I was recently reading different peoples takes on what a macchiato is. Am i wrong or does no one know what it is? i thought it was a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam on top. 'Mark' in Italian = mark the espresso with the foam?

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philosophically, what came first, the mark or the macchiato? like, you know, what was it called before they marked it?

Bryan Wray said:

I also heard it explained that the "marking" came about because the Italian espresso blends of old (and perhaps now, who knows) were of such high robusta content that any milk applied (granted it was not steamed per order) would sink below the crema, making it difficult to distinguish between a double espresso and a macchiato if the bar was particularly busy or if multiple drinks were ordered by the same person.  In the end they started "marking" the macchiatos with a little milk foam on the top so you could tell which is which.

 

This would actually make what we serve today in the USA (well, what a lot of us do... the 3 oz free pour beverage of new) much closer to the "traditional" than what we think.  It's not that milk wasn't poured into the beverage in the past in Italy, it's that the foam was applied afterward because the milk sank and the crema floated.

 

I don't know if this is true, and now, can't even remember where I heard it, but interesting none-the-less.

 

-bry

Wouldn't that be "etymologically," and not "philosophically?"  Maybe even "chronologically?"

Greg Hill said:
philosophically, what came first, the mark or the macchiato? like, you know, what was it called before they marked it?

Bryan Wray said:

I also heard it explained that the "marking" came about because the Italian espresso blends of old (and perhaps now, who knows) were of such high robusta content that any milk applied (granted it was not steamed per order) would sink below the crema, making it difficult to distinguish between a double espresso and a macchiato if the bar was particularly busy or if multiple drinks were ordered by the same person.  In the end they started "marking" the macchiatos with a little milk foam on the top so you could tell which is which.

 

This would actually make what we serve today in the USA (well, what a lot of us do... the 3 oz free pour beverage of new) much closer to the "traditional" than what we think.  It's not that milk wasn't poured into the beverage in the past in Italy, it's that the foam was applied afterward because the milk sank and the crema floated.

 

I don't know if this is true, and now, can't even remember where I heard it, but interesting none-the-less.

 

-bry

Tautologically:  It's a macchiato because there's a mark of foam; it has a mark of foam because it's a macchiato.

 

Bryan: LOL.

Jason Haeger said:

Wouldn't that be "etymologically," and not "philosophically?"  Maybe even "chronologically?"

Greg Hill said:
philosophically, what came first, the mark or the macchiato? like, you know, what was it called before they marked it?

Bryan Wray said:

I also heard it explained that the "marking" came about because the Italian espresso blends of old (and perhaps now, who knows) were of such high robusta content that any milk applied (granted it was not steamed per order) would sink below the crema, making it difficult to distinguish between a double espresso and a macchiato if the bar was particularly busy or if multiple drinks were ordered by the same person.  In the end they started "marking" the macchiatos with a little milk foam on the top so you could tell which is which.

 

This would actually make what we serve today in the USA (well, what a lot of us do... the 3 oz free pour beverage of new) much closer to the "traditional" than what we think.  It's not that milk wasn't poured into the beverage in the past in Italy, it's that the foam was applied afterward because the milk sank and the crema floated.

 

I don't know if this is true, and now, can't even remember where I heard it, but interesting none-the-less.

 

-bry

Oh brother.. seriously?  

It's a macchiato because there's a mark of foam

Exactly.


christopher myers said:

Tautologically:  It's a macchiato because there's a mark of foam; it has a mark of foam because it's a macchiato.

 

Bryan: LOL.

Jason Haeger said:

Wouldn't that be "etymologically," and not "philosophically?"  Maybe even "chronologically?"

Greg Hill said:
philosophically, what came first, the mark or the macchiato? like, you know, what was it called before they marked it?

Bryan Wray said:

I also heard it explained that the "marking" came about because the Italian espresso blends of old (and perhaps now, who knows) were of such high robusta content that any milk applied (granted it was not steamed per order) would sink below the crema, making it difficult to distinguish between a double espresso and a macchiato if the bar was particularly busy or if multiple drinks were ordered by the same person.  In the end they started "marking" the macchiatos with a little milk foam on the top so you could tell which is which.

 

This would actually make what we serve today in the USA (well, what a lot of us do... the 3 oz free pour beverage of new) much closer to the "traditional" than what we think.  It's not that milk wasn't poured into the beverage in the past in Italy, it's that the foam was applied afterward because the milk sank and the crema floated.

 

I don't know if this is true, and now, can't even remember where I heard it, but interesting none-the-less.

 

-bry

I do have kind of a silly question though.  When you make a mac with just a spoonful of foam, how much milk do you end up putting in your pitcher?  I always had trouble getting good texture with just a tiny amount of milk to steam, and felt like I'd done something wrong by dumping too much milk afterward.  I feel like I need about 4oz of milk at least to get good microfoam.  Does using low steam pressure help?
Lower (but not low) steam pressure helps, but the bottom line is that there will be wasted milk.  It's just part of the game.  It's best to have a Latte or Capp in que to steal from.

christopher myers said:
I do have kind of a silly question though.  When you make a mac with just a spoonful of foam, how much milk do you end up putting in your pitcher?  I always had trouble getting good texture with just a tiny amount of milk to steam, and felt like I'd done something wrong by dumping too much milk afterward.  I feel like I need about 4oz of milk at least to get good microfoam.  Does using low steam pressure help?
From "The Free Dictionary":

 

"tau·tol·o·gy  (tô-tl-j)

n. pl. tau·tol·o·gies
1.
a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
b. An instance of such repetition.
2. Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow."

This public service announcement has been brought to by your local Barista Exchange moderator. One of the ones without a liberal arts degree :).


christopher myers said:

Tautologically:  It's a macchiato because there's a mark of foam; it has a mark of foam because it's a macchiato.

 

Bryan: LOL.

Clearly, or there wouldn't have been a need for you to look it up! ;) 

 

I always thought of tautologies as a waste of space and proof that there is no proof when used in philosophy.


Brady said:

From "The Free Dictionary":

 

"tau·tol·o·gy  (tô-tl-j)

n. pl. tau·tol·o·gies
1.
a. Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
b. An instance of such repetition.
2. Logic An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow."

This public service announcement has been brought to by your local Barista Exchange moderator. One of the ones without a liberal arts degree :).


christopher myers said:

Tautologically:  It's a macchiato because there's a mark of foam; it has a mark of foam because it's a macchiato.

 

Bryan: LOL.

matthew, i gonna have to agree that (to me) a macchiato is 2 shots with a little foam on top, but the foam should never be scooped with a spoon it should be poured out of a pitcher leaving you with about 27% less milk than a cappucino.
and in that case how could we ever be sure that there was even the word macchiato in italian before someone made up this spectacular drink and didnt know what to call it....

Greg Hill said:
philosophically, what came first, the mark or the macchiato? like, you know, what was it called before they marked it?

Bryan Wray said:

I also heard it explained that the "marking" came about because the Italian espresso blends of old (and perhaps now, who knows) were of such high robusta content that any milk applied (granted it was not steamed per order) would sink below the crema, making it difficult to distinguish between a double espresso and a macchiato if the bar was particularly busy or if multiple drinks were ordered by the same person.  In the end they started "marking" the macchiatos with a little milk foam on the top so you could tell which is which.

 

This would actually make what we serve today in the USA (well, what a lot of us do... the 3 oz free pour beverage of new) much closer to the "traditional" than what we think.  It's not that milk wasn't poured into the beverage in the past in Italy, it's that the foam was applied afterward because the milk sank and the crema floated.

 

I don't know if this is true, and now, can't even remember where I heard it, but interesting none-the-less.

 

-bry

lol, is that about 27% by weight or by volume? or 27% darker than a capp?

 

...but my macs are double shortys with an equal part latte milk. 3oz total. i dub thee... "latte bambino"


lance battenfield said:

matthew, i gonna have to agree that (to me) a macchiato is 2 shots with a little foam on top, but the foam should never be scooped with a spoon it should be poured out of a pitcher leaving you with about 27% less milk than a cappucino.

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