espresso will come through the foam and leave you with just milk.

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There are a lot of similarities, as you can see between all of the drinks above in that they are all made with an Espresso base and have steamed milk as a base to reduce the intensity of the coffee.

If you’re a coffee guru already, then you may be drinking a Cappuccino every morning without fail and a Macchiato in the afternoon to stick to those Italian heritage coffee rules.

If a strong coffee is what you’re after while being weaker than a straight Espresso, then a Macchiato is what you’re after as it has a lot less foam than the Cappuccino and a lot more Espresso.

If you’re looking for more flavor and willing to sacrifice caffeine, then the Cappuccino is your answer or the Latte Macchiato, but for the sake of the blog, let’s stick with the Cappuccino. The addition of the 1/3 milk foam makes the flavor less intense and easier to drink. You can also add characters like cinnamon to your Cappuccino to change the flavor even further.

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So, there you have it, a hard-hitting espresso-style drink and a foamy, frothy glass, both made with similar ingredients. Now go out there and try

Ivan is a 24-year old graphic design and computer science student from Serbia who loves driving motorcycle in his free time and is absolutely obsessed with nature, sports and hanging out with friends.

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