What Makes Latte vs Macchiato Special in Different Cultures?

discover latte vs macchiato in different cultures

Are you yet to discover latte vs macchiato in different cultures? Being coffee lovers, people love having discussions over it. At times, this also includes the origins of their preferred beverage.  This blog will help one distinguish and enjoy their choice of a drink, be it a latte or a macchiato. From quaint cafes to households, coffee is prepared and consumed to kickstart one’s day with a boost.  

Latte vs Macchiato Traditions Across Different Countries

Coffee is not just a beverage; it’s often deeply intertwined with cultural traditions and preferences across different countries. Let’s explore the distinctions between lattes and macchiatos in various cultures: 


   – Latte: 

Australian lattes are similar to those in the US, consisting of espresso with steamed milk and a small layer of froth. 

   – Macchiato: 

The macchiato in Australia can vary. It may be similar to the Italian version, or it might be a “long macchiato,” which includes more milk. 


   – Latte: 

French lattes are typically espresso with steamed milk, often served in a bowl-like cup. 

   – Macchiato: 

In France, a macchiato might refer to a “Café Noisette,” which is espresso with a small amount of milk or cream.


   – Latte: 

In Italy, ordering a “latte” will likely get you a glass of milk. If you want a coffee similar to what’s called a latte in other countries, you should ask for a “caffè latte,”. This will ensure that you get an espresso with steamed milk. 

   – Macchiato: 

An Italian macchiato, known as “caffè macchiato,” consists of a shot of espresso “stained” with a small amount of milk. A macchiato is typically served in a small cup or glass.

Scandinavian Countries: 

   – Latte: 

Scandinavian lattes are similar to those in other parts of Europe, consisting of espresso with steamed milk. 

   – Macchiato: 

The macchiato here is often similar to the Italian version, featuring a shot of espresso with just a dash of milk. 

United States: 

   – Latte:  

In the US, a latte is a combination of espresso and steamed milk, often topped with a small amount of frothed milk. It’s served in a large cup. 

   – Macchiato:  

Here, a macchiato is usually a “Caffè Macchiato,” like the Italian version. Which is why it features a shot of espresso “stained” with a small amount of milk.

These are just generalizations, and preferences can vary within regions and individual cafes. However, understanding these distinctions can enrich your coffee-drinking experience.  Moreover, providing you an insight into the diverse coffee cultures around the world. 

What Do I Need to Make a Latte? 


– Espresso (1-2 shots, depending on preference) 

– Milk (whole milk is commonly used, but you can use any type of milk) 

– Optional: Sweetener or flavorings like vanilla syrup 


– Espresso machine with a steam wand 

– Milk pitcher 

– Espresso tamper (if using a traditional espresso machine) 

– Coffee grinder (if using whole coffee beans) 

Preparing A Latte 

  1. Prepare your espresso:

   – If you’re using whole coffee beans, grind them to a fine consistency. 

   – Use an espresso machine to brew 1-2 shots of espresso. The amount can vary depending on your preference for the strength of the coffee flavor in your latte. 

  1. Steam the milk:

   – Pour cold milk into a metal milk pitcher. Fill the pitcher about one-third full to leave room for expansion during steaming. 

   – Purge the steam wand by briefly opening it to release any condensed water. 

   – Submerge the steam wand into the milk, positioning it near the bottom of the pitcher. 

   – Turn on the steam wand. Position the pitcher at a slight angle to create a whirlpool effect.  This helps to evenly distribute the heat and create a creamy texture. 

   – Steam the milk until it reaches the desired temperature (typically between 140°F to 160°F or 60°C to 70°C). Pay attention to the sound of the milk; it should produce a soft, hissing sound as it steams. 

   – Once steamed, turn off the steam wand and remove it from the milk. 

  1. Froth the milk (optional):

   – Tilt the pitcher slightly and position the steam wand just below the surface of the milk. This will help to create a layer of froth on top. Additionally, this step is optional, depending on your preference for frothy milk in your latte. 

  1. Prepare the latte:

   – Pour the freshly brewed espresso into a coffee cup. 

   – Hold back the frothed milk with a spoon and pour the steamed milk into the cup over the espresso. 

   – If desired, spoon a small amount of frothed milk on top of the latte for additional foam. 

  1. Serve and enjoy:

   – Optionally, you can add sweetener or flavorings like vanilla syrup to customize your latte. 

   – Serve the latte hot and enjoy it immediately. 

Preparing A Macchiato 

A macchiato, specifically a “Caffè Macchiato,” is a simple espresso-based coffee drink with a small amount of milk, “staining” the espresso. Here’s how to make a traditional Caffè Macchiato: 


– Espresso (1 shot) 

– Milk (a small amount for “staining” the espresso) 


– Espresso machine 

– Espresso cup 

– Steam wand (optional, for heating the milk) 


  1. Prepare your espresso:

   – If you’re using whole coffee beans, grind them to a fine consistency. 

   – Use an espresso machine to brew a single shot of espresso. 

  1. Steam the milk (optional):

   – The traditional Caffè Macchiato only requires a small amount of milk, just enough to “stain” the espresso. 

   – If you prefer warm milk with your macchiato, you can steam a small amount of milk. Do this using the steam wand of your espresso machine. Heat the milk to your desired temperature, typically around 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 70°C). 

  1. Add the milk to the espresso:

   – Pour the shot of espresso into an espresso cup. 

   – Using a spoon, hold back the foam and pour a small amount of steamed milk into the center of the espresso. The milk should just lightly “stain” the espresso, hence the name “macchiato,” which means “stained” or “spotted” in Italian. 

   – The amount of milk used in a macchiato is minimal compared to other espresso-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos. 

  1. Serve and enjoy:

   – Make sure to serve the Caffè Macchiato immediately while it’s hot. 

   – You can enjoy it as is, or if desired, add a touch of sweetener like sugar or a flavored syrup. 

 Also Read: What Is Dirty Chai? Ingredients & Best Recipes

Latte and Macchiato at CupsnChai 

CupsnChai is a modern cafe located in Michigan. From South Asian delicacies to flavorful Latte and Macchiato, we have it all. Moreover, we have open-area seating arrangements to cater to many people.  The best part is you can easily visit whether you’re from Canton, Dearborn, Novi, Farmington, Ann Arbor, or Ypsilanti. 

A traditional Caffè Macchiato is simple yet flavorful, perfect for when you want to sit back and relax at a cafe. Order online or visit with your friends and family today. As a result, you won’t have to miss out on all the things CupsnChai has to offer.