Macchiato Vs Cappuccino: What’s the Difference?

Approximate Ingredients Ratio Between Macchiato Vs Cappuccino

Not everyone likes the strength of espresso. Therefore, the combination of milk and espresso came into being and became very popular.

There are many combinations of milk and espresso through different brewing methods and ratios. So how do you find your favorite among so many possible combinations? We will compare two popular combinations for you here: macchiato vs cappuccino.

What is macchiato?

Macchiato is an Italian word meaning “marked” or “stained”.

Traditionally, a macchiato is made by mixing a cup (usually 1 oz) of espresso with a small amount of milk. In this case, the milk will stain the espresso.

However, many other variants are available, including latte macchiato, which is made by adding an espresso shot to a glass of hot milk. In this case, the espresso will stain the steamed milk.

Whether you drink an espresso macchiato or a latte macchiato, it is based on a large amount of steamed milk or espresso and is stained by a few other ingredients.

Since a macchiato is usually made with only a small amount of milk, its flavor is much stronger than other coffee beverages.

Similarly, its volume is also much smaller than other coffee beverages, and its standard serving size is only 1.25 ounces.

What Is A Cappuccino?

Cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee beverages worldwide. It is espresso, topped with steamed milk and milk foam.

Generally, a cappuccino contains equal portions of each ingredient, comprising about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foamed milk, giving it a rich taste and a creamy, smooth texture.

However, in Italy, the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (INEI) defined that a high-quality certified Italian cappuccino is made from 25ml espresso and 100ml steam-foamed milk through research.

There are also many cappuccino variations, such as “dry” or “wet” cappuccino. Wet cappuccino contains more hot milk, while dry cappuccino contains more milk foam. In most cases, cappuccino is sprinkled with cocoa powder.

How To Make Them

One of the critical distinctions between macchiato vs cappuccino is how to make them.

A cappuccino is made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, while a macchiato is made by adding a small amount of milk to an espresso shot.

Cappuccino Recipe

The following provides you with an economical and practical cappuccino recipe to show you how to make a cappuccino at home without an expensive machine. Of course, you can save it or print it out for yourself to use anytime, anywhere.

A Cappuccino On The Table

Cappuccino Recipe Without Expensive Machine

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


Generally, a cappuccino has equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and steamed milk foam. This recipe shows you how to make a cappuccino at home, which popular milk and espresso combination beverage, without using expensive machines.



  1. Brew 2 oz of espresso, and pour into the cup.
  2. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Use the microwave to heat at high for about 1 minute until the milk is hot and tiny bubbles form around the edge of the cup.
  3. Use a handheld milk frother or whisk to foam the milk until it has foamed to double in size.
  4. After foaming, add foamed milk to the espresso. As the foamed milk is poured in, the liquid milk will quickly settle out of the foam, forming roughly equal parts of foam, steamed milk, and espresso.


Best foam

  • The fat content of milk determines the consistency of the foam.
  • If you want the most velvety and richest cappuccino, use whole milk. You use low-fat milk instead that may sacrifice some smoothness.
  • The foam produced by skimmed milk is light, like meringue, and dissolves quickly.

Pour a nice pattern

  • Before pouring the milk into the cup of espresso, tap the measuring cup once or twice on the counter to force any large bubbles to surface.
  • Hold the cup with one hand and pour slowly and steadily so that the milk and the coffee are mixed.
  • Before reaching the top, you can control to pour a heart or pattern according to your preference.
  • If you want to pour a nice pattern, you should use micro-foam milk and not over-steamed it.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g

    Nutritional information is an estimate calculated using a nutrition ingredient database and is not always accurate.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the recipe, share a photo, and tag @roastercoffees. We can not wait to see what you have made!

    Here’s how to make a cappuccino without an expensive machine, including how to choose milk according to the foam you want in the above recipe and simplified brew steps so that you can save and view it easily.

    Step By Step: How To Make Cappuccino Without Expensive Machine (Webp image)

    If you still want to try the macchiato recipe, please click here.

    Coffee Time

    What is the coffee time about macchiato vs cappuccino?

    Traditionally, in Italian coffee culture, cappuccino is included in breakfast time. To have a way to drink espresso in the afternoon, Macchiato was born. It provides coffee lovers with an excellent choice between espresso and cappuccino.

    Cappuccino has milkiness and full layering, which is very suitable for progressive wakefulness after waking up in the morning. On the other hand, a slightly tuned Macchiato is more suitable for refreshing in the afternoon.

    The Bottom Line

    Finally, we know the difference between macchiato vs cappuccino. Different brewing methods give them their unique texture and taste.

    In short, macchiato has a stronger flavor than a cappuccino. However, milk makes it not as bold as espresso, making it ideal for coffee time in the afternoon.

    In contrast, the cappuccino taste is more subtle because you start with foam and milk first and slowly enter with espresso’s flavor. This layering effect makes it an ideal drink for mild mornings.


    It depends on the amount of espresso added. In genal, macchiato vs cappuccino have the same caffeine content. Because they are made with an espresso shot, 64 mg caffeine per 1 oz(30 ml) espresso, adding more espresso coffee will increase the caffeine content.

    The flavor of macchiato is slightly stronger than a cappuccino, at least in its original form. Most cappuccino drinks have more milk added. But remember, you can add extra espresso to any of them to make it stronger.

    Traditionally, a macchiato is an espresso shot (1 ounce per shot) with some steamed milk (sometimes with foam) on top. However, there are many variations of macchiato, one of which is latte macchiato, espresso will stain the milk.


    1. Mayo Clinic Staff. (29 Feb 2020). “Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more”.
    2. Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano. “The Certified Italian Cappuccino”.

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