Americano Vs. Macchiato: Which Tastes Better?

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Do you love the taste of coffee but need help to choose between an Americano and a Macchiato? You’re not alone. Deciding which is better for you can be tricky, especially when both drinks have distinctively strong flavors. 

When comparing Americano vs. Macchiato, the key difference lies in the preparation process and the balance between espresso and steamed milk.

But don’t worry: by understanding what makes each unique and comparing them, you’ll soon figure out which best suits your palate. 

With just a few key points about flavor, preparation methods, and caffeine content in mind, choosing between an Americano or Macchiato becomes much easier!

Let’s get into it!

What Is Macchiato?

Americano Vs. Macchiato

Macchiato is an espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Italy. It consists of a single or double shot of espresso, topped with a layer of frothed milk, and often finished with sprinkled chocolate shavings. 

The name “macchiato” comes from the Italian word for “marked” or “stained,” referring to how the creamy top layer distinguishes it from regular espresso. 

Macchiatos are distinctively smaller than other espresso drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos, due to their stronger flavor profile; they also have less foam than those beverages. However, macchiatos can come in various sizes depending on the café.

What Is Americano Coffee?

Americano coffee is a type of brewed espresso-based beverage. It was first created in the 1940s by Italian immigrants living in America who wanted to enjoy their favorite drink without having to go through the hassle of making espresso every time they wanted some. [1]

The Americano is made with one or two shots of espresso and hot water, resulting in a cup with all the flavor but none of the richness and intensity of regular espresso. Its name comes from its origins, as it was originally designed for an “American” palate. 

Because it lacks the bitterness associated with typical Italian espressos, it quickly became popular at home and abroad.

Related: Mocha Vs. Macchiato: Is Macchiato The Strongest Coffee?

Americano Vs. Macchiato

americano coffee drinks

Taste And Flavor

An americano is a standard espresso-style coffee that consists of one or two shots of espresso mixed with hot water. The flavor is quite strong and intense but still smooth and slightly bitter. 

It has no milk added, so the taste completely depends on the quality of the beans used for making the espresso.

A macchiato, which translates to “marked” in Italian, is also an espresso-based drink. However, it contains a few drops of steamed milk and foam added. 

This results in a less intense flavor than an Americano, with notes of sweetness from the milk that can balance any bitterness from the espresso beans.

Brewing Method

The brewing method for an Americano involves adding hot water to a shot or two of espresso. 

The espresso is brewed using a machine that passes pressurized hot water through tightly packed coffee grounds, extracting the flavor and caffeine. The resulting shot is then diluted with hot water to create an Americano.

On the other hand, the brewing method for a macchiato involves steaming milk and adding it to a shot of espresso. The barista begins by making an espresso shot as described above. 

Then, they steam milk until it has a creamy texture and pour a small amount over the top of the espresso shot, creating a layered look.

Overall, both methods involve using an espresso machine to make shots of coffee but differ in how they are prepared and served. An Americano tastes more like drip coffee than traditional espresso because it’s diluted with additional hot water after brewing. 

At the same time, macchiatos have added steamed milk, giving them their distinct flavor profile and appearance.

Milk Preparation

For an Americano, steamed milk is not used. Instead, a small amount of hot water is added to the espresso to create the drink.

Steamed milk and foam are added to espresso in equal parts for a macchiato—the frothy milk and foam work together to make the perfect consistency for this sweet drink.

Caffeine Content

At first glance, Americano and Macchiato may have similar caffeine levels. In reality, however, they differ drastically. 

A typical 8-ounce serving of an Americano consists of 1 shot of espresso with 2 ounces of hot water added for a total of 75mg to 150mgs of caffeine. 

On the other hand, a Macchiato has two shots of espresso topped with foamed milk, resulting in 60 – 70 mg per cup. Therefore, if you’re looking for an extra jolt or energy boost, consider an Americano instead!

Health Considerations

When it comes to health considerations, the Americano and macchiato are both equally healthy. Both drinks contain a shot of espresso with hot water or milk added. 

The difference is that the macchiato contains more foam or milk than the americano, which gives it its unique taste. 

So when choosing between an americano and a macchiato, the choice comes down to personal preference rather than health implications!

A Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison table summarizing the differences between Americano and Macchiato:

DefinitionEspresso shots diluted with hot waterEspresso shots topped with a layer of frothed milk
Taste and FlavorStrong, intense, slightly bitterLess intense, balanced with sweetness from milk
Brewing MethodEspresso shots mixed with hot waterEspresso shots topped with steamed milk
Milk PreparationNo steamed milkSteamed milk and foam in equal parts
Caffeine Content75-150mg per 8-ounce serving60-70mg per serving
Health ConsiderationsEqually healthyEqually healthy

More Coffee Guides

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether you choose an Americano or a Macchiato, it all comes down to your preference. 

The Americano offers a strong and intense flavor, resembling drip coffee, while the Macchiato balances the sweetness of steamed milk with the richness of espresso. The Americano might be your go-to for an extra caffeine jolt. 


Do Macchiatos Or Americanos Have More Caffeine?

Macchiatos typically have less caffeine than Americanos.

Which Is Better, Americano Or Latte?

The choice between Americano and latte depends on personal preference. Americano has a stronger, intense flavor, while latte offers a creamy and milder taste.

Is It OK To Drink Americano Every Day?

Drinking Americano in moderation is generally considered safe. However, individual caffeine sensitivity and overall health should be taken into account.

Can Americano Have Sugar?

Sugar can be added to an Americano according to personal taste preferences.

Is Americano Always Black Coffee?

Yes, an Americano is traditionally served as black coffee. However, if desired, you can customize it by adding milk, sugar, or other flavorings.

Written and Published by:

Hello! I'm Joe, the face behind this myperfectgrind,com. While I may not be an expert, my love for coffee runs deep. Through my website, I aim to share my personal experiences, discoveries, and the joy that coffee brings me. Join me as we explore the world of coffee together, learning, growing, and enjoying every cup along the way. Learn more.