coffee explained

Macchiato Vs Cortado: Espresso Drinks With Milk


Espresso drinks with milk have become increasingly popular in recent years, with macchiato and cortado being two of the most sought-after choices for coffee lovers. These two drinks may appear similar at first glance, but there are distinct differences in their preparation, taste, and texture. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right drink to satisfy your coffee cravings.

Macchiato and cortado both contain espresso and milk, but the type of milk used and the amount of foam are what set them apart. Macchiato typically uses foamed milk, resulting in a creamier and sweeter taste, while cortado uses steamed milk, resulting in a smoother and stronger taste. Additionally, cortado has a higher caffeine content, making it a popular choice for those looking for a quick energy boost.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the differences between macchiato and cortado, explore variations and customizations, and provide a basic understanding of coffee and its related information.

Key Takeaways

  • Macchiato uses foamed milk, while cortado uses steamed milk
  • Cortado has a slightly sweeter taste due to the use of steamed milk and has more caffeine than macchiato
  • Macchiato is a creamier, milky espresso drink with a stronger, richer flavor, while cortado has a smooth, full-bodied flavor with a creamy finish and is easier on the palate
  • Both macchiato and cortado can be customized with extra ingredients, and there are variations of both drinks available, such as caramel macchiato and café con leche.
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Differences in Taste and Texture

The taste and texture of macchiato and cortado differ due to the use of foamed milk in macchiato and steamed milk in cortado.

Macchiato offers a creamy and milky espresso flavor with a stronger and richer taste, while cortado has a smooth and full-bodied flavor with a creamy finish and a slightly sweeter taste.

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Comparing strength, caffeine content, and calorie count between macchiato and cortado, the best choice depends on personal preference.

When it comes to milk preferences, some people may prefer the silky texture of frothed milk in macchiato, while others may enjoy the creamier texture of extra foam in cortado.

Additionally, the origin and history of espresso drinks can also play a role in personal preference. For example, cortado originated in Spain and is a popular choice in Latin American countries, while macchiato has Italian roots and is commonly found in European cafes.

Ultimately, the decision between macchiato and cortado comes down to individual taste preferences.

Variations and Customizations

Variations and customizations of short espresso beverages with dairy components can significantly alter the flavor profile and texture of the drink. For those looking to add a little creativity to their macchiato or cortado, there are a variety of options available. Some popular variations of the macchiato include the caramel macchiato, which adds a sweet and creamy caramel flavor, and the latte macchiato, which has more milk and less espresso, resulting in a milder taste. The doppio macchiato simply adds an extra shot of espresso, while the iced macchiato is a refreshing option for hot summer days.

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Similarly, the cortado can also be customized in various ways. The café con leche, for example, is similar to a cortado but with more milk, resulting in a sweeter taste. The bombón is a Spanish variation that includes sweetened condensed milk, while the cortado leche y leche adds even more milk than a regular cortado. For those looking for a cold option, the iced cortado is a refreshing choice. Popular milk alternatives like almond and soy milk can also be used to create unique and delicious variations of these classic espresso drinks.

Does Starbucks use matcha in their macchiato or cortado drinks?

Starbucks matcha tea supplier plays a crucial role in crafting their macchiato and cortado drinks. This supplier provides high-quality matcha tea, a traditional Japanese powdered green tea, which adds a unique and vibrant flavor to these popular beverages. The inclusion of matcha tea adds depth and a touch of sophistication to Starbucks’ delicious macchiatos and cortados.

Coffee Basics and Information

Understanding basic coffee information is crucial to fully appreciate and enjoy the beverage.

The components of milk, for example, play a significant role in determining the flavor and body of a cup of coffee. The fat and protein content of milk can affect the mouthfeel and sweetness of the drink. Meanwhile, the addition of foam or steamed milk can alter the texture and taste of the coffee.

Becoming familiar with these factors can help coffee enthusiasts choose the right type of milk and customize their drinks to their liking.

Aside from milk components, knowledge of brewing methods and specialty coffee shops can also enhance one’s coffee experience. Different brewing methods, such as drip or pour-over, can produce varying tastes and textures.

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Meanwhile, specialty coffee shops offer a range of unique and high-quality beans, roasts, and brewing techniques that are worth exploring. Learning about these aspects of coffee can deepen one’s appreciation of the beverage and open up new avenues for exploration and experimentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the macchiato and cortado drinks?

The historical origins of macchiato and cortado drinks are unclear. However, variations of these short espresso drinks with milk have been popularized in different regions, each with their own unique twist and preparation methods.

Can macchiato or cortado be made with non-dairy milk alternatives?

Plant-based options can be used to make both macchiato and cortado. Taste comparison shows that almond and soy milk are popular alternatives to dairy milk, and can be used to customize the drinks to personal preference.

How do the brewing method and machine affect the taste of the espresso in these drinks?

The taste of espresso in macchiato and cortado can be affected by espresso machine variables, milk frothing techniques, different espresso roast levels, and latte art techniques. These factors can impact the strength, texture, and overall flavor of the drinks.

Are there any health benefits or drawbacks to consuming these drinks?

The nutritional differences between macchiato and cortado are slight, with cortado having more caffeine and calories. While both contain milk, the benefits and drawbacks of milk in espresso depend on individual dietary needs and preferences.

What are some common misconceptions or myths about macchiato and cortado drinks?

Common misconceptions about macchiato and cortado drinks include that they are the same, or that macchiato is just a smaller latte. However, taste comparison reveals that they have distinct differences in milk type and ratio.

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About the author


Samuel is a coffee lover and a writer. He's travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has soaked up the sun, the culture, and of course - the coffee. He loves to write about his experiences, and he hopes to travel even more in the future.

coffee explained