Macchiato Vs Americano – Differences And Similarities

Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and felt overwhelmed by the different types of coffee on the menu? Two popular options that might leave you scratching your head are macchiato and americano. While they may sound similar, these two drinks have distinct differences that set them apart.

First off, let’s clear up any confusion about the names. Macchiato is an Italian word that means ‘stained’or ‘marked,’while americano refers to coffee made in the style of American soldiers during World War II who diluted their espresso with hot water.

Despite their origins, both macchiato and americano can be found at nearly every coffee shop around the world today. So what exactly makes these two drinks unique?

Key Takeaways

  • Macchiato and americano are two distinct coffee drinks with different origins and preparations.
  • Macchiato is an espresso-based drink with a small amount of steamed milk, while americano is a diluted coffee made by adding hot water to espresso.
  • Macchiato has a stronger and bolder flavor with a creamy and rich texture, while americano has a milder flavor and thinner texture.
  • Both drinks can be customized with flavored syrups, milk options, and extra shots to suit individual preferences.

A Table Comparing Macchiato And Americano

IngredientsEspresso, a little bit of Milk FoamEspresso and Hot Water
PreparationMostly Espresso with a dot of FoamEspresso shot diluted with hot water
Texture and FoamMore liquid, less foam, larger portion of espressoSimilar to regular coffee but slightly more body due to the espresso
Taste and Flavor ProfileStrong, intense espresso flavorLess intense than espresso due to dilution with water, stronger than regular coffee
Serving SizesTypically 1-2 ozTypically 6 oz, but can be larger
Caffeine ContentVaries, but generally around 64 mg for a 2 oz servingVaries, but generally around 94 mg for a 6 oz serving
Popular VariationsFlavored syrups, different types of milkLonger (more water), Shorter (less water), Iced Americano
Nutritional ValuesDepends on milk and additional ingredients used, typically lower in calories than an Americano if sugar and cream are added to the AmericanoFew to zero calories without additives, can be high in calories if sugar and cream are added

What Are The Main Differences Between Macchiato And Americano

So, if you’re wondering how a macchiato differs from an americano, let me break it down for you.

First of all, macchiato is an espresso-based coffee that’s prepared by adding a small amount of steamed milk to the shot of espresso. This creates a layered effect where the milk sits on top of the espresso shot and adds a creamy texture to the drink.

On the other hand, americano is a diluted coffee made by adding hot water to one or two shots of espresso. The difference between these two drinks lies in their preparation methods and taste profile.

A macchiato has a stronger and bolder flavor due to its concentrated nature as compared to an americano which is milder and less intense because it’s diluted with hot water. Moreover, macchiatos are usually served in smaller cups as they contain less milk than other coffee types like latte or cappuccino while Americano can be served in larger cups with more volume due to its high-water content.

If you prefer strong coffee with minimal additions, go for Macchiato but if you want something lighter and mild then Americano may be your choice among different Espresso shots varieties available out there!

Macchiato And Americano Ingredients

You might be wondering what goes into making these two popular coffee drinks. Well, let me tell you about the key ingredients in both the macchiato and americano.

The macchiato is made with a shot of espresso that is then topped off with a small amount of foamed milk. This creates a smooth and creamy texture that perfectly complements the strong taste of the espresso.

On the other hand, an americano is made by adding hot water to a shot (or two) of ristretto espresso. Ristretto espresso is basically just a shorter version of regular espresso, which means less water is used in its preparation resulting in a more concentrated flavor. By adding hot water to ristretto espresso, you get an americano – a milder and less intense version of espresso but still packed full of flavor.

So while both drinks are centered around coffee, they differ significantly in terms of how they’re prepared and what ingredients are used.

Macchiato And Americano Preparation

To prepare these two coffee drinks, start by brewing a strong shot of espresso that’s rich in flavor and aroma.

For a macchiato, add a dollop of frothed milk on top of the espresso shot. This creates a layered effect, with the dark espresso at the bottom and the creamy milk on top. You can achieve frothed milk by heating up some milk and whisking it until it becomes foamy.

On the other hand, an americano requires adding hot water to the espresso shot. This dilutes the strength of the coffee while still preserving its flavor profile. To make an americano, simply add hot water to your brewed espresso shot until you reach your desired strength and taste.

It’s important to note that an americano shouldn’t be confused with drip coffee as it uses an espresso base instead of ground coffee beans.

Overall, both macchiatos and americanos require just a few simple steps for preparation, but offer distinct flavors and textures that cater to different preferences in coffee drinking.

Macchiato And Americano Taste

When tasting these two popular coffee drinks, you’ll notice that they offer distinctive flavors and textures that cater to different preferences.

Macchiato has a stronger coffee flavor due to the espresso shot at its core, while also having a creamy and rich texture from the dollop of milk foam on top. The addition of milk also gives it a slightly sweet taste, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a sweeter coffee experience.

On the other hand, Americano has a milder taste due to its dilution with hot water after adding the espresso shot. It doesn’t have any added milk or sweetness, making it perfect for those who like their coffee pure and strong without any additional flavors. Its texture is thinner compared to macchiato but still offers a smooth mouthfeel that’s enjoyable for most coffee lovers.

Ultimately, both macchiato and Americano offer unique tastes that can satisfy different cravings for coffee enthusiasts looking for variety in their daily caffeine fix.

Variations and Customizations Of Macchiato And Americano

If you’re looking to switch up your usual coffee order, consider exploring the various customizations and twists on these classic drinks. Both macchiato and americano can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are some variations and customizations of macchiato and americano that you can try:

  1. Flavored syrups: You can add flavored syrups such as vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut to both macchiato and americano for a sweet twist.
  2. Milk options: Macchiatos are traditionally made with steamed milk, but you can opt for almond or oat milk instead of cow’s milk for a dairy-free option. Similarly, you could also choose between whole, skimmed, or soy milk when ordering an americano.
  3. Extra shots: If you need an extra boost of caffeine, request additional espresso shots in your macchiato or americano.

By experimenting with different variations and customizations, you’ll discover new ways to enjoy these classic drinks while still getting your caffeine fix. Whether it’s adding flavored syrups or trying out different types of milk, there are plenty of ways to make each cup unique to your liking.


Well done! You’ve just learned about the differences and similarities between macchiato and americano.

Remember, the main difference lies in their preparation methods. While macchiato is an espresso with a small amount of steamed milk, americano is a shot of espresso diluted with hot water.

Both beverages contain espresso, but the addition of steamed milk or hot water distinguishes them. The taste of each drink also varies – macchiato has a bolder and richer flavor compared to americano’s milder taste.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try out different variations and customizations. You can add flavored syrup or whipped cream to your macchiato or experiment with different types of coffee beans for your americano.

With these tips in mind, you can now confidently order your preferred beverage at any café. So go ahead, treat yourself to a delicious cup today!

Mike Shaw

Mike is a fervent aficionado of all things coffee. His journey has taken him from the verdant coffee farms of South America to the vibrant coffeehouses of Europe and many places in between. Over the years, he's delved deep into the intricate tapestry of coffee, savoring, brewing, and analyzing myriad varieties. For Mike, coffee transcends its role as a morning energizer; it's a world waiting to be explored and cherished.