(GERMANY OUT) Kaffee trinken, Tasse Kaffee / Espresso macchiato- 2006 (Photo by Innerhofer/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
What Does The Word 'Macchiato' Actually Mean?
Many popular coffee-related terms come from Italy, the original coffeehouse-centric country, and this includes drink names like latte, cappuccino, and macchiato. Macchiato is one drink that's been adapted rather freely in countries outside of Italy, so drinkers may wonder what the name means and how it relates to the drink in its original form.
In its original, most basic form, a macchiato is a single shot of plain, unsweetened espresso with a small dollop of steamed milk foam on top. "Macchiato" literally translates to "stained" or "marked" in Italian, and the coffee drink is named after this word because the barista "stains" the dark espresso with the white milk.
If you want an authentic Italian macchiato, beware of ordering one in the U.S., particularly at large coffee chains. Many well-known "macchiatos" from retailers like Starbucks contain a much larger percentage of milk and also feature flavorings like sugar and caramel, making them quite far from a simple espresso with a dash of foam.