Skip to main content

When Is A Macchiato Not A Macchiato?

In my recent posts, I have been referring to an interesting blog that had a cool image of the popular types of Italian coffee. To stick with that theme, I want to talk about one of my favorite espresso drinks, the Macchiato (a.k.a., Macchiato Caldo or Caffè Macchiato).

For the uninitiated, this drink is simply an espresso shot with a small dollop of milk foam dropped into the glass. Macchiato means stained or spotted, which brings up the obvious question: Does the milk stain the coffee or does the coffee stain the milk? I believe the coffee stains the milk, but for this I will require a nearly infinite number of shots, in situ to validate my opinions.

Until then, I need to appreciate when this drink is done correctly. When it isn't, I'd like to use it as an example of what not to do. Per esempio:

Real Italian Macchiato In Espresso Cup

I enjoyed the above delicious cup of espresso spotted with milk at a not so local Italian bakery. Please note the espresso cup in which it is served, as well as the tiny amount of stained milk in the cup. There is no confusing this delicious and refreshing beverage with a Caffè Latte and definitely not with a Cappuccino. 

Last week, however, I was served this:

Wrong Hipster Macchiato In Cup Too Large

Please note the size of the glass and the amount of milk and foam. While the milk certainly looks 'marked', I knew immediately after being served this that I was in for a morning of disappointment. I read later that the Chef/Owner is passionate about French cooking, which might explain her obvious disdain for Italian Coffee. 

I experienced the same misguided attempt at a Macchiato later that same day, but it was at a hipster coffee joint in Northampton, MA, so that one might be on me.

Drink Well!

- Beppe


Popular posts from this blog

Roman Hostaria Dino & Tony

Dining in Rome
During my recent trip to Rome, a friend and local recommended Hostaria Dino & Tony, the selling point was that it is affordable, great quality and traditional Roman fare. Without knowing it, my friend gave a description that perfectly aligned with what I like most about Roman food, so I was excited to give it a try!
Tony or Toni
While I am still learning to speak Italian (slowly), I usually feel fairly confident in a restaurant. Tonight, however, I was tired and Dino (or Tony, not sure which) greeted me, sat me down and asked if I wanted some wine with blinding speed. I was so overwhelmed that I think I said I wanted both Red and White wine. I didn't, he understood and returned with a delicious half-carafe of Vino della Casa and water.

I hadn't realized that this hostaria didn't see the need for menus. I'm sure I was asked what I wanted to eat, or at least if I wanted what they were making, but all I'm certain of is that I confirmed I …

Coffee Quiz ☕ - 3rd edition with Mangia with Michele

The next person who agreed to answer the Coffee in Italia questionnaire is none other than new friend Michele, from the awesome Instagram account Mangia with Michele.  We began following her within the last year and her posts about Italian food leave us drooling (you really have to check her out if you're not already following her).
I met her in NYC a couple of times IRL, and she's just as awesome as you'd expect!  She has an extensive background in the food sector after leaving her career in accounting to pursue her passion.  She's traveled extensively (even lived in Switzerland for a year) but loves her Jersey roots and can't imagine living anywhere other than the NYC area.  Seeing the view from her window in various posts makes me miss the big apple that much more!
Currently she's hard at work building her website;  you should subscribe right away so you won't miss the launch.  She's also partnered with Food Lover's Odyssey to lead a food tour o…

How To Use Stovetop Espresso Makers (Moka or Caffettiera)

History (Our Story!) Our journey from automatic drip coffeemakers to stove-top espresso makers was long, but it shouldn't have been!  We received a Bialetti Moka pot as a wedding shower gift from my sister and as we had no idea how to use it, we boxed it up and dragged it around with us on our many moves.  During an unpacking, we realized the handle had broken so we dumped it (big mistake but who knew!).  Cut to years later, Beppe ends up with another one from a yankee swap at a work Christmas party.  Again, we don't use it.  Finally our drip coffeemaker breaks and as we mull over which make/model to replace it with, we dig out the Moka pot and carefully read the directions and start using it, but only as an interim solution.  After a few tries, we figured out that using it is not only easy, but an espresso is so much better! 
So if you're intimidated (like we were) by the newness of the whole thing, we're here to share some tips on getting started using your stovetop…