Looking for a macchiato recipe? Try expert barista Celeste Wong's step-by-step guide, then check out her guide on how to make a cappuccino and how to make a flat white.

Celeste says, "A macchiato is a double espresso with a spot of heated textured milk. I like to drink it in a ceramic cup so that I can smell the aroma and feel the texture of the coffee as well as, of course, taste it. A macchiato means to ‘stain’ your coffee (with milk) so it should really only be a spoon of milk froth on top of the espresso to take the edge off it. It’s often more economical to make a flat white and a macchiato together, so you are not heating and wasting too much milk."

Make your espresso for this coffee using Celeste’s pick of the best compostable and reusable coffee pods. We’ve also tried and tested the best coffee machines, including the best bean-to-cup machines, best coffee pod machines and best espresso machines.

Learn about Italian coffee culture with our expert barista Celeste Wong's guide, including traditional rituals, how to order it and the perfect recipe for at-home brewing.

Macchiato recipe


  • 30ml espresso
  • a little (depending on the minimum you’re able to steam) milk


  • STEP 1

    Extract 30ml double shot espresso into an espresso cup or glass.

  • STEP 2

    Steam the milk. If you are using an espresso machine steam wand, hold the wand at least 1-2cm under the surface, making sure you don’t let any cold air in. It shouldn’t make any hissing noises or be spitting milk drops anywhere. Try to use the steam jets to spin the milk around in a whirlpool-like motion. If you have a separate steamer attachment to your bean-to-cup machine, I often like to steam the milk separately in a silver jug so I can pour it myself. You could also use an electric milk frother or hand whisk (with milk heated in the microwave or stovetop – make sure not to boil). If you don’t have any of these, heat some milk in a pot or microwave and put it in a french press. Carefully plunge the filter in an up/down motion to push air through the hot milk to get foamy milk. If you find your milk too frothy, you can scrape the foamy top off with a spoon.

  • STEP 3

    Carefully pour a drop (I mean it, a drop) of milk into the espresso and scoop about 1 heaped tsp of warm frothed milk over the top.


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