What is the correct amount of milk to put into a macchiato? Does it depend on the amount of espresso?

2 Answers 2


The Italian word macchiato literally means "marked" or "stained" (related to the word "immaculate" [1]), so really it is an indication to add a small quantity of the "staining" liquid, be it espresso or milk.

A caffe macchiato (also called espresso macchiato) is a shot of espresso (or two) with a "stain" of steamed milk and sometimes a little foam to indicate there is milk hiding under the espresso's crema.

A latte macchiato is the opposite concept, where steamed milk is "stained" by a shot of espresso.

As with any of these drinks, the variations are endless, so recipes and even ratios would be specific to a particular cafe.


This question will largely be based off of the individual tastes of the person consuming the drink.

From my experience as a barista, typically for every ~2 ounces (Double Shot) of espresso, you'll want about 2-3 spoonfuls of milk froth.

Of course, some people enjoy more or less.

  • I think a lot of coffee questions might be based on individual tastes, but perhaps the question should be re-worded to ask how much milk a barista is typically trained to put into a macchiato?
    – Alex
    Jan 28, 2015 at 11:51

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