Cappuccino and macchiato are two drinks that you’ll see on many coffee menus because they’re pretty much standard fare for any decent coffee shop.
Even though the differences between cappuccinos and macchiatos are quite significant, their names don’t tell you much about them.
So, let’s take a closer look at each drink individually and then compare their main characteristics. Then, when you’re out and about, you’ll have an easier time deciding which one to take with you.
What exactly is a cappuccino?
A cappuccino is a coffee beverage made with espresso and milk that has been steamed or frothed.
In most coffee shops, the ratio of espresso to milk is 1:3, though some can get as close to 1:5 in some cases.
As a result, you’ll have a milky, creamy drink with a decorative top (like with latte art).
While there is a fair amount of milk in the espresso, it is not often sweetened or flavored. As a result, the espresso flavor is relatively mild.
Because of the large amount of milk used in cappuccinos, they are more of a morning beverage because they cause a slower wake-up (as opposed to a jolt)
What exactly is a macchiato?
A macchiato is an espresso-based beverage containing frothed milk but does not contain any steamed milk.
It’s a much more modest-sized cup of coffee.
It’s nothing more than a shot of espresso with a dollop of milk foam on top.
Macchiato translates to a sustained/marked/spotted’ in Italian. As a result, a smidgeon of milk foam marks the espresso.
This results in a very small drink – approximately 1 oz/33 mL, which is just enough to accommodate the espresso shot and a dollop of milk foam.
With the teaspoon of milk foam on top, you get a strong espresso flavor that’s only slightly muted by the other ingredients in the drink.
Latte macchiato and espresso macchiato are two types of macchiato.
There are two ways to order a macchiato at Starbucks.
Similarly, if you walk into a coffee shop and order only ‘an espresso macchiato,’ you will be served an espresso macchiato.
This is the most basic of the versions. This is the original, traditional method of serving a macchiato, and it is what most people think of when they talk about this beverage.
If you’re wondering about the one that looks and tastes a lot like a latte, that’s a latte macchiato, to be precise.
The term “marked milk” refers to the fact that 70% of the drink is milk (steamed and foamed, mostly foamed), with the remaining 30% being a shot of espresso poured in at the end.
If you’re perplexed, big coffee chains may be offering latte macchiatos under the more specific name of macchiato, omitting the latte portion.
So if you’re accustomed to the large, milky version, and that’s what you prefer, you should always request a latte macchiato when ordering a coffee.
We’re also talking about cappuccino and espresso macchiato for reference and comparison throughout the rest of this post.
However, latte macchiatos are not included in the calculations because they are not the standard version.
Which one contains the greatest amount of caffeine?
Cappuccinos and macchiatos contain the same amount of caffeine. Naturally, therefore, they have the same options, or at the very least, they do.
Both are made with a single shot of espresso, which is a standard single shot.
If you want more caffeine, double the shot, ask for two shots, or even a triple shot, of espresso.
In the case of a cappuccino, this will increase the size of the drink while also giving it a very strong coffee flavor.
This may be an excessively strong drink for a macchiato, as there will only be one teaspoon of milk foam on top to moderate the strength.
So, to answer your question, the caffeine content of macchiatos and cappuccinos is the same as that of espressos. It is entirely up to you how many espresso shots are put into your drink and, therefore, how much caffeine is present.
Which is more convenient to prepare at home?
Among the two espresso drinks, I would argue that the macchiato is more user-friendly for newcomers to the game.
A macchiato is less complicated than a cappuccino, which requires you to know how to properly steam and froth milk in addition to pulling a shot.
You need to know how to make an espresso shot and a basic understanding of how to froth milk to get started.
Because you only require a small amount of milk, approximately one teaspoon of milk foam. There are several methods for frothing milk at home that does not require an espresso machine, and they will work for this drink as well.
A simple shot of espresso, some milk foam on top, and you’re finished with a macchiato, which takes no more than a few minutes to prepare. That’s it; that’s all there is to it.
Typically, no sugar is added because this is a small drink consumed in one or two gulps by most people.
If frothing milk appears to be too difficult or time-consuming, you can substitute a dollop of whipped cream for a little convenience.
This transforms the macchiato into espresso with Panna. Which is a completely different drink, but one that is even simpler to make if you have canned whipped cream on hand.
The most significant distinctions between cappuccino and macchiato
You should now be familiar with the terms macchiato and cappuccino, respectively. What information have we gathered so far?
They both make use of espresso and milk, but they go about their business in a very different way.
And you’ll have opposed coffee experiences from both.
So let’s take a look at the specifics of each drink and see how they stack up against one another.
1. A cappuccino contains more milk than a macchiato.
If you’re looking for a coffee that’s milky and creamy, the cappuccino is the drink for you.
This beverage contains up to 5 ounces/150 mL of milk by volume (less by weight, since a lot of it, is foam). When combined with espresso, it creates a creamy texture that significantly reduces the intensity of the espresso notes.
Almost everyone has become addicted to the resulting drink, which is very milky (although not as much as a latte).
Because of the large amount of milk in a cappuccino, it is the drink of choice for most people. In addition, the latte art on the top adds a nice touch of elegance to the drink, which is a pleasant surprise.
A macchiato uses significantly less milk than a latte. Even less is required than that, with only one teaspoon of milk foam required.
The macchiato has no real purpose other than to decorate the coffee with a small amount of milk foam.
There’s no denying that coffee is supposed to be the highlight of this establishment, but it isn’t for everyone. Some people may find it too harsh, and that is perfectly acceptable.
2. A macchiato has a much stronger coffee flavor than a latte.
Because one has more milk and the other…doesn’t, this seems like an obvious choice.
If you prefer a sweeter beverage and avoid bitter or strong flavors, a cappuccino is your best bet for satisfying your craving.
Depending on the manufacturer, a cappuccino may also be flavored with various flavors. Especially if the flavor goes well with coffee – such as caramel, vanilla, or banana – this results in an even sweeter drink.
A macchiato, on the other hand, will run you over with the intensity of its espresso flavor, leaving only one survivor to tell the tale.
Because of the tiny milk spot on top of the drink, it’s a harsh, strong beverage with only a slight rounding of the edges.
Rather than taking their time over a macchiato, most people prefer to get it over with quickly and move on with their day.
This is also the coffee to drink if you want to taste all of the different flavors of your coffee while only using the smallest amount of milk possible.
There is just enough espresso to fully explore the origin and just enough milk to finish on a sweeter note to round out the experience.
3. Cappuccinos are significantly larger than macchiatos.
You should be aware that cappuccinos are significantly larger in serving size than macchiatos if you are concerned about portion sizes.
In most cases, by a factor of approximately five times greater.
A macchiato is typically served in a demitasse, a small cup that holds 2-3 oz/60-90 mL of liquid. There’s just enough room for one espresso shot, the crema, and a smidgeon of milk foam on top of the espresso. There’s a little wiggle room here.
The espresso con Panna and regular espresso are two of the tiniest espresso drinks you can find, and this is one of the smallest of them all.
A cappuccino is served in a much larger cup, usually 5 oz/150 ml in size, and is frequently topped with milk foam and latte art to make it look even more impressive.
This can be found in the majority of coffee shops. Cappuccinos can be ordered in ridiculously large quantities at larger coffee chains, such as Starbucks, which serves up to 16 oz/470 ml.
Not everyone will order their cappuccino in the extra-large size, but a significant portion of the population will do so. As a result, many people believe that a cappuccino is a large beverage, similar to a latte.
However, this is not true, and it is also not accurate in terms of the original recipe and proportions used to make this drink.
On the other hand, a cappuccino will always be larger when compared to a macchiato.
4. The Macchiato is made solely of milk foam.
Let’s get back to the overall serving size and milk volume and talk about how much each ingredient is used in each drink.
A cappuccino is indeed made with milk, but it’s a different kind of milk than you might expect.
One part espresso, 1 part steamed milk, and 1 part foamed milk combine to make this drink.
It is common for the milk foam to be a less creamy version of the microfoam. Even though it’s a little see-through, I’ve seen similar items with microfoam that were fantastic.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “microfoam,” it’s a type of milk foam that contains extremely small air bubbles, making it smooth and velvety when consumed. Most milk foam looks and feels like very fine bubble bath foam.
So when you order a cappuccino, you’ll almost always get regular foam rather than microfoam, which is a good thing.
However, one is a contract between the foam layer and the mixture of milk and espresso on the drink’s surface. There isn’t much of a smooth transition, or at least not much noticeable.
A macchiato contains significantly less milk than a cappuccino because it only uses the foam typically found on top of cappuccinos.
As a result, there will be no microfoam or steamed milk. Instead, a teaspoon of milk foam plopped in the middle of the crema was all that was needed.
As a result, the distinction between the liquid and the foam becomes even more distinct.
5. Cappuccino is considered a morning beverage.
When you drink your coffee is entirely up to you, but it appears that some beverages are intended for consumption at specific times of the day.
Cappuccinos, for example, are a good example of how this works. However, because of the large amount of milk used and it is sometimes sweetened, they are more commonly associated with morning coffee.
While milk and sugar do not eliminate caffeine, they significantly slow its absorption and reduce some of its antioxidant properties.
As a result, the process of waking up is more gradual and peaceful than with a shot of espresso.
The same reason why cappuccinos and lattes aren’t recommended for consumption in the evening is that the digestive process slows down after a long day of staying awake.
And getting through all of the milk will be even more difficult because the milk itself is a time-slower than usual.
On the other hand, the macchiato is typically consumed as a midday pick-me-up. There’s enough espresso to keep you going, but there’s also a little milk to make it a little sweeter.
Still, there isn’t enough milk to make a significant difference.
Lastly, if you’re wondering, pure espresso is typically consumed in the evening, particularly at events following large dinners.
The question is, which one should you choose?
It is entirely up to your personal preference. Both drinks are excellent on their own, but they may be a little underwhelming to some people due to their strength.
If you prefer your coffee black and simple and tend to drink it quickly, then a macchiato is the drink of choice for you.
It’s straightforward, potent, and contains only the tiniest smidgeon of milk.
On the other hand, if you prefer a milky, more mellow beverage, a cappuccino is more appropriate for you. Breakfast is a better time for them as well.
I drink my coffee black about half of the time, and this is especially true at breakfast. It has nothing to do with digestion; I find that when I drink my coffee black, I can appreciate the rest of my breakfast fully.
Consequently, if you’re anything like me, you might enjoy a macchiato for breakfast as well.
Caffeine beverages cappuccino and macchiato are two very different beverages. However, they both provide you with a taste of espresso, each in their distinctive manner.
A cappuccino will be mellow and give you a nice coffee hit, and you can sometimes flavor it with a little sugar or other sweetening agents.
A macchiato will wake you up in the morning, and it’s very simple to consume. There’s nothing to be concerned about because it’s such a small cup of coffee (just 1 oz/33 mL). You can finish it in a single gulp if you want to.
Please feel free to experiment with both of them. Alternatively, if you find the macchiato too harsh for your tastes, extra milk is always available on request.