Macchiato Vs. Cappuccino – Are There Any Notable Differences?

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Macchiato Vs. Cappuccino – Coffee and milk go hand in hand as some of the most popular drinks in the world. You can have them plain, but they’re even more popular when put together. There are a series of beverages you can come up with. At a first glance, they seem identical. Simply put, once you stir, they taste the same.

Macchiato Vs. Cappuccino – What’s the Difference?

With all these, a professional barista can always tell the difference between macchiato vs. cappuccino. Moreover, the barista will know how to prepare them in order to ensure a different taste. Sure, they’re both based on coffee and milk, but in difference proportions.

See also: Arabica Vs. Robusta

Whether you want to order right or you want to impress your guests, knowing these differences will pay off. So, what are the aspects in the macchiato vs. cappuccino comparison that make each beverage unique?

Differences in Ingredients

Both beverages are based on the exact same ingredients. Proportions are different though. For example, a macchiato doesn’t have any steamed milk in its composition. It’s basically an espresso with a small amount of milk. Most baristas use foamed milk. The espresso is usually poured on top for an intense first sip.

macchiato vs. cappuccino


On the other hand, cappuccino is made from steamed milk, espresso and a thick layer of milk foam. All the ingredients are used in equal proportions. The foam goes on top, while the other two ingredients are mixed. The espresso usually goes first, yet it’s not a general rule, but a matter of convenience.

Differences in Aroma and Texture

The differences between macchiato vs. cappuccino also go in terms of aroma. Macchiato doesn’t require too much milk, so it’s obviously more watery than cappuccino. It lacks the creamy milk foam too.

cappuccino vs. macchiato


Cappuccino is creamier then. It has two times more milk (in different forms) than espresso. It’s not as strong as a macchiato, but you can still taste the coffee. Even after you stir, chances are the creamy foam will keep the beverage thicker than a macchiato. Also, the first sip is way milder in a cappuccino than in a macchiato due to the espresso being at the bottom.

Differences in Origin and History

In terms of origin, there are not too many differences between macchiato vs. cappuccino. Both beverages come from Italy, hence the Latin names. They’re both related to the local coffee culture.

Related: Latte Vs. Cappucino

Macchiato is a stained or spotted drink and comes from the word macchia, which refers to a stain. It’s basically milk stained with espresso. Cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars’ robe, which has the same brownish color.


Bottom line, the differences between macchiato vs. cappuccino are quite obvious. If you order a cappuccino, you’ll get a milky drink. If you have a macchiato, you’ll get a stronger beverage. Most people can’t tell the difference. In fact, for the less experienced users, cappuccino is the stronger drink – totally wrong!

Knowing the difference will allow you to order the right beverage in a bar, but it will also impress your guests and friends when serving them with an espresso-based beverage.

Related: Macchiato Vs. Latte

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Monica Chortle

I am one of the home-makers, engaged in the cooking activities for a long hour. While my relatives get bored with any food, I try to find out the new recipes. Moreover, my friends also request me to arrange a party. I get busy in creating distinctive dishes. Read More