Made well, macchiatos are my favorite... but I've had so many awful ones.  It doesn't help that there's really no standard definition of what a macchiato is.  I basically pull a double ristretto in a 2.25 oz espresso cup, and then fill the rest w/ milk (about .5 oz).  The challenges are:  a) getting such a small qty of milk microfoamed and b) dealing with a wide range of customer notions of what a macchiato actually is, which varies from just a dollop of foam to what I'm currently doing.  Just wondering what everyone else out there is doing?

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Jeff Hoeppner said:
Couple things. The way we do it is with a dollop of milk foam over a double espresso in a 2.5oz cup, making sure that there is a crema ring all the way around the foam. Beautiful presentation, just enough milk to sweeten it a touch. Mike, I believe what you are describing is an antoccino, which is one of my personal favorites. Double ristretto, equal parts velvety steamed milk, perfection.

Wow... I can honestly say that I've never heard of an antoccino, much less seen it on a menu. Maybe a Canadian thing? Learn something new every day, I guess. Thanks for that.

That said, I see no reason to think that this name is any more correct than "espresso macchiato" for the drink being described. Jeff, care to share why you feel that's the case?

Poured microfoam vs. scooped milk foam seems to be a style thing. This is the way I've come to understand the situation. Like a cappuccino, the version that a shop or barista chooses to present says something about them - how they approach coffee, what flavors and textures they prefer, how good is their technique, etc.

Probably relevant to consider that if you order an espresso macchiato in many "progressive" American places (Intelligentsia Broadway comes to mind) it will come with art, like Joona's. That does seem to support the idea of this being a poured textured milk drink.
Nah, antoccino is a traditional Italian drink. The word means "priceless". We don't advertise it, but we do them semi-regularly. I honestly can't say for sure what is right and what is wrong. In our neck of the woods, there is nobody else doing what we do. We are completely self taught. Anything we do, we assume can be done better. Does anyone know FOR A FACT how a macchiato SHOULD be done according to tradition? Has anyone else even heard of an antoccino?
Nobody is "completely" self taught.


Jeff Hoeppner said:
Nah, antoccino is a traditional Italian drink. The word means "priceless". We don't advertise it, but we do them semi-regularly. I honestly can't say for sure what is right and what is wrong. In our neck of the woods, there is nobody else doing what we do. We are completely self taught. Anything we do, we assume can be done better. Does anyone know FOR A FACT how a macchiato SHOULD be done according to tradition? Has anyone else even heard of an antoccino?
I know what I said and I know what I meant. Do not turn this into another one of those threads.

I have zero prior cafe experience. I've taken zero training. I've had an obsession that has been turned into a business. Do not attempt to correct someone when you have NO KNOWLEDGE of their situation.
Easy there Jeff...not trying to pick a fight here.
Nobody just figured out how to do what we do without written words or input that come from outside our own heads. That's a fact. I don't care what the situation is. Unless you are named Kaldi and started you business after observing your goats acting frisky...you and I are start from an already established understanding of coffee technique. And even then...the goats were your teacher!
Notice I used quotes "Completely"
The whole point is that nobody is free from starting out with presuppositions based on what ever their outside influences are...no matter how small...we all have to start with something outside ourselves...like espresso machine manuals...basic understanding of grinding beans and using hot water to extract them...down to more complex things like how long an espresso pulls or how to texture milk.

Now to the point of the thread we operate based on a foundational starting point...either we like it as it is...of we can tweak it to our taste.
So the idea of "right" for a general drink category is a fallacy.
If we can come to the table with open minds in regard to traditions and honesty about the debt we owe to the tutors who have gone before us, then we can make educated and wise decisions about standards in our establishments.

-Chris




Jeff Hoeppner said:
I know what I said and I know what I meant. Do not turn this into another one of those threads.

I have zero prior cafe experience. I've taken zero training. I've had an obsession that has been turned into a business. Do not attempt to correct someone when you have NO KNOWLEDGE of their situation.
Deferio said:
...Now to the point of the thread we operate based on a foundational starting point...either we like it as it is...of we can tweak it to our taste.
So the idea of "right" for a general drink category is a fallacy.
If we can come to the table with open minds in regard to traditions and honesty about the debt we owe to the tutors who have gone before us, then we can make educated and wise decisions about standards in our establishments.

-Chris


Agreed.

So as an educated and wise one, what is a macchiato in your establishment and why?
Ha!...wise and educated...don't know about that ...
but we serve a 3 ounce Machiatto. Breaks down to 1.75 ounces espresso (21 grams dry coffee, shot liquid weight is best at 29 grams) and the rest is 1.25 ounces textured milk. Which ends up more like 1 ounce of foam and .25 ounces of liquid milk.
It would be interesting to see if, as retailers and baristas, we could get away with changing the volume of the drink, machiatto, cappuccino etc based on the coffee. Generally we have an ounce or so leeway either more or less...before the drink starts to turn into something else. A machiatto made with coffee 4 days off roast compared to 7 days may taste best with a different ratio of milk. At that small a volume, age of coffee really comes out in the forefront of the drink.

Anyhow...that's where our heads are at.

-Chris



Brady said:
Deferio said:
...Now to the point of the thread we operate based on a foundational starting point...either we like it as it is...of we can tweak it to our taste.
So the idea of "right" for a general drink category is a fallacy.
If we can come to the table with open minds in regard to traditions and honesty about the debt we owe to the tutors who have gone before us, then we can make educated and wise decisions about standards in our establishments.

-Chris


Agreed.

So as an educated and wise one, what is a macchiato in your establishment and why?


And just one more :)

I'm usually asking how much milk the customer wants in their macciato. Macciatos are a delicate matter for many people and it's easiest to get happy faces by doing the macciato as per requested. If the customer has no views on the subject s/he get's the modern version with a single espresso and foamed milk.
Joona those photos are great; thanks for sharing!

The discussion (even w/ some jabs taken) has been really helpful for me to consider the standards I'd like to set at my own shop soon. There is never one right answer, and rarely are thoughts 100% original anymore. I've gotten inspiration in the most unlikely places and then have gone on to make it my own. So thanks to all, and if anyone has more great macch photos, please do share.

Here's one of my faves, but have to confess this cup is about 4.5 oz so I'd consider it more of what I call a "microlatte". I think I'm going to look for 3 or 3.5 oz cups for my macchatos.

Thats great. And makes a lot of sense. I would like to do more experimenting with the age of coffee and different ratios



Deferio said:
It would be interesting to see if, as retailers and baristas, we could get away with changing the volume of the drink, machiatto, cappuccino etc based on the coffee. Generally we have an ounce or so leeway either more or less...before the drink starts to turn into something else. A machiatto made with coffee 4 days off roast compared to 7 days may taste best with a different ratio of milk. At that small a volume, age of coffee really comes out in the forefront of the drink.

Anyhow...that's where our heads are at.

-Chris


Our shop menu offers macchiato's as a 3.5oz drink, I personally prefer them as a 2.5 oz. But with it being that way on our menu we don't have alot of customers asking for macchiatos, and the majority of the customers that do are regulars who all like it a little different, one I can think of in particular gets his as a 4oz, more like a piccalino or small latte. Also as a side note as our menu offers them they are with 3.25% milk which is textured as little as possible to make it mostly milk that is being added and not foam.

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