How to Make a Short Macchiato

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Most coffee orders have slightly different meanings depending on the country you are in as well as the particular cafe or coffee shop you are visiting.

Here in Australia, an espresso macchiato, or “Long Machiatto” consists of two shots of espresso followed by milk and sometimes a dollop of microfoam in the middle.

A Short Macchiato is the smaller version of this drink and consists of a single 30ml espresso shot with just a tiny bit of milk and a dollop of microform to offset the bitter coffee flavour. It is a short drink served in a 90ml glass.

The Short Macchiato appeals to coffee lovers wanting to experience more flavours of the espresso than possible with more milky coffees. This drink also makes a nice alternative for regular espresso drinkers.

The Macchiato has quickly turned into a popular drink in Australian cafes thanks to its simplicity and the combination of flavours. It is not as strong as a regular espresso thanks to the small amount of milk that is added but it still has the robust espresso notes that can get lost in a flat white or latte.

Making a Short Macchiato is quite easy once you have the basics covered. Below, we explain how to make a short macchiato and also cover the main differences between the long and the short version of this drink as well as answering some frequently asked questions.

How To Make A Short Macchiato

What you need:

Step 1:

Pull a single espresso shot into your cup, making sure it yields around 30ml of volume. Your coffee should be freshly roasted and ground in order to get the best results.

Step 2:

Pour milk into your pitcher and froth it with the steam wand, making sure it has minimal foam and maintains a creamy consistency. Once the milk has reached the desired temperature turn off the wand, clean it and pour about a teaspoon of milk above the espresso.

Note: You can add more milk later on if you feel like it is too strong for your taste.

RELATED: How to steam milk for coffee

Step 3:

Once the teaspoon of milk has been added to the espresso, use a spoon to add a small dollop of milk foam in the middle of the coffee. The foam should clearly stand out from the rest of the drink.

Tips for Making the Perfect Short Macchiato

To achieve the perfect Short Macchiato there are a couple of things to focus on. The first is the espresso.

Your espresso should be around 30ml with consistent crema on top and should be poured in a 90ml glass or a small cup. Fresh coffee works best for this.

Milk is the next key component of a short macchiato as it serves the purpose of cutting through the bitterness of the espresso. The milk should have enough microfoam that it adds texture but not a lot (it shouldn’t resemble a cappuccino!).

Keep in mind is you want to add just a bit of milk (about a teaspoon). This is critical as it keeps the drink “short”. Follow this with your dollop of microfoam.

Short vs Long Macchiato

A Short Macchiato is composed of an espresso shot (around 30ml), a teaspoon of steamed milk and a dollop of foam on top. It is traditionally served in a 90ml glass.

A Long Macchiato consists of a double espresso shot (60ml) followed by steamed milk and foam, just like the short version. The long macchiato is served in a 220ml cup in order to have more space for milk.

The main difference between the two is that a short macchiato has a single espresso shot while a long macchiato has a double espresso shot. Another difference is the presentation, with the short macchiato being presented in a much smaller glass than the longer version. Both drinks have milk added to the coffee with a small amount of foam on them.

macchiato FAQ

What is the difference between a piccolo and a macchiato?

A piccolo is made from a ristretto (short) single shot of espresso followed by frothed milk and it is presented in a small cup. An espresso macchiato, on the other hand, is composed of a double espresso shot that is followed by milk on top. A piccolo is shorter in size and tends to have a smaller amount of milk than the macchiato due to the coffee and milk ratio of the drinks.
For both beverages, you must steam milk in a way that produces little foam. The macchiato must have a different consistency from a cappuccino or a latte.

How many shots are in a macchiato?

There are two espresso shots in a macchiato, usually yielding around 60ml of coffee before milk is added. A macchiato tends to be served in 220ml glass, leaving enough room so the barista can pour milk on top. A traditional macchiato has double the amount of coffee compared to a short macchiato.

What goes first in a macchiato?

In a macchiato, you first pull a double shot of espresso like you would usually with an espresso machine followed by frothed milk. Doing it in this order guarantees proper layering (something characteristic of a macchiato) making sure you still have a little bit of foam on top. A macchiato should have less foam than a cappuccino and less milk than a latte.

What is a “short macchiato topped up”?

A short macchiato topped up basically means that more steamed milk is added on top of the espresso shot, creating a milkier, foamier drink.
A traditional short macchiato will have just a little bit of milk (usually a teaspoon), which can often be left to interpretation. Asking for a topped up macchiato ensures that you get a drink that is not as strong as a regular one because it has higher milk to coffee ratio.