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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Heh, we get confusion with long mac/long black because they sound so similar. Luckily, a long black can be easily turned into a long mac, so it's never been devastating in a rush period! :)

Ron Ingber said:

"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"

We do what we call an Italiano for some coffees which opens up the flavors versus straight shot. Like adding a splash of water to whiskey versus neat. It's a double shot mini-Americano, using 3oz demi. Have also done Italiano Macchiato on request, exactly what this thread is talking about.

It's strange idea. I'm not an americano person, and I like thick heavy/pure coffee drinks. But, you can't rule anything out. 

 

I just don't see why this would make the drink taste better (unless you just want differnt), or most importantly worth serving. Who would want this over a regular mac? 

Hi everyone, sorry for the delayed reply.

Thank you all so much for your feedback - I am always blown away by the quality of people (and knowledge!) on BX. I haven't had an opportunity to see the barista trainer who told our staff to add water to their macchiatos but I will be sure to use all this information when speaking with her and will definitely let you know what she says - it is always interesting to hear other's justification.

In theory, What Mike says makes perfect sense. I suppose like everything it depends on personal preference, and whether one is a purist or progressive barista - but most importantly, what your area's demographic want to drink.

Laura - I am interested in the difference between the NZ and Aussie long macs! For us, a short mac is a single shot of coffee stained with milk, and a long mac is a double shot stained with milk (a good spoon of nice smooth foam and a little of the thinner stuff to give three nice layers of crema+foam, coffee+milk, and coffee at the bottom.). You can kind of see this in my picture. I will try it your way today!

Thanks again =)

no water. That's silly. You can preheat the demitasse with hot water, but you dont need any more
Agreed. So glad you started this discussion Victoria. I certainly learned something.

Victoria Stubbs said:

Hi everyone, sorry for the delayed reply.

Thank you all so much for your feedback - I am always blown away by the quality of people (and knowledge!) on BX. I haven't had an opportunity to see the barista trainer who told our staff to add water to their macchiatos but I will be sure to use all this information when speaking with her and will definitely let you know what she says - it is always interesting to hear other's justification.

In theory, What Mike says makes perfect sense. I suppose like everything it depends on personal preference, and whether one is a purist or progressive barista - but most importantly, what your area's demographic want to drink.

...

While adding more water to a pulled shot may open up the flavor, I can't hep but feel like this is compensation for cultural habits.  People here (North America) tend, on average, to pull short shots.  Every time I think of this, I'm reminded of the old "Dosing Debate" articles (two parts) in Barista Magazine.  

 

The espresso, if the coffee is good, generally has a bit more to give.  A normale (as it shall be known) pull is not as dense, with more opened flavors, and it doesn't cut through milk.  This, I believe, explains the popularity of updosing, ristrettos, blond-phobia, and the like in our culture... a culture that puts far too much emphasis on what is added to the espresso rather than the espresso itself.  

 

Of course, this cannot be changed overnight, but I suggest adjusting the espresso approach depending on the drink.  

 

Adding water sounds too much like a crutch.  Just my $.02.

Jason, I agree that longer "normal" shots taste better - that's how I pull them normally. But I think there's something here additional to that. I probably wouldn't pull a double espresso to 4 ounces, but if I add 2 ounces of water to a normal double, and I enjoy the result more than just a straight double, would that be a crutch? Or just a different drink?

 

I don't think I'd advocate changing the way we've traditionally made macchiatos, but I'd certainly advocate trying something different now and then, and adding a touch of hot water to an otherwise well-pulled, non-ristretto shot is an interesting change of pace. Especially if you splash/pour/scoop some nice foam on top.

 

I've been to most every shop in Portland, and the only shops I go back to again and again are the shops that pull me full doubles when I order espresso. Ristrettos are, again, a fun change of pace. But when I order espresso, I want the full pull.

Nathanael, 

 

Adding water to a shot is another drink.  Adding water to an existing recipe is a crutch.  

I so agree that the average pulls are short.  Personally, I prefer 20-22 second shots (coming from a nuova simonelli machine can't remember which model).  I guess in the end it comes down to satisfying the customers.  I'm wondering if perhaps pulling a short shot using a milder esspresso would satisfy those customers with a tender pallete.  None like me, I prefer a char taste.....i've been drinking straight doppios since childhood ;P.

 

Awesome convo though! ;D

I respect your opinion generally, but that really seems like an arbitrary distinction based on little more than semantics. Just like adding water to a shot makes it a different drink, adding water to a macchiato does the same thing.

 

We agree, I think, that espresso shots should have more volume than the typical ristretto pull does. So if I pull a shot to your specifications (volume, time, color, etc.), add some water, then add some creamy milk foam, we'd both agree that the resulting drink is not a macchiato.

 

So why call that a crutch instead of what it is, a different drink? Heck, Mike even named it something different a few posts up.

 

No disrespect intended. You're a stand up guy.



Jason Haeger said:

Nathanael, 

 

Adding water to a shot is another drink.  Adding water to an existing recipe is a crutch.  

I think we're saying the same thing, friend.  I just wasn't as clear in my previous response. 

 

A macchiato + water is not a macchiato... it is a different drink.  

 

Putting water into a macchiato to compensate for your espresso and serving it as a macchiato is a crutch.  Is that more clear?  

 

I am not opposed to new drinks!  I am only opposed to calling something what it isn't, or for compensating for bad technique by changing the fundamental recipe. 

 

On another note, we need another name for free-poured macchiatos.. because a free pour is a whole heck of a lot more dairy than a "dollop". It's not even remotely the same consumption experience, even if the cup is the same size. 

Nathanael May said:

I respect your opinion generally, but that really seems like an arbitrary distinction based on little more than semantics. Just like adding water to a shot makes it a different drink, adding water to a macchiato does the same thing.

 

We agree, I think, that espresso shots should have more volume than the typical ristretto pull does. So if I pull a shot to your specifications (volume, time, color, etc.), add some water, then add some creamy milk foam, we'd both agree that the resulting drink is not a macchiato.

 

So why call that a crutch instead of what it is, a different drink? Heck, Mike even named it something different a few posts up.

 

No disrespect intended. You're a stand up guy.



Jason Haeger said:

Nathanael, 

 

Adding water to a shot is another drink.  Adding water to an existing recipe is a crutch.  

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