In all my years as a barista who continues to learn and improve, I have never come across anyone who makes a macchiato by adding hot water to it. I have always made a mac (short or long) with one (or two) shots of espresso, and a stain of milk. The head barista from our coffee supplier has told me I should be adding extra hot water to the shot as well as the stain of milk. At the moment, I do not agree with her and seek your counsel to decide whether or not I have a fair argument.

Traditional, historical and modern methods are all welcome!


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I'm with you. There seem to be subtle differences in the amount and style of milk added by different baristas, but I've never heard of adding hot water.


I'd dig a little, ask her why she believes this to be true. Clearly its not the generally-accepted definition of the drink, or how everyone (or even many of us) does it. Try to get primary sources. Then post back please?

Wow, I've never, ever heard that before, and a quick Googling ("macchiato hot water") isn't really yielding any results. I've done a fair amount of research on the different types of macchiato, as well, and never saw anything about adding water. Not to say she's wrong, of course, but I'd be very interested in learning where she's getting that method.


For the record, at my current shop we pull our espresso shots into 3 oz demis, then free-pour cap-style foam into it to make a macchiato. I've spooned foam onto shots at other shops, but the free-pour seems to be a lot more popular right now.

A new drink: "Amerimoco?" Ha Ha....

No way.   No water!  

The only thing I can possibly imagine is that, if your standard shot is closer to a ristretto style, she's trying to approximate a normale or lungo shot?


It's still a strange, and by no means standard, approach.

I'm walking down to our lab right now and trying it both ways. I'll report back in a bit with my findings!
Nathanael, Take Pictures.

The tools - GB/5, 3oz Demitasses, 12oz pitcher, Hario Buono Kettle

The shots - ~1oz each, before adding water to the shot on the right.

After adding 1oz of 200 degree water to the shot on the right.

Not my best pours - cappuccino-thick foam free-poured over each shot for a total beverage volume of ~3oz.


I should note that I'm not usually a free-pour macchiatto guy - I usually spoon out a healthy dollop onto each cup. For this, I tried the pouring method and enjoyed the results.


The results? I was surprised. I went in expecting to hate the "watered down" version, but it was actually quite the opposite. The dilution of the espresso brought out some flavors that are more muted in the cup when drinking it the traditional way.


The espresso I used was a blend (sorry) of two coffees - an El Salvador from the San Gabriel farm, and a Papua New Guinea from the Madan Estate. It's a very chocolatey espresso when enjoyed straight, and is a favorite blend of mine.


The macchiato with the water added was less chocolatey, but had a really nice acidity to it that I didn't get from the macchiato sans water. In a blind test, if you'd asked me which drink I preferred, I would have said the drink on the right. If you'd asked me which was more like a macchiato, I would have said the drink on the left. Interesting. I don't know that I'd serve the macchiato in our cafes with water added, but I'm definitely going to add this "new drink" into my regular rotation of morning beverages.

Nathanael, Very Nice!  Well Done!    

So we need to come up with a new name for this concoction so not to confuse things. I will also try this out this weekend.



In New Zealand (and Australia I understand) we have what we call "long macchiatos" that are a long black (strong americano- double shot over hot water in a tulip cup) with a mark of steamed milk. I've come across the macchiato where you pour the coffee in over top of a cup of steamed milk, but if someone wants a long mac in the Antipodes the long-black type is generally what they're after.


The best way is to put the water in the cup, leave it to sit for a bit so it's not boiling hot, extract the coffee on the top (near the edge of the cup so the crema disperses across the surface of the water rather than sinking) then add your milk. A lot of baristas spoon frothed milk on- which is not my favourite, but with skills you can pour (and do latte art) in the couple of millimetres of room at the top of the cup.


I drink a long mac, they're great. It's great for getting the full flavour out of the coffee, and you can have milk without having lots of milk.

Ahhh... I'll try water first next time. And I'll start calling them "long macs." And I'll pretend like I'm cool and cultured.

"So we need to come up with a new name for this concoction so not to confuse things."


Maybe it should be called a "wacchiato" - adapting the "w" for water.


Ok, just kidding. I am in that kind of a mood this morning.


"the oldest guy at your party"

I like it.

Makes me think of Fozzie the Bear. "waka waka waka"     


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