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Thread: What is a "proper" macchiato?

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    Senior Member csutak40's Avatar
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    What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    There is an article in the Age http://tinyurl.com/l3vkt
    *which started a discussion in a newsgroup Im in. *This is what a person wrote:

    I drink Macchiato which Starbucks <bluh> and others in their ignorance define as: Espresso Macchiato as "1 shot of espresso in a demitasse [topped with] a small dollop of foamed milk. About.com Macchiato Definition: *A shot of espresso with just a dab of steamed or foamed milk on top.

    Wrong! Wrong!

    I have given up on being made a proper macchiato so now I order a long or short black with a tiny bit of COLD milk on the side and I make it into a macchiato myself.

    True macchiato: Expresso with about one or two teaspoons of COLD milk which are gently poured down at the side of the glass and the milk will seen to sink to the bottom of the glass.

    No definitely no GODDAMN hot milk thank you or even that DAMN obligatory fey bit of milk froth on top!

    It may seem fussy but any hot milk or its froth does alter the flavour of the coffee considerably.


    So, I wondered if hes right? *I do remember my father drinking his coffee in exactly the same way he does (he just called it coffee *;D) and I also remember reading his description somewhere, but cant remember where, or what it was called.

    I just looked in John Doyles book, he says: a dollop of foam and/or a dash of hot or cold milk. *No mention of pouring it down the side of the glass. *

  2. #2
    JR
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Judy

    From memory the generally accepted macchiato is one 30ml shot of espresso marked with some milk/foam.

    Dan

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    People do have differing opinions about what is the correct definition for some drinks.
    I think Chris (2muchcoffeeman) mentioned once that there are actually approved standards for certain drinks, so perhaps there is one for macchiato.

    I do find it amusing that the person making the post you referred to is SO passionate about the definition, yet there is no mention of how they KNOW their definition is correct and everyone else is wrong.

    For the record, I was given a coffee cheat sheet from Mocopan when I bought my setup. It is a glossy brouchure with descriptions of 10 types of coffee.

    It has macchiato as:
    Shot of espresso with a dash of hot or cold milk and dressed with a dollop of foam.

    Pretty much the same as Johns book.

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Definitions only work when they are observed by everyone in the industry. If they are not --and they are not-- they are pointless.

    Best to describe exactly what you want: an espresso with a dollop of cream, or a dash of cold milk or poured down the glass or whatever. Then there shouldnt be any problem.

    Macchiato means, literally, stained. So the black substance is stained with a little cold milk. If you have a preference of just how much milk -- tell the barista.

    That way we get what we desire without it being lost in translation, definition, training or whatever.

    Robusto




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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Definitions may differ, but everywhere I went in Italy for coffee and ordered macchiato, I was always asked if I wanted hot or cold milk - so it seems the European understanding allows for hot or cold

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    See my comments post number 6 in Topic. Commercial Machine Fun - Help me improve

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy link=1141787120/0#0 date=1141787120
    There is an article in the Age http://tinyurl.com/l3vkt
    *which started a discussion in a newsgroup Im in. *This is what a person wrote:

    I drink Macchiato which Starbucks <bluh> and others in their ignorance define as: Espresso Macchiato as "1 shot of espresso in a demitasse [topped with] a small dollop of foamed milk. About.com Macchiato Definition: *A shot of espresso with just a dab of steamed or foamed milk on top.

    Wrong! Wrong!

    I have given up on being made a proper macchiato so now I order a long or short black with a tiny bit of COLD milk on the side and I make it into a macchiato myself.

    True macchiato: Expresso with about one or two teaspoons of COLD milk which are gently poured down at the side of the glass and the milk will seen to sink to the bottom of the glass.

    No definitely no GODDAMN hot milk thank you or even that DAMN obligatory fey bit of milk froth on top!

    It may seem fussy but any hot milk or its froth does alter the flavour of the coffee considerably.


    So, I wondered if hes right? *
    What would he know? He spells espresso with an x.

  8. #8
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Sorry if this link makes any one cringe,

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How_to_make_a_Macchiato/

    Take a look at the above link, then ask are standards needed.

    I would like to see consistancy as much as the next coffee snob.It would be a perfect world if we were all the same, but however, variety and originality should never be stiffled.

    But IMHO what is demonstrated in the above link is an Iced coffee.

    CB

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    wikipedia has a good article. Firstly, what were talking about here? An espresso macchiato or a latte macchiato? As said mefore, macchiato just means stained, so it can be anything stained with anything.
    It also states that the tiny amount of froth is just for the server to tell it apart from an espresso.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caff%C3%A8_macchiato

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    A "proper" macchiato is one that never comes to the table without its shirt or shoes. It also never swears without extreme provocation!

    Greg
    And thats about as accurate as most definitions Ive read. :-*

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Whenever anyone asks me what a macchiato is I always say it is a highly debated topic...and here is more evidence!

    I would never say that I know the "right" way, but when I make a short macchiato it is with an espresso, a touch of steamed milk and a touch of froth. I do a long macchiato in a (roughly) 6oz cup, half full with water, doppio espresso, and steamed milk with froth. Weve been getting into pouring the milk for long machs, with a bit of quick art on top. This gives you milk in the drink and froth "marking" the top. However, Mr Gimlet, I do like what you said about Italian cafes asking if you want hot or cold milk. I think that would be good service.

    Like I said, I dont claim my way is THE way, just puttin it out there.

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?


    You can always pour an espresso, serve with some texturised milk in a separate small jug, and let the customer work it out! ;)

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Not that i sell a lot of Machs where i am but whenever someone orders one i just ask them " how do you normally have it?" and usually get a varied reply from either stained with foam or sometimes cream or just cold milk. They normally appreciate the interest you take in asking as well.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    A Macchiato has an espresso base
    It is then finished with a small stain of milk and a dollop of foam
    It is normally served in an espresso glass or cup

    When I dont feel like a straight espresso I will normally have a Macchiato in its place

    I make a cappuccino for the wife and use the last of the milk and foam for my Macchiato

    KK

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Apart from my espresso, when I am in the mood, I love a good Macchiato.

    In my humble opinion, I would therefore like to vote for an attempt to keep a standard on them as much as possible. That is not to say I do not mind a bit of creativity, in its right place; however.

    I have had many discussions on CS about what defines an Espresso. Each of those defining characteristics (e.g. 30ml poured in 25-30 sec) means that it will taste just so. This means that if every cafe in the land ground their beans just so their pour lasted between 25-30sec, there is a very good chance I would get a close to ideal Espresso everywhere.

    Why would I not like just the same for my Macchiato?

    The problem is that even John Doyle is ambiguous.

    To quote:

    Macchiato (Short), or Caffé Macchiato served in a glass (70-90ml). An espresso stained with a dollop of foam and/or dash of hot or cold milk; a 5mm thick crema.

    First he cannot decide on a name giving it two. I would argue that there is no need for the latter -Caffe Macchiato - because in that form it is more of an adjective than a name. Furthermore, if I was in a café ordering a “Macchiato”, surely it is understood I am ordering a coffee. I dont say Café Espresso for example.

    His definition is also ambiguous. Doyle allows a Macchiato to be two different drinks, one with one serve of milk or one with two serves of milk.

    According to John, a Macchiato can be an Espresso topped with a dollop AND/ a dash of hot or cold milk ............OR it can be an espresso with a dash of hot or cold milk.

    So which one is it?

    What IS a proper Macchiato? or what is the standard for a Macchiato?

    Is it a milk drink or is it a coffee drink?

    There is my second crack worth.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 18333A29293E3F04193E3A35285B0 link=1141787120/7#7 date=1241510796
    But IMHO what is demonstrated in the above link is an Iced coffee.
    I disagree.
    I made one on my barista course but cant remember what it was called. It might be in my course notes but theyre not to hand right now.
    Basically though its a layered drink.

    You will note that most of the replies tried to correct the guy that posted it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F3E353532285B0 link=1141787120/11#11 date=1241523402
    You can always pour an espresso, serve with some texturised milk in a separate small jug, and let the customer work it out!
    Thats how I do it at home and why I bought the 1oz jugs.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    As I have understood a macchiato, it should traditionally be an espresso shot with a teaspoon or two of cold milk on top to make a spot and to create layers of coffee, milk, then crema.

    Although Im sure using a couple teaspoons of hot milk from the jug you just steamed for a latte is ok too. As long as you dont end up with a whole layer of foam on top of the crema, as that is not a macchiato in my opinion.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    You rang?

    I use either a drop of hot or cold milk, depending if I have steamed milk for other drinks. I wont bother warming the milk just for my drink when all I need is a teaspoon full. I prefer to be served the milk separately if I buy one.

    I love the layered look of a well poured macchiato and how the milk mixes with the top layer of espresso. Bit like watching a Guinness.

    Mr M

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    For what it may be worth, I use hot milk in a macchiato, with just a trace of good quality milk froth on top. If Im asked to make it a different way, such as with a drop of cold milk or topped up further with warmed milk, I will.

    I like mine with minimal milk added, for the best stained effect.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I used to make them with the foam and warm milk as it seems more like a macchiato, however i personally prefer them with a tsp of cold milk.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    RJ has hit it on the head....

    Macchiato.... means STAINED.... therefore direct interpretation is to stain your espresso base with either hot or cold milk.... or froth... the ultimate choice being the person that is going to consume the drink..... if have now heard of places that stain the espresso with liquid chocolate ..... mocha macchiato

    However in reference to milk staining.... one would argue that why mix a hot beverage with a cold one... therefore one could argue hot milk ......in order not to make the beverage cold..

    How do you tell the coffee apart from an espresso when it is to go to a table..... one could argue this is why a dollop of froth is placed on top... or you could argue that a dollop of froth... once the coffee is stirred results in a creamier texture....

    I think the real answer is very clear..... YOU CHOOSE THE WAY YOU WANT IT!! Therefore only go to an espresso bar/cafe that is prepared to make it the way you want it....

    Remember not all taste buds are the same.... happy macchiato drinking ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I was in Brisbane for a meeting earlier this week and at morning tea time sprinted out into George Street to seek out a decent coffee. A quick reconnoitre revealed a cafe called (I think) Allans on George between Herschel & Tank Sts. The number of patrons waiting to order & collect their order suggested good coffee so in I went. I scanned the blackboard & noticed a listing of "long macchiato" which was unfamiliar to me as I drink my home-made macchiatos like KK.
    Whilst waiting I watched the two very professional looking baristas working the espresso machine. My coffee turned out to be a long black comprising about 1/3 steamed milk mixed in. It was quite a nice coffee although a bit milky for my taste. I would return to try their other offerings as I just got good vibes from the place.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Your correct, that would be Allens Espresso. They use two La Marzoccas and Di Bella Coffee, really passionate owner who pumps out some great shots. That place really puts the Gloria Jeans to shame next door.

    As a very general observation Ive noticed Short Macs tend to stay consistent up and down the eastern seaboard. But once you get to a Long Mac it varies from the Starbucks style full late with a shot thrown in over top (and the dreaded carmel!), 3/4 latte with shot, *shot with large splash of milk and froth, 1/3 water base..double shot and splash with mark... in short how many ways are there to tie a knot and you have the same amount of variations for a Long Mac.


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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Thanks Supreme, its great when other people know the place youre talking about. After I realised what I had ordered, I wished I had ordered something more basic so I could evaluate them a bit better. Clearly the locals know what they are getting when they order a long macchiato. Allens have a Cafe section in the back and I liked the "coffee-nut" feel to the place. I will give it another try when next in Brissy.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Allen uses the Modena blend and from what I understand he had a hand in the development of it.
    He can make it take different to any where else that uses that blend tho.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Hi guys...

    Correct Allen from Allens Espresso uses Modena.... is very passionate ... and runs an amazing operation that focuses on great coffee...

    He also knows how to treat customers, remembers their names, order and even childrens names...

    A very good ambassador for not only coffee, cafes and quality operations... but a true inspiration on how to make a customers day....

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6652414E434F200 link=1141787120/14#14 date=1241527642
    First he cannot decide on a name giving it two. I would argue that there is no need for the latter -Caffe Macchiato - because in that form it is more of an adjective than a name. Furthermore, if I was in a café ordering a “Macchiato”, surely it is understood I am ordering a coffee. I dont say Café Espresso for example.
    i think in italy you can also order a Latte Macchiato - being milk, stained with cofee....
    the confusing thing in italy is to them, latte is milk, whereas to us, it is a cafe latte...
    we were in italy, and i order an espresso, and the wife asks for "a latte". the waiter looks at her puzzled, repeats the order, and she nods. he then returns with a tall glass of cold milk....

    so, you can get a caffe machiatto or a latte machiatto, with the base, and the liquid doing the "staining" around the other way....

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Wouldnt it be an ideal world if there was a universal coffee menu for every cafe in the world that displayed exactly the same procedure for making a particular coffee that every barista was familiar with? (go on tell me im dreaming).

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    That would be the same as having burgers being made the same way in all places in the world. You need to have individual flair and local variances. What is needed is an explanation either by word or written of how the coffee is made. When someone asks for a different coffee (ie macchiato) I ask how they want it prepared that way the customer gets exactly what they want. That said in my market I sell about 1 macchiato per month so I dont run into it very often.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I agree with you there moto that you need to verify with the customer as to how they like their coffee especially one like a mach. as there are a few variances as displayed in this post.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 764354560500310 link=1141787120/29#29 date=1242641565
    I agree with you there moto that you need to verify with the customer as to how they like their coffee especially one like a mach. as there are a few variances as displayed in this post.
    In the few weeks I worked as a barista I knew enough to ask how they wanted their machs.

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    i do not see a problem with a universal coffee menu.... i think there is a big difference between burgers and coffee... (no disrespect intended)

    if we are going to use italian words such as latte pronounced lut - tear then we should know the meaning.....you are simply just asking for a cup of milk....

    flat white is a great one....... and of course has been argued lots.... what the F#&k is a flat white...... no wonder the italians think we are mad sometimes.....

    lets face it...we make better milk coffee than the italians... the least we can do is order them and call them by their proper names.....

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    True burgers and coffee are very different I was just using it as an example of how food can differ from one location to another but still be called the same thing. This thread shows the problem with such an idea for macchiatos there are several ideas about how it should be served and which one is the right one. I believe that flat white, latte etc are generally standardised, so the universal menu works, but I think that cafes need to have a little blurb for macchiatos to explain how it is done "normally here" and if the customer wants to vary it then they can.

    I have a little flyer in the van so that if people want to know the difference between the coffees they can read it for themselves, that said most people read and then go for their standard latte/cappa etc.

  34. #34
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    You could go Zarrafas style and have an explicit description for each coffee (just dont copy their production method...)

    I dont really have anything to input here, as Ive never ordered one before -- I dont know how to pronounce it!
    mah-ke-ah-toe; ma-ki-toe; the m-word...

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    ;D I had a laugh Reminds me of discussions of other types of coffee orders. But yes, "stained" espresso is the go, whether hot or cold.

    Id agree with his comment that hes fussy: he obviously prefers his flavour experience to include intense espresso finished with a milky diffusion. Id agree that it would change the flavour of his coffee experience - the hot/microfoamed milk is poured on top and distributes through the espresso differently to the cold milk sliding down the side and using physics (?) to drop to the bottom.

    Sounds like he needs to join CoffeeSnobs so that he can a) learn to make his own perfectly from scratch and b) learn of all the different variations there are in the world and c) join a group as passionate as he, is in their own way!

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I had a laugh, i remember arguing with a friend when we were in melbourne

    he ordered a long mach and they put in water and he was ranting about how long mach means a double. I said long meant with water and he should try again with double short mach. SO tehn i went into a different cafe and ordered that and the barista looked at me and said , "you mean a long mach ?"

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I had always ignored the macchiato on the menu until last year when a friend ordered one and was handed a double shot flat white. Loving a nice strong coffee I jumped onto this and have been ordering from every coffee shop I go to in Perth. All give the same drink - some ask if I want "traditional" or "long", but most dont - just get a double shot flat white. I have since done a bit of research and all the info I can find suggests that a macchiato is an espresso stained with milk (some say hot, some say cold). Except in Perth that is - where it appears to be a double shot flat white :P

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    ^^^ That really is bizarre stevo! I mean, finding that once is like a strange fluke, but all over?

    Smarten up, Perth!

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Yeah- weird the Perth mac *:D

    Reminds me of the game of Chinese whispers...

    <<<<<<<<Perth is a few thousand km thataway *:P ;D

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Ive never been given a dbl shot flat white as a short mac.
    Ill often get asked how I would like it...but never as a flat white.

    Yes were a few ks away...We have power and telephone now!!
    And colour tv! :D ;D :D

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 777275736F7C7B1D0 link=1141787120/39#39 date=1243635829
    Ive never been given a dbl shot flat white as a short mac.
    Ill often get asked how I would like it...but never as a flat white.

    Yes were a few ks away...We have power and telephone now!!
    And colour tv! :D ;D :D
    I drink double shot flat whites over here in the east.

    Now that you have all the mod cons please ring a few cafes and organise a TV ad campaign to put them straight.

    Weird!!!!! *:o :-? ::)

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    What I mean by that TG is that Ive never been given a dbl shot flat white as a short mac. Ive ordered dble flats and I get a dbl flat. I order a short mac and I get a short mac - stain included!

    As for ringing cafes.... W.A. stands for wait awhile, so Itll have to wait until I tie the string inbetween the two cans and check for dial tone.

    Now thats weird! :-? :D

  43. #43
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Ive had enough of all this debate.

    Here is what Sunbeam says in the 6910 User Guide:

    MACCHIATO
    Macchiato, Italian for to stain or mark.
    Traditionally served as a standard espresso
    with a dash of milk and a small dollop of
    froth into the middle of the crema.
    - 90mL espresso glass or demitasse cup
    - single or double espresso
    - marked with steamed milk


    Let that be the end of it. ;)

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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 172B362D272631242C27430 link=1141787120/42#42 date=1243673606
    Ive had enough of all this debate.

    Here is what Sunbeam says in the 6910 User Guide:

    MACCHIATO
    Macchiato, Italian for to stain or mark.
    Traditionally served as a standard espresso
    with a dash of milk and a small dollop of
    froth into the middle of the crema.
    - 90mL espresso glass or demitasse cup
    - single or double espresso
    - marked with steamed milk


    Let that be the end of it. *;)
    Ahh...thanks for that TG....Where would we be without Sumbean ;D

  45. #45
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 207F67717A717D747477777F737C120 link=1141787120/43#43 date=1243673803
    thanks for that TG....Where would we be without Sumbean
    Youre welcome.

    I think more people should refer to their website before asking questions, so that no arguments like this one start. ;D


  46. #46
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Yeah, then all of our eXpressos would be the same hay ;)

  47. #47
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 65494A4F487971260 link=1141787120/45#45 date=1243731187
    Yeah, then all of our eXpressos would be the same hay * ;)
    And we would know when we orded what we could expect. After all we standardise the espresso.

  48. #48
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Quote Originally Posted by 775041524B1D1D240 link=1141787120/36#36 date=1243610715
    I had always ignored the macchiato on the menu until last year when a friend ordered one and was handed a double shot flat white. *Loving a nice strong coffee I jumped onto this and have been ordering from every coffee shop I go to in Perth. *All give the same drink - some ask if I want "traditional" or "long", but most dont - just get a double shot flat white. *I have since done a bit of research and all the info I can find suggests that a macchiato is an espresso stained with milk (some say hot, some say cold). *Except in Perth that is - where it appears to be a double shot flat white *:P
    Brew-ha in subi have the presence of mind to ask "traditional" or "topped up" when you order a long mac, its a pity my mates dont bother to ask which one I would prefer before ordering ::)


  49. #49
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    I found this on the 5 Senses website:

    Macchiato (Traditional)

    This is a single shot espresso ‘stained’ with about 1 tablespoon of finely textured milk on top (commonly called a ‘short mac.’) A double shot (‘long mac’) has proportionately the same amount of milk as a short mac. Serve in a medium glass.


    Long macchiato (WA Style)

    A double shot (60ml) in a tall glass filled with heavy and densely textured milk.

    I guess this goes with daylight saving and extended trading hours - we just like to be different over here (frustrating, but different all the same) :D

  50. #50
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    Re: What is a "proper" macchiato?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I always made a macchiato with what turned out to be a double/single (whatever Ive been pulling) from my lever then topped up an espresso cup the rest of the way with microfoamed milk. Since the first shot is always a bit sour this turns out to be the best way to have it for my tastes.

    I am now intrigued to find out how a macchiato tastes with cold milk, I never would have thought such a thing. How much milk do people add? Very small amount? Or equal amount as the espresso?

    I think its nice to have variety, but when ordering something I think its up to both the customer and the barista to make sure the drink is as expected.

    I also think it would be great to have "standardized" naming, but for it to actually be adopted (and stay "standard") I would suggest it not to include italian naming so as not to be confusing (especially in italy!) with previous drinks. But probably its just easier to describe the thing you expect to be served.



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