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How to Make a Caffe Macchiato

Learn to please a true coffee connoisseur with a hand-crafted caffe macchiato.


  • : Clean the steam wand thoroughly before you use it, since warm milk can breed bacteria
  • Step 1: Prepare the milk Pour two ounces of milk into the pitcher and submerge the thermometer. Place the steam wand in the milk so the tip is just below the surface.
  • Step 2: Steam the milk Turn on the steam and watch the milk increase in volume as it heats and aerates. Turn off the steam when the thermometer reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Never touch the steam wand or tip once you’ve turned on the steam – it’s hot! Be sure to hold the pitcher by the handle.
  • TIP: You can also heat the milk in a saucepan, and use a milk frother with a plunger to aerate the milk.
  • Step 3: Fill the portafilter Remove the filter apparatus – or portafilter – from the espresso machine. Pour ground espresso into the portafilter.
  • Step 4: Tamp the espresso Pack the grounds firmly with the tamper to keep water from rushing through too quickly. Many portafilters have a "fill line" that the grounds should reach after they have been tamped.
  • TIP: For a doppio, or double-shot, macchiato, check your machine’s instructions to see if it's capable of pulling two shots at once.
  • Step 5: Pull the shot Replace and lock the portafilter and place the demitasse cup below the spout. Press the button to start the water. It should take 25 seconds to make 1 to 1 1/2 ounces of espresso.
  • TIP: A good espresso shot is essential for a caffe macchiato. The shot should be dark, sweet, and rich with a lighter-colored top layer called the crema.
  • Step 6: Add the foam Use the spoon to place a dollop or two of foamed milk on top of the espresso shot. Add sugar or sweetener to taste.
  • FACT: The Italian word macchiato means "spotted," as in just a spot of foamy milk.

You Will Need

  • 2 fl. oz. Of Cold milk
  • A stainless steel steaming pitcher
  • A thermometer
  • An espresso machine with a steamer wand
  • 1/4 to 1/2 oz. of freshly ground espresso
  • A tamper
  • A spoon
  • And a demitasse cup
  • A saucepan
  • A milk frother
  • And sugar or other sweetener

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